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“Csángó Ball” Held In Brussels To Draw Attention To Forgotten Hungarian Community

Tamás Székely 2016.02.22.

A Csángó ball, held annually in Budapest, was held in Brussels for the first time on Saturday. The event was organised in part by the Office for the European Representation of Hungarian National Communities (HUNINEU). The organisers said they hope the inaugural ball in Brussels a biannual tradition.

Klára Farkas Papp, head of the directorate of the HININEU foundation, said the foundation will aim to bring programmes to Brussels that showcase the values and cultural traditions of Carpathian Basin Hungarians. She said the Csángó community wants to preserve its unique dialect and Catholic beliefs to further enrich Europe’s cultural heritage. Farkas Papp urged Hungary’s Ambassador to Belgium Zoltán Nagy to do all he can in Brussels to fight for the rights of Hungarian ethnic groups in Europe, including the Csángós.

Zoltán Nagy said in his opening address that the Csángó community’s unique culture is an important asset to Europe. He warned that the Csángó dialect is on the brink of extinction and may completely disappear within a few generations. This is why the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe approved a report recommending that all minorities should have the right to be taught in their native language at their local schools, the ambassador said.

The Csángó community, an ethnic Hungarian group, lives in Romania’s Moldavia region, and comprises about 250,000 members. They are believed to have fled from neighbouring Transylvania in at least two bigger waves. Many Szeklers fled the forced recruitment into the Austrian military in the 18th century. About 60,000 members of the community still speak an archaic form of Hungarian.

via and MTI photo: Bea Kallos – MTI