E. Sylvester Vizi: “Members of the Friends of Hungary Community Are Ambassadors of the Country”
Fanni Kaszás 2019.04.30.
As we have previously reported, the Friends of Hungary Foundation will hold its annual Friends of Hungary Conference for the sixth time this coming weekend. The Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Friends of Hungary Foundation, E. Sylvester Vizi, discussed the upcoming event today on Kossuth Radio’s ’Good Morning Hungary’ program.
The former President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences spoke in detail about the Friends of Hungary Foundation’s upcoming conference. The foundation — which aims to serve as a bridge connecting Hungarians living in the Carpathian Basin with their compatriots in the diaspora – will host around 200 guests from 28 countries.
Vizi explained that the Foundation’s main aim is to familiarize Hungarians outside Hungary with the mother country’s trials and successes. He added that there are several members of the community who don’t have Hungarian roots or relations, but merely admire and “love Hungary and its inclusive, hospitable people and their accomplishments.” He referred to the members of the Friends of Hungary community as ambassadors of the country. The more than 300 members of the Friends of Hungary network include associations, clubs and individuals who count as opinion leaders within their own communities and countries of residence. Vizi was quick to praise Hungary: “There are several Hungarian saints, and we also have a lot of Nobel Prize winners and Olympic champions and are one of the ten most successful sporting nations in the world. These are qualities that can be loved and respected.”
At the end of the interview, the chair of the board of trustees revealed the upcoming conference’s main events: members of the community will be greeted by President János Áder before continuing with a Gala Dinner where they will have the opportunity to question keynote speaker PM Viktor Orbán.
On Saturday, the community will attend an all-day conference in Esztergom to discuss the most important issues facing Hungarian communities around the world. This year, members of the Friends of Hungary Foundation will also join Cardinal Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, at a holy mass for the beatification of Cardinal József Mindszenty. On Sunday, the community will visit the Academy of Music and enjoy a mini-concert before finishing with a guided tour at the newly renovated Museum of Fine Arts. Just as members of the community gather every year in Budapest to
express their love for the country,
so to do the interviewees of Péter Gyuricza’s Visszidensek (Remigrates) book series. The series, published under the patronage of the Foundation, currently has two volumes and a third is underway. It contains two sets of 12 detailed, personal and unique talks with people, who, after living decades outside Hungary, chose to come back to the motherland and settle here.
Vizi also explained that the Foundation works tirelessly to keep Hungarians abroad informed about what’s happening in Hungary, particularly when it comes to “trying to prevent the spread of fake news.” The Foundation currently publishes two of the most successful foreign language news portals about the country, Hungary Today and German language Ungarn Heute.
Along with several other events, the foundation also organizes the Hungary At First “Site” conference. The event brought about a dozen foreign journalists face to face with various Hungarian political and economic decision-makers, including Minister of State for EU Relations Judit Varga and Katalin Novák, the State Secretary in Charge of Youth and Family Affairs.