Hungarians are loved and appreciated in the province of Ontario, and the Hungarian community here can count on Hungary as much as on Canada, the President of the Republic said on Saturday in Toronto, where she participated in the closing evening of Hungarian Heritage Month.
Katalin Novák stressed that it is possible to be 100 per cent Hungarian and 100 per cent Canadian at the same time. She called it her duty to know the Hungarian diaspora living abroad, to care for them and to be proud of them. She assured her audience that just as the Hungarians of Ontario can count on the province and Canada, they can count on Hungary and its President.
She said that at the beginning of her term as Head of State, she made a commitment to work to make Hungarians better understood and appreciated around the world, and that she wanted to present a truer picture of Hungary to her international partners during her travels.
She said she was honored that the Parliament of the Province of Ontario in Canada had decided that every October would be Hungarian Heritage Month, which was a great tribute to the Hungarian families living here and to all Hungarians, especially the heroes of 1956.
Katalin Novák said that October is a special month for Hungarians, a “month of freedom”, when Hungarians celebrate the deeds of compatriots who won the world’s recognition, but the world was not brave enough to help the revolution that began in Budapest in October 1956. “Sixty-six years ago, the Hungarians had had enough of terror, the doctrine of Marxism and the tyranny that invaded every aspect of their lives,” she added.
She also stressed that 2022 is a special year in the sense that half of the 66 years since the Revolution has been spent under an oppressive regime, while the other half was spent in freedom, but now Hungarians will hold on to their freedom forever.
It would be great if Hungarians today could turn all their energies towards the future, and that is why it is so dramatic that war is raging in the neighborhood and the energy crisis is affecting the whole world. She added that “our peace is once again under threat today”, and that Europe as a whole is shaken by the war in Hungary’s neighborhood, which threatens the peace, stability and security of the region. The 21st century cannot be another century of war in Europe, in which East and West are pitted against each other, the President stressed.
Photo: Michael Tibollo and László Radványi with their awards. MTI/Sándor-palota/Bartos Gyula
At the ceremony, Katalin Novák presented the Order of Merit of Hungary to László Radványi, a professor of Hungarian origin born to parents in 1956, President of the Ontario Cancer Institute, and Michael Tibollo, an Italian member of the Ontario provincial government, who was one of the initiators of the effort to include Hungarian Heritage Month in provincial law.
On Friday, the first official day of her visit to Canada, Katalin Novák met with Toronto-based researcher Katalin Karikó, who on Thursday received one of Canada’s most prestigious biomedical awards, the Gairdner Prize. Commenting on the meeting, the President wrote on her social media page that it was good to hear how important family is for Katalin Karikó and, referring to the researcher’s achievements, she said “we can be proud that a Hungarian mother is today a role model for many young women and girls”.
President Novák with Katalin Karikó (L). MTI/Sándor-palota/Bartos Gyula
Featured Image: MTI/Sándor-palota/Bartos Gyula