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“Let everyone sweep in front of their own doors” – Interview with Opera Singer Éva Marton

Fanni Kaszás 2020.06.07.

As the Friends of Hungary Foundation, publisher of Hungary Today, is approaching its 10 year anniversary, we decided to ask Éva Marton, well-known Hungarian opera singer around the world, and one of the founders of the Foundation, to take a look back at the past 10 years of the organization, and also to talk about the problems of today’s world and the challenges Hungary and humanity will face in the next decade.

As one of the founders of the Friends of Hungary Foundation, how would you evaluate the activities of the Foundation in the first 10 years of its existence, and to what extent have the goals of the founders been achieved?

As a traveling opera singer, I have toured around the world and visited quite a few places since 1972, but there was no place where I would not have met my compatriots and I have always been happy to be contacted or to contact other Hungarians when I was in another country. The Friends of Hungary Foundation, which was established exactly 10 years ago, also serves the purpose of bringing our scattered compatriots together and keeping in touch with them as much as possible from Hungary. It is also a goal to connect them to the homeland and the Carpathian Basin. I think we are on the best path possible to achieve these goals.

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What do you think the world will look like in 10 years’ time, and what role will Hungarians play in it?

I think that much smarter people than me are also thinking about this and unfortunately I cannot say that the different opinions paint rosy outlooks for the future so far. However, I consider the words of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to be a guiding principle when I think of the future: “No Hungarian is alone!”

Éva Marton accepting the Hungarian Saint Stephen Order award from PResident János Áder in 2016. Photo by Noémi Bruzák/MTI

How can the Friends of Hungary Foundation contribute to this vision?

In my opinion, we need to work even harder to further build relationships and nurture them regularly. I consider it very important to involve the younger generation in this work so that we do not lose our second and third generation Hungarians around the world. For example, the organization of summer camps in Hungary specifically for young people of Hungarian origin living scattered around the world, together with our young people in Hungary, with whom they share the same blood.

Photo by Balázs Mohai/MTI

What do you see as the greatest challenge facing humanity today? What will be the response of humanity to these challenges and how will it transform the world? 

In short, I would just like to say that in my opinion, not only loud speeches and debates should be organized on the most important topics, such as climate change, migration, demographic trends, but also, as the saying goes, let everyone sweep in front of their own doors. A very nice and modest example of this is how our government is trying to solve these problems.

Featured photo by Barnabás Honéczy/MTI