As the Friends of Hungary Foundation, publisher of Hungary Today, is approaching its 10 year anniversary, we decided to ask János B. Nagy, world-renowned Hungarian chemist, emeritus professor of the Catholic University of Namur, founder of the Commission of the Human Rights of Central Europe, 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 his views on 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?
One of our main tasks is to present Hungary as well as possible, introduce it to foreign audiences, and in addition, to protect it from a lot of baseless attacks in foreign media. For me, however, the most important of the foundation’s activities was meeting with the members and making new acquaintances. I was able to once again meet with many people I had known before – such as István Radda from Munich, who was the leader of MEFESZ (Association of Hungarian University and College Students) when I was the president of the same organization in Leuven. But I could also mention Imre Czigány, with whom we worked in the Central European Commission of Human Rights, or Dr. Péter Igo-Kemenes who studied to be a physicist in Leuven when I was studying chemistry there. He was also the one who told me how they were able to defend Hungary and the image of the country in the Swiss press. I also made many new acquaintances through the foundation. I met Gábor Vaski, who helped the people living in the scattered settlements of Transylvania with used minibuses, facilitating the meeting opportunities for Hungarians. I was also very pleased with the interview volumes of Péter Gyuricza, ‘Visszidensek’ (Remigrates).
One of the important milestones during the past ten years was that I managed to give a presentation at one of our conferences on some of the workings of our Human Rights Committee. I would like to make just one point here: in 1996, on the 1100th anniversary of Hungary’s existence, the Hungarians presented a beautiful exhibition and lectures at the University of Namur (Université de Namur – Namur, Belgium) as part of the millennium celebrations. It received a great response in the Belgian press. For example, Libre Belgique, a large Belgian daily paper, wrote: “We are all Hungarians.”
What do you think the world will look like in 10 years’ time, and what role will Hungarians play in it? How can the Friends of Hungary Foundation contribute to this vision?
I believe that we must continue our activities and prevent unfounded attacks on Hungary, preferably in conjunction with the Hungarian embassies. Nor should we forget that the country is being attacked, among other things, because our constitution stipulates that marriage is between a man and a woman. Since Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is not one of the left-liberal leaders, everything he does is bad. Regardless, however, all other reasons are given for the attacks, but the real causes are obscured. All of this while the Gyurcsány government falsified its budget, which was approved by the Committee in Brussels.
For my part, I compiled a lecture entitled “The Hungarian Language: The Living Language of the Stone Age.” (Several writers and researchers say that the Stone Age language and thinking is revealed the clearest in Hungarian language in Europe – ed.) I have previously presented the lecture in French at the University of Namur and in Hungarian at the Hungarian House in Brussels, but I would like to share it at the Friends of Hungary Conference as well. I hope then it will be distributed by many foundation members in the world, as I will pass the copyright to everyone. The main point of my lecture is to show why we should achieve the goal of the Hungarian language and culture to be declared a part of world heritage. In addition, the idea did not come from Hungary, but from Arnaldo Dante Maria Nacci, the director of the Italian Cultural Institute, who presented it in 2006.
What do you see as the greatest challenge facing humanity today? What will be the response of humanity to the challenge and how will it transform the world?
What first comes to my mind is a summary from physicist Attila Grandpierre’s book ‘Ancient Hungary.’ He wrote that the mission of Hungarians is to promote the rebirth of Eurasian ancestry and the construction of ecological civilization by rediscovering its particularly rich primordial culture, its theoretical philosophy. If we consider, for example, that the Renaissance, in fact, exists due to the rediscovery of the knowledge preserved and passed on by the ancient Greeks, and that comprehensive science is even more fundamental, we can see that the rediscovery of Eurasian ancestry allows for even more profound renewal than the Renaissance. A renewal that is able to overcome alienation, allowing the creative genius which is still alive in children, to fully unfold. In addition to material well-being, it would also ensure spiritual well-being, while in addition to individual well-being, it would also ensure the well-being of relations between nations. Social consciousness would become uplifted, and through this, meaningful, lasting, and indefinitely sustainable spiritual development would also emerge.