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This is the 16th time that Marriage Week is being celebrated in Hungary, with a wide range of Christian churches and NGOs joining forces. The aim of the national series of events is to raise awareness of the values and importance of marriage and family. But it also plays a role in helping those preparing for marriage or facing relationship problems.
There will be a range of activities throughout the week, with a special focus on marriage and relationships. What is more, Valentine’s Day is this week, and the timing is no coincidence. The initiative to spend a week each year around Valentine’s Day began more than 20 years ago in the UK to raise awareness of the importance of marriage and family.
Every year, many public figures join in the celebrations, and in Hungary, the main patrons of the central programs are Hungarian President Katalin Novák and her husband, István Veres. This year’s motto of Marriage week is “Holding on to love.”
On the occasion of the event, the Maria Kopp Institute for Demography and Families (KINCS) presented a recent survey showing that Hungarians are pro-marriage and support the traditional family model. The survey polled 1,000 people, and 97% of respondents said that couples should work every day for a good marriage, with 83% of respondents saying that it is much easier if the couple share similar values.
Almost three-quarters, 73%, believe that marriage provides emotional security for spouses, six in ten say that children make marriage complete, and the same number believe that marriage increases the feeling of happiness.
The research also shows that
Hungarians believe that the basis of a well-functioning marriage and couple relationship is acceptance and respect for each other, good communication, quality time spent together, affection, willingness to compromise, love, a sense of humor, a shared set of values, and a division of labor between couples.
According to the institute, we are now experiencing a “marriage renaissance,” as evidenced by the fact that the last time more marriages were performed in Hungary than now was before the fall of communism, with the number of marriages exceeding 64,000 every year since 2019. They added that today, almost three quarters of children born in Hungary have married parents, compared to around 50% a decade ago.
On the occasion of Marriage Week, Ágnes Hornung, Secretary of State for Families, wrote on her Facebook page that Hungarian family allowances are a secure basis for marriage and childbearing, and the government provides all the help young people need to start a family. According to her, the success of the future depends on the success of families, which is why it is important to support them.
First-time married couples can benefit from a tax allowance for two years, a family tax allowance after the birth of a child, and now, a personal income tax exemption for mothers under 30 as well, along with a baby-support loan, and family housing support (csok), among other benefits.
Hungary has seen the biggest increase in the number of marriages in Europe in recent years: while in 2010, just 36,000 couples got married, in 2022 this figure will reach 64,000, an increase of more than 80 percent.
On the occasion of Marriage Week, Hungarian news site Origo interviewed psychologist and professor emerita Emőke Bagdy. According to the expert, marriage, according to its ancient meaning, is a union between a man and a woman in which there is a commitment and responsibility that the two beings want to live together for a common purpose.
In this case, there is no longer just ‘me’ and ‘you,’ but ‘we,’ together, like the Sun and the Moon, or Yin and Yang.”
According to Bagdy, the enduring purpose and destiny of marriage is for the parties to be happy. She added that only mutually can man and woman create a state of happiness whose higher purpose is the continuation of life. In addition, the psychologist pointed out that a Harvard University study showed that one of the secrets to health, happiness, and longevity is to have a good relationship or marriage, even with all its difficulties.
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