The history of the Hungarian Cultural Days of the Carpathian Basin

In 1996, the Hungarian Culture Foundation of Budavár launched a series of events intended to present the Hungarian cultural values ​​of the Carpathian Basin, named the Hungarian Cultural Days of the Carpathian Basin. Its precedent was the Hungarian debut event in 1994, Vojvodina , organized by the Hungarian Cultural Alliance of Vojvodina in cooperation with the Hungarian Culture Foundation. It was extended in 1995 with Transcarpathia’s participation, and in the year celebrating the 1100th anniversary of the Hungarian conquest, the organizers decided that under the name of Hungarian Days of the Carpathian Basin, they will integrate the representation of Hungarian communities living outside the Hungarian state’s borders.

The original goal of the series of events brought to life every year in the honour of august, 20th: presenting above all the traditional culture’s value to the Hungarian audience living in Hungary – including the tourists frequenting the environment of the popular Hungarian Culture Foundation. The structure of the event also served this goal: under the auspices of the joint muster, local, regional variants of similar topics were presented within similar artistic disciplines, respectively between and within similar genres. The audience was awaited at the Foundation’s Palace with presentations of folk dances, folk traditions and culinary demonstrations, respectively at the Szentháromság Square they have undertaken presentation of books with the same thematic, photographs, paintings, embroidery exhibition. The presentation of the traditional culture’s values was complemented by the work of a forum dealing with the most pressing minority issues of minority policy forum, the Identity Club.

This period is considered to be the big reunion period. The programs organized in a tableau manner were implemented under the expert guidance of a Hungarian ethnographer, the organizations coordinating the work of some regions welded together, laying the basis for their future joint activities. The folk dance programs executed in folk customs attracted tourists during the festive period.

The closing edge of the first era was indicated by the declining number of Hungarian public (cross-arrivals from the outside were mostly reciprocal), the forced moving of the event’s date (it was in the same time as the Crafts’ Festival), a decrease in the intensity of the Foundation’s participation (the leaders of the cross-border organizations came up with ideas, implemented programs).The change took place in 2004. The leaders of the umbrella organizations in the Carpathian Basin introduced new locations, new ideas for the Hungarian Cultural Days of the Carpathian Basin. According to this, every year a different region is home to the cultural days, aiming that the specific Hungarian community will get a clear picture of the cultural performances of the other Hungarian communities, gaining confirmation themselves for their work.

The series of events was organized in Komárom in 2004, in Subotica in 20015, in Lendava in 2006, in Cluj in 2007, in Beregszasz in 2008 and in Galanta in 2009.

The representation of the Hungarian culture in Croatia, which in the beginning played a significant role, just as those of the other regions, unfortunately was missing from the reunion in the recent years.

(Kálóczi Katalin)