Recent Hungarian diplomatic blunders: Romania and the Czech Republic

Let’s move from domestic to foreign affairs, not because there are no interesting topics at home in spite of the silly season (cucumber season in Hungarian or Saurgurkenzeit in German) but because Romanian President Traian Băsescu made headlines today with his caustic and, according to some, threatening remarks about the Orbán government’s behavior toward his country.

Traian Băsescu was Fidesz’s favorite Romanian politician a couple of years ago, and it seemed that Viktor Orbán and the Romanian president were kindred souls who understood each other and were ready to support each other. I vividly recall when back in 2009 Zsolt Németh, Fidesz’s foreign policy expert, gave a television interview in which he emphasized the importance of Băsescu’s re-election. He considered it to be critical from Hungary’s point of view, especially after Fidesz’s electoral victory in 2010.  In 2011 Băsescu attended Fidesz’s summer camp in Tusnádfűrdő and in 2012 Orbán campaigned on Băsescu’s behalf among Transylvanian Hungarians. Well, the honeymoon is over.

When Viktor Orbán and Trajan Basescu were still friends. On the right László Tőkés at Tasnádfűrdő

When Viktor Orbán and Trajan Băsescu were still friends. On the right László Tőkés at Tasnádfűrdő

I have two versions of what Băsescu had to say this morning in Marosfő/Izvoru Mureșului in Hargita/Harghita county at another summer free university gathering. Marosfő is a village with a population of 800 which is completely balanced ethnically. The Hungarian version appeared in the Romanian Új Magyar Szó, according to which Băsescu said that “politicians of Hungary became so impertinent that it is likely that we will not approve their holding their Free University and student camp in Bálványos.” He added that “Romania is ready to accept a leading role in reprimanding Hungary because  it has recently become the center of tension in the region.” He announced that 2013 was the last year that “the whole political elite could loiter undisturbed in Harghita and Covasna.” This was the version that Hungarian papers republished without any changes.

The other version appeared in The Independent Balkan News Agency, which covers all the Balkan countries in addition to Slovenia and Cyprus. This version is more complete and explicit than the one that appeared in the Hungarian paper. Here Băsescu talks about Hungary as “a regional hotbed of instability” and warns that Bucharest could seek “to teach Hungary to know its place” and made it clear that in the future Hungarian politicians “will not be able to roam around Romania freely.” As it turns out, the Romanian original from Băsescu’s blog is “poate să se perinde” which is very close to the Hungarian “loitering” (lófrálni). * The news agency also notes that Băsescu’s outburst came only two days after Gábor Vona, the leader of Jobbik, said (also in Romania) that “Hungary should engage in a conflict with Romania in order to protect the rights of the Hungarian minority. ” Moreover, László Tőkés’s suggestion that Hungary extend “protection” to the Hungarian minority in Romania is also mentioned.

Official Hungarian reaction was slow in coming. First it was Hunor Kelemen, chairman of RMDSZ/UDMR, the major Hungarian right-of-center party in Romania, who described Băsescu’s “recent reaction to Hungary [as] over the top.” The language Băsescu used was too strong even in connection with Gábor Vona’s remarks, but “Hungary’s leaders did not warrant such a reaction from President Traian Băsescu.” Kelemen found it “unacceptable for a head of state to threaten a neighboring country with isolation.”

It was only around 7:00 p.m. that Balázs Hidvéghi, a novice Fidesz member of parliament who since 2010 hasn’t done anything notable judging from his parliamentary record, was picked to answer the Romanian president. This choice I think reflects Viktor Orbán’s  attempt to make the event seem insignificant, undeserving of a high level answer. Hidvéghi was both understanding and friendly; he emphasized that the summer camps at Tusnádfűrdő were always held with a view to furthering Romanian-Hungarian dialogue and friendship.

Magyar Nemzet looked for a Romanian politician who had condemned Băsescu and found him in Mircea Geoană, the former Romanian foreign minister. He considered Băsescu’s attack on Hungary and the Hungarian politicians part of the Romanian president’s “desperate pursuit of popularity.” Geoană expressed his fear that after such an extremist statement “there will be the danger that the world will consider Romania to be the center of instability in Europe” instead of Hungary. What Magyar Nemzet neglected to mention was that the socialist Mircea Geoană was the candidate for the post of presidency in 2009 against Trajan Băsescu. But even Magyar Nemzet had to admit that another socialist politician, Mircea Dusa, a member of parliament from Hargita/Harghita, welcomed Băsescu’s condemnation of the Orbán government’s political activities in Romania.

If that weren’t enough, Viktor Orbán made another diplomatic faux pas, this time involving the Czech Republic and the Visegrád Four. The Visegrád Four (V4), an alliance of four Central European states–the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary, was established both to further cooperation and to promote the European integration of these countries. The name of the alliance is derived from the place where Bohemian, Polish, and Hungarians rulers met in 1335. The three kings agreed in Visegrád to create new commercial routes to bypass the port of Vienna and obtain easier access to other European markets.

The Visegrád Four still exists and this year the prime minister of Hungary serves as chairman. The next summit of the four countries was scheduled to be held on August 24 in the fabulous Esterházy Palace located in Fertőd, close to the Austrian border. On August 8 the Office of the Prime Minister announced that Viktor Orbán had decided to postpone the summit due to the Czech government crisis. It was clear from the text of the announcement that the idea had originated with Viktor Orbán and that the postponement was not requested by the Czechs.

The Czech reaction was swift. Jan Hrubes, the Czech government spokesman, announced that there was no need to postpone the summit. Moreover, the Czech government learned about the change of plans only from the media. Jirí Rusnok, the current prime minister, was ready to participate in the summit. The spokesman of the Hungarian Office of the Prime Minister expressed his surprise since, according to him, the Poles and Slovaks received Orbán’s announcement. Whether the Czechs did or not is a moot point. The fact is that it is not customary in diplomacy to postpone a meeting on account of instability in one of the countries without the request of the country in question. A typical Viktor Orbán move; he behaves in international circles like a bull in a china shop.

According to observers, the real reason behind Orbán’s move can be traced to his political sympathies. The former prime minister of the Czech Republic, Petr Nečas, was a member of the right-of-center Civic Democratic Party and was an admirer of Orbán. In fact, he stood by the Orbán government at the time the European Parliament accepted the Tavares Report. He expressed his “deep disappointment” and forewarned of the grave consequences of the report for the future of the European Union. By contrast, President Miloš Zeman is a socialist and so is Jirí Rusnok, who will most likely remain at the head of the government at least until October when elections will probably be held. Tamás Rónay of Népszava suspects that Orbán’s decision to postpone the summit is a gesture to and an expression of solidarity with Nečas, who had to resign in the wake of a huge sex and corruption scandal. Just another case of diplomacy Orbán style.

*Thanks to my friends originally from Transylvania who provided me with the Romanian original.

108 comments

  1. Simona Botezan :The Economist: ” (…) A tourist in Paris would be equally surprised to see a map of France including Algeria and Tahiti.

    I’m as much embarrassed by irredentism as the next reader of this blog, but Mr LeBor should do his homework before starting an article on this topic with a blunder. His tourist should be only half-suprised, since French Polynesia is actually a part of France. It’s here on the map (fourth on the bottom rank):
    http://www.france.fr/en/regions-and-cities/map-administrative-regions
    🙂

  2. Simona Botezan:”No one else complaining about being discriminated in Transylvania, although there live together Romanians, Germans, Jews, Gypsies, Hungarians etc. Just Hungarians want ethnic autonomy; Hungarian protectorate in Transylvania etc. Only Hungarians complaining in all the world capitals about how they are discriminated in Romania. .”

    Well, as far as the Germans and the Jews are concerned, they were sold by Ceausescu and the vast majority left Romania long time ago. As far as the Gypsies are concerned, I heard about a lot of complaints on how they are being treated by everyone else in Romania. Otherwise your statement is basically correct.

  3. Mihaela :
    Eva, good point. The saying also exists in Romanian and is quite well known: “Ulciorul nu merge de multe ori la apa” … I wish I understood Hungarian, it sounds like an interesting interview. As for loyalty for Hungary, I can attest this is true. Also, Hungary gives out Hungarian passports to Romanian nationals like candy. Putin does the same thing with Ukrainian nationals.

    And let’s not forget Basescu, who does the same with the nationals of the Republic of Moldova.

  4. @gdfxx … as far as Gypsies … Please correct me if I’m wrong … who just got convicted, in what country, for murdering 6 gypsies? In which country the Gypsy and the poor are afraid to get out in certain areas? Look here: who got convicted for targeting and murdering gypsies: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-06/hungary-court-convicts-four-men-for-serial-murder-of-roma.html
    There is this big “effort” to associate Gypsies with Romanians (Romani/Romanians may be the same to some ignorants) however, I wish you to know that during communism we all suffered the same. I grew up with gypsies, I have friends gypsies and I have been beaten to a pulp by gypsies. But I can tell you this: gypsies are no better, and certainly no worse, than any other people on this planet. Only those who stereotype are at the bottom of the gene pool.

  5. The nationals of the Republic of Moldova speak the national language which is Romanian language. They have the same colors on their national flag, which are the Romanian colors of Blue, Yellow Red.. They share the same national heroes, poets and artists. The only difference is their accent, but then again, I come from northern Moldova, from Romania, and we have a strong accent as well. And they have excellent wine as well!

  6. Yes, Anna. But did you actually visit the Festival? I WAS there two days, July 4th and 5th. I saw the maps. And I also saw the name of “Szekelyfold” which is a made-up name by the separatists in the heart of Romania. Question is: how did the Smithsonian Institution get this name? Only the people in that region know it … also, you were not there, but the Separatist Flag os Szekelyfold made it all the way on the top of the wooden structure (dance barn) built by carpenters from Transylvania (Romania) Smithsonian organizers caught it on time and brought it down. BTW, there is a video on Smithsonian, in which the chief carpenter says that they all came from Transylvania. Transylvania, period. How would you feel if the Mexicans in California, and in all of the South-West of the United States had their organization to militate for autonomy? Hm? How do you think the US Government would react to that? And keeo in mind, there are max 1,5 million Hungarians in Romania, many of them consider themselves human beings, residents of Romania, and mind their own life and business. That’s 1,5 out of a total of 19 million

  7. Mihaela :
    @gdfxx … as far as Gypsies … Please correct me if I’m wrong … who just got convicted, in what country, for murdering 6 gypsies? In which country the Gypsy and the poor are afraid to get out in certain areas? Look here: who got convicted for targeting and murdering gypsies: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-06/hungary-court-convicts-four-men-for-serial-murder-of-roma.html
    There is this big “effort” to associate Gypsies with Romanians (Romani/Romanians may be the same to some ignorants) however, I wish you to know that during communism we all suffered the same. I grew up with gypsies, I have friends gypsies and I have been beaten to a pulp by gypsies. But I can tell you this: gypsies are no better, and certainly no worse, than any other people on this planet. Only those who stereotype are at the bottom of the gene pool.

    Dear Mihaela, I am talking about the Gypsies in Romania being discriminated against. I am not comparing the discrimination of Gypsies in Romania and Hungary, and your tirade just reminds me of the distasteful competition between some Hungarian and Romanian historians when they tried to prove that the others killed more Jews in a more vicious manner during the holocaust.

    I am not accusing you personally of anything, but facts are facts.

    I am also very familiar with the fear of Romanians of being confused with the Gypsies. I only heard about this “effort” from Romanians. And I have to say, that all these protests against this “effort” and all the efforts to clarify the difference just proves how discriminated the Gypsies in Romania are, otherwise why would this confusion be so hurtful?

  8. Mihaela:”And I also saw the name of “Szekelyfold” which is a made-up name by the separatists in the heart of Romania. Question is: how did the Smithsonian Institution get this name? Only the people in that region know it … ”

    Every geographical name is a made up name. Szekelyfold, which in English means land of the Szeklers was made up long time ago, because it was inhabited mainly by Szeklers, and actually it still is. Obviously people who are not familiar with the region are not familiar with the name. So what? How did the Smithsonian find out? I am sure they were told by the organizers. And I find nothing wrong with it.

  9. Mihaela :
    The nationals of the Republic of Moldova speak the national language which is Romanian language. They have the same colors on their national flag, which are the Romanian colors of Blue, Yellow Red.. They share the same national heroes, poets and artists. The only difference is their accent, but then again, I come from northern Moldova, from Romania, and we have a strong accent as well. And they have excellent wine as well!

    Let’s ignore the color of the flag for now, OK? Otherwise don’t you think that everything else you said above applies to the ethnic Hungarians in other countries than Hungary, in that region?

    Please understand that I detest what Orban is doing at least as much as you do, but one has to look at things with a little more understanding and not paint everything and everyone with the same wide brush.

  10. gdfxx :

    Mihaela :
    The nationals of the Republic of Moldova speak the national language which is Romanian language. They have the same colors on their national flag, which are the Romanian colors of Blue, Yellow Red.. They share the same national heroes, poets and artists. The only difference is their accent, but then again, I come from northern Moldova, from Romania, and we have a strong accent as well. And they have excellent wine as well!

    Let’s ignore the color of the flag for now, OK? Otherwise don’t you think that everything else you said above applies to the ethnic Hungarians in other countries than Hungary, in that region?
    Please understand that I detest what Orban is doing at least as much as you do, but one has to look at things with a little more understanding and not paint everything and everyone with the same wide brush.

    The problems between Romanians and Hungarians from Transylvania are artificially created for political reasons.

    It’s wrong and hurts people who have nothing to do with Mr. Orban political reasons. I’m from a mixed family (Romanian, German and Hungarian roots) from Transylvania and I know exactly what that means. Majority in Transylvania is multi-ethnic families how consider themselves Romanians. This people only want to live in peace and decently there, if is possible without Mr. Orban.

    But Mr. Orban want more rights for Hungarian minority from Transylvania but forgotten than they achieved more rights than any other country or minority (including U.S.) and still require more rights and complain of discrimination.

  11. @Mihaela. I was at the festival on July 5, 6. As I remember there have been a few posters and maps with certain insensitivity towards Romanian public opinion, one can say sometimes even bordering willful negligence and provocation. (Not many, but there were some.) This is true, organizers could have avoided this, by better explaining the complex history of Transsylvania and embedding it into the region’s multiculturalism. This could have serve better the sympathy of American public as well. But I cannot imagine to present Hungarian ethnography, folk music and dance without introducing the ethnic Hungarian regions of Szekler land or Mezöség in Transsylvania and how these regions’ Hungarian inhabitants view their traditions and history. Unfortunately this would have somewhat irritated the general feelings among Romanians anyway.

  12. gdfxx: Well said. What people with Mikaela fails to realize how their double standards can be easily turns against them. I might be wrong but I also feel this viae victis attitude from the comments which is very dangerous as saying “We got it, it’s ours now, we do whatever we want”.justifies Vona. Just think about it, if we somehow manage to take it back by force, we could say the same thing. This is not the logic we are looking for in the 21st century.

    As I said, my friend Tim, who has literally no information on the region asked me why are there so many regions represented outside Hungary. If he noticed it, then everybody did. I didn’t see any map violating Romanian’s sovereignty as Anna’s link clearly showed. It didn’t include the Romanian names of towns but the numerous cultures coming from all around Siberia, didn’t use the Russian names either.

    This was a festival where ethnicity was in the focus, not nationality. Anybody who saw an attempt to misinform the American public about the current borders of Hungary, must have been looking for it very desperately and they would have found it no matter what. I can clearly see that accepting the Hungarian past of Transylvania is not any easier for some than to accept its Romanian present for us.

  13. Re Eva: I saw TGM yesterday too. He had some interesting thoughts, but I was amazed how ignorant he acted about current Romanian domestic politics. To say the least, I’m quite repulsed by these yearly jamborees that serve nothing else than Orbán’s propaganda purposes. But I’m puzzled how can TGM be that naive to believe that the great and wise Traian Basescu just ran out of patience…

  14. A few remarks on comments. Re raids. Yes, I knew about the Sárbogárd raid and also stopping bicyclists in Nyíregyháza.

    Re director of Miskolc Hospital. Now that An reminded me I remember his activities on Orbán’s behalf. I ought to follow this up because it might be very interesting.

    Re TGM. Yes, I do think that TGM with whom I have lots of arguments assessed the situation well when he talked about the proverbial jug and the well. Yes, they had enough. And not just Băsescu. Take a look at Attila Ara-Kovács’s piece in Magyar Narancs:

    http://magyarnarancs.hu/diplomaciai_jegyzet/a-nepszinmu-folytatodik-86087

    He is also from Transylvania (actually the Partium) and is perhaps the best Hungarian commentator on foreign affairs. Of course, he follows Romanian politics just as much as TGM. Both are fluent in Romanian.Ara-Kovács’s Băsescu portrait is interesting and most likely true.

  15. Eva: So than what do you make of Antonescu and Ponta attacking Basescu violently about his sentences? This is pure domestic politics. Even if there is some truth in the excuse as well.

  16. Ponta was right, Basescu wouldn’t even be president anymore without Orbán and Tőkés, and he had no problem participating in these events as long as he needed Hungarian votes. He had enough when it became convenient and seemingly useful for him. He sensed a void in the nationalistic Romanian political space and desperately grabbed it. This language is obviously not in Romanian interest. Ponta might be a crook too, but he is not as crazy as Orbán and knows this very well.

  17. Jano :

    Eva: So then what do you make of Antonescu and Ponta attacking Basescu violently about his sentences? This is pure domestic politics. Even if there is some truth in the excuse as well.

    They belong to different parties and Basescu who is not popular in Romania uses the Hungarian issue to bolster his popularity. So, Ponta attacks him but I bet that Ponta doesn’t feel any differently about Orbán and his games in Romania than Basescu.

  18. Mihaela, I understand you. I am a regular reader of this blog and I appreciate it very much because of highly competent blogger and most of the discussants here. With the help of this blog I am able to follow better what is happening in Hungary.

    Despite that I am often confronted with specific hungarian perception of events related to Hungary from the side of some discussants, mostly those living there. They are products of educational system, including the education within families, which is full of the Tianon trauma. That is why, they are e.g. firmly convinced of ethnic Hungarians suffering in Slovakia and they think everything is o.k. with Slovaks in Hungary. At the same time, the facts show that for example Hungarians in SK have hunderts of schools with education in hungarian language and Slovaks in Hungary are dying out also due to the absence of education in their mother language – only for illustration of some aspects of respective issues. It is similar to that you mentioned in your contributions. As a result, the world is flooded with hungarian claims about their sad fate and there in litle space to talk about the fatal situation of minorities in Hungary.

    OV has further complicated the relations with neighbours with the concept of dual citizenship. As I understand it, this is more serious problem in Romania than in Slovakia due to the fact that maybe because of the possibility of ethnic Hungarians in RO to benefit from Schengen treaty, there are more applicants from Romania (400000 or so) compared to Slovakia (only about 20000 applicants from 600000 Hungarians in SK, as far as I know). Correspondingly, there is also wider space for Orban for doing politics in Romania. However, there is the abovementioned precedent with Sólyom´s inhibited political visit to Slovakia, how to stop these ambitions. I think that this is the only language which OV understands.

    Despite this not very encourageous conclusion, I am very optimistic as for the relations between the nations in the Central Europe. Our personal relations with Hungarians generally, and personal relations of my family with Hungarian neighbours in Rajka specifically, which are really very good (I would say the best as I could ever imagine), are the base for this belief, and no Orban or other creature will violate them. Orban and his concepts, they are here only temporarily (see the example of Mečiar in Slovakia – he is now an unimportant pensioner (though very rich – and it seems it will be also the case of OV)).

  19. Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10) :

    Simona Botezan :The Economist: ” (…) A tourist in Paris would be equally surprised to see a map of France including Algeria and Tahiti.

    I’m as much embarrassed by irredentism as the next reader of this blog, but Mr LeBor should do his homework before starting an article on this topic with a blunder. His tourist should be only half-suprised, since French Polynesia is actually a part of France. It’s here on the map (fourth on the bottom rank):
    http://www.france.fr/en/regions-and-cities/map-administrative-regions

    Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10) :

    Simona Botezan :The Economist: ” (…) A tourist in Paris would be equally surprised to see a map of France including Algeria and Tahiti.

    I’m as much embarrassed by irredentism as the next reader of this blog, but Mr LeBor should do his homework before starting an article on this topic with a blunder. His tourist should be only half-suprised, since French Polynesia is actually a part of France. It’s here on the map (fourth on the bottom rank):
    http://www.france.fr/en/regions-and-cities/map-administrative-regions

    It is laughable silly to compare the lost territories of Hungary in treaty of Trianon, to the french british short lived overseas (1000s of miles distance on water) colonies.

    Hungarian Kingdom was born so big since the beginnings (see historic maps from medieval Europe) and the lost territories were integral part of the country’s political economic life, and they were also part of Hungarian ethno -genesis.

    Look the linked map! The dismemberment of the territory of France Italy USA Britain Germany in “Trianon-style”

  20. After the tragedy of WW2, the minority question is not part of domestic policy. Even after WW2 the biggest genocides of the 20th century were committed “secretly” and the butchler politicians tried to hide their deeds by saying “IT is or own domestic policy” and other laughable causes.

  21. @szomszé:

    I think you are right – the people in this region (at least the sane ones – and I hope they are in the majority …) are pragmatical as I’ve seen on a short visit to Komarno. I think I’ve written about this before – when we came to a café we were addressed in German ( I must look like a real German and my wife is blonde …) but when she addressed the waitress with a question in Hungarian, the girl automatically switched to Hungarian too and later brought us a little collection of the new Slovak € coins, because my wife had asked if you could get a set of those at the bank …

    You see it very clearly on pol.hu:

    The “Ugly Hungarians” as I call them don’t live in Hungary and have no real connection to today’s problems …

    I really hope that the EU integration politics will continue strongly and bring more friendship to the nations in East/Central East Europe – just as it helped us, the Germans and our neighbours in the West.
    An important role of course is played by the economy – if that were to go downhill people will again search for someone else to blame. Just read on pol.hu that around 40 % of Hungarians believe their government is controlled by outside powers …
    Unbelievable!

  22. Dear Eva,

    Thank you for answers. I appreciate Hungarian Spectrum because express consistent and objective.opinions. I’m from a multicultural family from Transylvania (with Romanian, Hungarian and German roots) with six different religions. I know how dangerous is to receive poisonous political messages so frequently. I understand exactly what that means and how this policy can create tension inside of the multiethnic families from Transylvania. Unfortunately, I do not speak Hungarian, just a little understanding, but I appreciated Mr.Tamas opinions for equidistance (I’m grad from same university Babes Bolyai).

  23. Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10) :

    Simona Botezan :The Economist: ” (…) A tourist in Paris would be equally surprised to see a map of France including Algeria and Tahiti.

    I’m as much embarrassed by irredentism as the next reader of this blog, but Mr LeBor should do his homework before starting an article on this topic with a blunder. His tourist should be only half-suprised, since French Polynesia is actually a part of France. It’s here on the map (fourth on the bottom rank):
    http://www.france.fr/en/regions-and-cities/map-administrative-regions

    Marcel, let’s move to the details from main idea (Americans not shine to geography or world history subjects). For French or British, their old empires are lost… history. British or French Empire was there just for comparison, underlined that some Hungarian politicians sweat to revival Hungarian Kingdom. My impression was same after Hungarian Heritage festival from Washington D.C.

  24. gdfxx :
    Simona Botezan:”No one else complaining about being discriminated in Transylvania, although there live together Romanians, Germans, Jews, Gypsies, Hungarians etc. Just Hungarians want ethnic autonomy; Hungarian protectorate in Transylvania etc. Only Hungarians complaining in all the world capitals about how they are discriminated in Romania. .”
    Well, as far as the Germans and the Jews are concerned, they were sold by Ceausescu and the vast majority left Romania long time ago. As far as the Gypsies are concerned, I heard about a lot of complaints on how they are being treated by everyone else in Romania. Otherwise your statement is basically correct.

    In the communist era Romanians suffered all the same. Jews and Germans who had an opportunity to leave the country were considered privileged by other ethnic groups that doesn’t had any solution to get out from communist hell. Thousands of Romanians have lost their lives trying to cross illegally the borders for freedom. I’m sure it would have preferred to pay money or to lose all just to be able to live elsewhere.

    For nomadic gypsy Romanian authorities has build homes (where they refused to live or were destroyed this houses); tried to educate them forced (and they consistently refused); tried to force them to work and to be integrate into society (majority of state programs have failed). Many Gypsies continue to live on social welfare, begging or stealing in the EU. Gypsies are not only Romania’s unsolved problem, it is a big problem throughout Europe. I’m very curious who will be able to find a solution for them, given that their culture is in contradiction with the XXI century society rules.

  25. Anna Bayer :
    Dear Simona,
    I attended several programs at the Festival in DC. The Hungarian program was rather, promoting Hungarian, Romanian, Gypsy, Jewish friendship. (Szalonna and Bob Cohen or the Gypsy musicians from Romania) All geographical names were written in Romanian as well. I aggree with you that it is very unfortunate that the AP journalist doesn’t know the map and placed Transylvania in Hungary in his article.
    On the other hand on the official map of the Festival you could clearly see that those Transylvanian regions are in Romania.
    http://www.festival.si.edu/2013/Hungarian_Heritage/history_culture/index.aspx

    Dear Anna,

    What means “Roots to Revival” at Hungarian Heritage? Given the facts and attitude of Hungarian ultra nationalists invited, in my opinion the festival created the impression of huge lobbying for revival the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.

    By comparison, at the Romanian Heritage Festivals (that are held in the U.S. big cities every year ) no one ever came with Dacia Kingdom map ( one of Romania ancestors). Dacia Kingdom map includes the present territory of Hungary, part of the Serbia and Ukraine. No one has claimed at Romanian Heritage Festivals in United States part of Hungarian territory, although Romanian Army marched twice in Budapest in the modern history.

    If at Romanian Heritage Festivals in U.S. were presented songs or dances from Hungarian, Ukrainian, German, Jewish or Gypsy minorities from Romania, this not represents half of the artistic program. If at Romanian Heritage were presented 2 or 3 of minorities traditions, presenter of the festival tells to crowd about this if is no part of Romanian culture and belonging to minorities from Transylvania.

    In the other hand, I never heard or saw international events where Romanian government to invest money and the artists were Romanian extremists raised from the other country.

  26. Romania sure has similar problems as Hungary – we have friends from Romania who left after 1989 for Germany which also have a multi-ethnic background (she being Hungarian, he is a Schwab …) and they still return at least once a year to their home town – the stories they tell.

    A bit OT:

    There’s a Roma musician sitting in the town square of my German home town almost every day in summer which belongs to a group (extended family ?) – some of them ply music, some sell some things, others just beg … They speak Hungarian.

    Since he always is so friendly I surprised him by greeting him with “Jó napot” and instead of 50 Cent or a € I gave him a tube of “Piros Arany” …

    These people (at least some of them) obviously have troubles adjusting to our lifestyle in the 21st century – I don’t know a solution, who does ?

  27. wolfi :
    There’s a Roma musician sitting in the town square of my German home town almost every day in summer which belongs to a group (extended family ?) – some of them ply music, some sell some things, others just beg … They speak Hungarian.
    Since he always is so friendly I surprised him by greeting him with “Jó napot” and instead of 50 Cent or a € I gave him a tube of “Piros Arany” …
    These people (at least some of them) obviously have troubles adjusting to our lifestyle in the 21st century – I don’t know a solution, who does ?

    Jobs, jobs, jobs.

  28. Simona Botezan :

    gdfxx :
    Simona Botezan:”No one else complaining about being discriminated in Transylvania, although there live together Romanians, Germans, Jews, Gypsies, Hungarians etc. Just Hungarians want ethnic autonomy; Hungarian protectorate in Transylvania etc. Only Hungarians complaining in all the world capitals about how they are discriminated in Romania. .”
    Well, as far as the Germans and the Jews are concerned, they were sold by Ceausescu and the vast majority left Romania long time ago. As far as the Gypsies are concerned, I heard about a lot of complaints on how they are being treated by everyone else in Romania. Otherwise your statement is basically correct.

    In the communist era Romanians suffered all the same. Jews and Germans who had an opportunity to leave the country were considered privileged by other ethnic groups that doesn’t had any solution to get out from communist hell. Thousands of Romanians have lost their lives trying to cross illegally the borders for freedom. I’m sure it would have preferred to pay money or to lose all just to be able to live elsewhere.
    For nomadic gypsy Romanian authorities has build homes (where they refused to live or were destroyed this houses); tried to educate them forced (and they consistently refused); tried to force them to work and to be integrate into society (majority of state programs have failed). Many Gypsies continue to live on social welfare, begging or stealing in the EU. Gypsies are not only Romania’s unsolved problem, it is a big problem throughout Europe. I’m very curious who will be able to find a solution for them, given that their culture is in contradiction with the XXI century society rules.

    I guess the Germans and the Jews should build a statue to Ceausescu because he facilitated their exit from his hell.

    But that wasn’t the essence of my reply. You didn’t reply to that.

    You stated that “No one else complaining about being discriminated in Transylvania, although there live together Romanians, Germans, Jews, Gypsies, Hungarians etc.”. My contention was that Germans and Jews do not live in Romania anymore in any significant numbers and the other remaining group, the Gypsies has plenty to complain about. To which your reply is: well we tried everything, that’s the way it is, they are beyond any hope. I don’t think this forum is the right place to discuss how the problem of discrimination against Gypsies in Romania should be solved, but I also doubt that the kind of statement you made can be left without reply.

  29. @Mihaela
    I was there. You are right about the Szekely flag. But as far as I know it was taken down. You see there were more than 100 participants and for sure it is possible that there were some nationalists who did this against the will of the organizers. Actually I heard about the szekely flag from one of the Hungarian participants who was outraged that it could happen. On the other hand the full program of the festival was cosmopolitan and including.
    And now let’s face it, the theme was about Hungarian regions, culture and language in the Carpathian Basin, well as much I am not a nationalist, I have to tell you that the name of that region in Hungarian is Szekelyfold. But still all city names were written in Romanian and in the houses the signage was absolutely correct. Like Szek , Sic, Transylvania , Romania

  30. @Simona
    Roots to Revival – Have you seen the fashion show? That was a nice example. They showed the original folk costumes and then the modern dresses with the same motives.
    Or the dance house movement which started in the 70-es and 80-es and one of the tools of going back to the roots of music and dance.
    I think that current events are influencing you in judging this festival. I had no problem with eating sholet or lecso or listening to klezmer, gypsy or Romanian music. We all grew up with all these songs and these are part of the region’s culture. Many songs have Hungarian, Yiddish and Romanian versions.
    These current events are very unfortunate. And it is really very sad that Albert Wass, Nyiro and other nazis are sponsored and part of the Hungarian curriculum. But it has nothing to do with this festival.

  31. @Anna, take a look here and tell me where do you see “Romania”, since Kalotaszeg is “Tara Calatei” in Romania: http://www.festival.si.edu/2013/Hungarian_Heritage/history_culture/index.aspx

    Since we wrote to the Smithsonian, the Institutions’ experts went on the website and “corrected” some of the mistakes. For one example, they took down the song “Ciocarlia” which they listed as “Music from Hungary”. The entire world knows that “Ciocarlia” is a Romanian song from the 1800s. I was at the festival and I listened to songs in Romanian language from Moldova that have absolutely nothing to do with Hungarian Heritage. Romanian traditional costumes that have absolutely nothing to do with Hungarian traditions. It was an impressive show and the artists were great. The flag things was stupid, and the organizers had TWO years to make sure that ultra-nationalist, extremist, separatists-agendas were kept out. The flag wasn’t the only incident. I told you how musicians from Heveder band (Sf Gheorghe, Romania) fresh off the stage militated for autonomy for Transylvania. Later on, Americans and Romanians were harassed on, aggressed on and chased away because that was “Hungarian territory” (The National Mall, mind you!) and that the show was for “Hungarians”, not “Romanians”. … give me a break! I saw it, I have on film and I am not sitting idly considering this an “incident”. If it got all the way to Washington, where the separatist flag paralleled the one on the US Capitol, be sure this is not just a mere “incident” … this was planned, encouraged, supported. Over and Out.

  32. Mihaela: “take a look here and tell me where do you see “Romania”, since Kalotaszeg is “Tara Calatei” in Romania:”

    I opened your link and literally the second thing catching my eye:

    “Kalotaszeg is a well-known cultural region of Transylvania (Romania) located east of the mountain range…”

    That was the second, because the first one was:

    ” Its population is approximately 10 million, but another 2.5 million Hungarians reside within the seven countries surrounding its borders (Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia) and another 2 million Hungarians live in other parts of the world.”

    I think everybody was clearly well informed. I don’t have it on tape, but I was there too for three days with my friends in the US and I have not witnessed anything of the sort even though I arrived with expecting an outright, in your face propaganda. All of us thought it was great.

    About you being harassed, if you asked them a provocative question they probably reacted accordingly. Try going to Katalonia and ask them if they realize that they are basically Spanish. Let us know if you survived the trip. Even if there are some Transylvanian Hungarians would actually like to see an autonomous ” Hungarian: Székelyföld; Romanian: Ţinutul Secuiesc; German: Szeklerland; Latin: Terra Siculorum” (- from Wiki)”, you realize that is not a crime. It is his personal opinion and he or she is entitled to it. Romanians of Moldova want away or at least more autonomy and the Romanian state is backing them up. Indeed, they have the all the right to take action in that direction and you have the right to disagree with it and take action in another direction. Beauty of democracies.

    Again, I would like to restate that I think military revisionism is useless, countraproductive and that it has been a poison to the public thinking of this country for decades. I also have a pretty low opinion on Orbán’s provocative nationalistic masturbation there every year, but let’s not fall on the other side of the horse. The most beautiful stories of history are all about struggles for autonomy, independence, freedom, you name it.

  33. Eva: See, you do admit that for Basescu this is mostly (or at least half) about playing the Hungarian card. My point (that you verified by this) is that TGM and Ara-Kovács are just telling one side of the story, in which they make a lot of good point, but I never take (willful) ignorance good when I read commentaries.

  34. @Simona

    You are right, but don’t you overreact a bit to the problem? Hey, this was Hungarian heritage after all. The stupid whining about the lost land is a big part of our heritage. Be patient with us. Some Hungarians still are dreaming about driving to the Adria without a passport … Oh, wait. They can do it now …

    The festival could be a bit more sensitive and point out where these territories are now in the European Union. At least for those who know the difference between Bucharest and Budapest.

    The comparision with the rights of Hungarians in the US is a bit silly. No US territory ever belonged to any country before that had the word “Hungary” in its name. Although New Jersey has a significant Hungarian population. Nice beaches. Close to New York City. So I wouldn’t mind if NJ would again belong to Hungary. I will put it on the Great Hungary map, and tell Laszlo Kover to fly the New Jersey flag on the parliament to stir up some controversy. Then Kover could go to Trenton to bury some nazi and meet with the local KKK chapter.

    So, Simona, please forget it. I think the biggest problem of the festival was the lack of nokedli with the chicken paprikash.

  35. Sorry, my mistake, wrong link. Here it is: http://folklife.hu/participants/communities/kalotaszeg/
    As I said, some pages were “scrubbed” some weren’t … I agree, people have the right to express whatever opinions they want, including wishes for autonomy. However, those who stated that wish were here in the US sponsored by the American and Hungarian Governments … they were not in their free time, that’s the point. And no, I did not ask provocative questions. I am a tolerant person, I strive in this direction. Even after mister Fazakas expressed his wish to separate from Romania, I told him I regret to hear it, because we want people to come together and understand each other, not to put up borders and walls and fences. But we ended the interview on very good, friendly terms, I allowed him to say everything he wished to say. The aggressors were not the people I interviewed, they were the ones watching from a side. Who knows!? Maybe THEY wanted to make the news by all means 🙂

  36. Mutt: I know! I think the weakest part of the whole festival was the food. They did do some traditional cauldron cooking but then it was just as a display and they didn’t give any to the people so the only option was that ridiculously overpriced cartboard box food.

  37. Mihaela: In this case, I apologize about my assumption and I’m sorry you had to meet with aggressive people.It was a free festival and the organizers couldn’t filter the audience based on how primitive they are. We have to live with Gábor Vonas and Vladim Tudors and their supporters on both sides, and I have no illusions, the Trianon card will keep on being used by Hungarian politicians just as much as the Hungarian card will be by Romanians and there will be people to buy it.

  38. Jano :

    Eva: See, you do admit that for Basescu this is mostly (or at least half) about playing the Hungarian card. My point (that you verified by this) is that TGM and Ara-Kovács are just telling one side of the story, in which they make a lot of good point, but I never take (willful) ignorance good when I read commentaries.

    Having enough of Hungarian interference and political posturing are not mutually exclusive. You make it look as if it was nothing else but a base game at the expense of the Hungarian minority. No, I think that the Romanians are generally fed up with Orbán’s game. It doesn’t matter whom you listen to: TGM, Ara-Kovács, Péter Balázs, they all say the same thing. That Basescu uses this feeling to his own advantage is not surprising.

  39. It all is a base game at the expense of the Hungarian minority. Both by Orbán and Basescu. I think you made it look like as if the only story worth telling here would be that a wise patriotic Romanian public figure just ran out of his patience. He’s a brilliantly disgusting politician, and the fact that Orbán provides him with plenty of excuse is not making that any better, if he needed the Magyar votes, his patience would surely hold on just a little bit more. This is part of the story too, and excluding it from any coverage is very poor journaIism to say the least . I didn’t think, I would say this often but Ponta, Antonescu and recently Corelatan were absolutely correct in their reaction (even though it is probably also dictated by their adversity with Basescu). Surprisingly enough, so was Mesterházy.

  40. wolfi :
    ………
    An important role of course is played by the economy – if that were to go downhill people will again search for someone else to blame. Just read on pol.hu that around 40 % of Hungarians believe their government is controlled by outside powers …
    Unbelievable!

    On August 12 I wrote about the poll you are referring to, and it is important to not misrepresent (even if driven by good intentions) what the poll was about.

    “A new survey conducted and prepared by Tarki (hand in hand with others) tried to answer the question on how popular is the idea that it is not the government but some “background power” controls Hungary? Well, 43% of Hungarians believe in some alternative “powerhouse”. (Before you laugh, you should ask the question if Simicska’s interests are the interests of the government or not.)”

    I do believe, and most of the Blog commenters based on the comments also believe that the current Hungarian government is driven by financial interests. Building a stadium in Felcsut from taxpayers’ money, winning most EU contracts by one company, etc. are not coincidences. I do not believe on the other hand that George Soros, or some old Jewish circle behind the country’s mysterious ways as Magyar Nemzet or the Jobbik suggests. Do you believe that there is nothing else but the poor love of the country behind the last two years actions of the government?
    (By the way the French scored above 70%.)

  41. @Realistic: actually, it’s often Hungarian nationalists who bring the British or French colonial empires in such discussions, in an attempt at a ‘tu quoque’ defense. This time it was the opposite, but I just wanted to point out the factual error.

    @Simona Botezan: if I’m not mistaken the author is British. He should know that if the empires have shrunk, they’re not lost entirely. My own country is still launching rockets from a piece of mainland South America almost as big as Hungary.

    To both Realistic and Simona, if I may: forget about milleniums and maps for a while. Nationalism is a political idea with an history. A very recent one.

    Between the end of the 19th century and the end of WWII the overseas colonial expansion was instrumental both in the UK and France to forge a national sentiment aspiring to the universal. Following the Versailles Treaty, Germany was barred from its own overseas colonial adventure; after Trianon, Hungary was barred from ruling, through modern administration and land ownership, a large multi-cultural territory. In both countries, nationalism became ethnically self-centered, and turned against the Jews and the Roma within their own borders.

    In my view, as much as France for instance has now to cope – at home – with the fact that its ‘universal values’ were actually far from being applied in its former possessions, whose sons and daughters (well, a part of) have now become French, Hungary today has to cope with the certainty that the pre-Trianon situation won’t happen again, and that given the dreadful demographic trends within its borders (and among the ethnic Magyars abroad) it has to revive its ties with another brand of national pride, one that could encompass ethnic diversity, and get out of the dead end of the interwar years.

  42. @Realistic: though not new to me, those maps are interesting. However, if I’m not mistaken Hungary’s Government was on the losers’s side during both WWs. Neither of us I’m sure are responsible for this fact, but at some point there are consequences… let’s be, well, realistic.

  43. I really can’t help wondering, when – if ever – the Transylvanian Hungarians will realise, that Orbán & CO only using them, playing them as patsies, even against their own interest.

    One like it, or not, the best interest of the Hungarians – both in Romania and in Hungary – is, that the people can live in peace and prosperity in their country of residence, no exception of the rule applies here.
    Getting there, however, requires cooperation and compromises, mutual respect of the people just as much as the legal systems of the respective countries.

    Nobody ever managed to gain anything positive of (mostly artificially generated) heated and prolonged confrontations, au contraire!

    Consequently, none of the actions of the so called “political elite” of Hungary serves the interest of the people living in the post Trianon areas, all of this only the extension of domestic power play – for the expense of the unwary people with veritable sentiments toward their “motherland”.

    And – before you asking – no, it doesn’t matter, regarding the subject, whether or not the Trianon-pact was unjust. In my opinion, if anybody really care for the people outside of mainland Hungary, shouldn’t ever create and maintain conflict between them and their land of living.
    Another question, of course, if the aforementioned Hungarians even aware of, that they “needed” for selfish reasons, their sentiments abused for the only cause matters: to keep a wannabe dictator in power, in order to deprive the “homeland” Hungarians even from the last pieces of their democratic rights – this is what the proud Transylvanians and the others around Hungary going to be used for!

    Do they really want that?
    Do they even realise, what their role going to be in this shameful con?

  44. #43 Absolutely agree with your message. I cringe when I think of Orban’s new “target” the Changos in Romania and vicinity. Here you have a group of people of an unidentified ethnicity (as if it should matter beyond an anthropological interest!), even though the older ones are going to tell you that they are Romanians, born on that land… A community living in relative poverty (as most other people are) with a youth population as disoriented as any youth population in this world… their needs being exploited, their brains washed, their hearts poisoned … Budapest finances professors to go to these villages and teach Hungarian in their private homes, hold religious ceremonies in Hungarian and God knows what else … creating animosities between those who chose the Budapest way, and the rest who think doing so means betraying your country and homeland, and people. Villages of people that lived in pace and harmony, carried the heavy together, and enjoyed the happy moments together. Now they have to fear each other, they mistrust each other and the feelings are only growing in intensity. Does anyone care about these poor people being exploited up in Bacau, Romania? I met some of them at the Festival, and they were ready to start a fight over the fact that somebody “misjudged” them as Romanians (despite the fact they came all the way from Bacau, Romania). I felt sorry for him, but I didn’t blame it on him. I blame it on the politicians, on both side: Hungarians and Romanians.
    Romanians have always respected ethnicity, because we are o country of many ethnicities, lived in peace, shared from one another, and respected each other. Where this sudden rush to claim that ethnicity should rule our lives? Ethnic clashes, I thought, was something we were learning to avoid, not to inflame.

  45. Romanian-Hungarian relations are deteriorating. Now the Romanian government is contemplating preparing a bill that would prevent Hungarian politicians to hold political rallies in Romania. Also, they want to take back a high Romanian decoration Tőkés received before.

    I can’t even blame them. Orbán&Co. are doing terrible damage to Hungary’s relations with the neighboring countries. But there are many sane Hungarians. For example Mátyás Eörsi (DK now before SZDSZ) who gave an interview on ATV’s Egyenes beszéd.

    http://www.atv.hu/videok/video-20130816-eorsi-matyas

  46. Eva S. Balogh :
    Romanian-Hungarian relations are deteriorating. Now the Romanian government is contemplating preparing a bill that would prevent Hungarian politicians to hold political rallies in Romania. Also, they want to take back a high Romanian decoration Tőkés received before.
    I can’t even blame them. Orbán&Co. are doing terrible damage to Hungary’s relations with the neighboring countries. But there are many sane Hungarians. For example Mátyás Eörsi (DK now before SZDSZ) who gave an interview on ATV’s Egyenes beszéd.
    http://www.atv.hu/videok/video-20130816-eorsi-matyas

    There indeed are, question is, what are they able to do with the people polarised to the extremes? When the word “liberal” would be enough to many to happily embrace Jobbik instead?

    I don’t even blame most of the Hungarians in Romania either – there is precious little alternative information available to them in order to make informed decisions. Everything what comes in a nationalist gift-wrap is taken as a real thing, – that’s what bothers me most – and the cheap and empty slogans of Orbán listened to as oracles: he sounds “true Hungarian”after all…
    From a long distance at least, as we very well know.

  47. Mihaela :
    #43 Absolutely agree with your message. I cringe when I think of Orban’s new “target” the Changos in Romania and vicinity. Here you have a group of people of an unidentified ethnicity (as if it should matter beyond an anthropological interest!), even though the older ones are going to tell you that they are Romanians, born on that land… A community living in relative poverty (as most other people are) with a youth population as disoriented as any youth population in this world… their needs being exploited, their brains washed, their hearts poisoned … Budapest finances professors to go to these villages and teach Hungarian in their private homes, hold religious ceremonies in Hungarian and God knows what else … creating animosities between those who chose the Budapest way, and the rest who think doing so means betraying your country and homeland, and people. Villages of people that lived in pace and harmony, carried the heavy together, and enjoyed the happy moments together. Now they have to fear each other, they mistrust each other and the feelings are only growing in intensity. Does anyone care about these poor people being exploited up in Bacau, Romania? I met some of them at the Festival, and they were ready to start a fight over the fact that somebody “misjudged” them as Romanians (despite the fact they came all the way from Bacau, Romania). I felt sorry for him, but I didn’t blame it on him. I blame it on the politicians, on both side: Hungarians and Romanians.
    Romanians have always respected ethnicity, because we are o country of many ethnicities, lived in peace, shared from one another, and respected each other. Where this sudden rush to claim that ethnicity should rule our lives? Ethnic clashes, I thought, was something we were learning to avoid, not to inflame.

    Well, I am not an expert on Csango people (Romanian: Ceangăi, Hungarian: Csángók) but just reading the Wikipedia article on this topic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Csangos ) one can see that this wasn’t Orban’s invention, it goes back in history. It would be nice, if all involved would handle this without any hysteria, just based on scientific, historic evidence but this seems to happen very rarely in that region. And then just leave it to those involved to decide, what they want to call themselves.

  48. @gdffx … I would never, ever cite Wikipedia as serious source of information. Unless you tried to write a page on Wiki, you won’t understand how easy it is to write bogus stuff and never be questions about it. Now, going back to serious sources. The Csangos (a pejorative name otherwise) have been the subject of intense scrutiny by the EC. In 2002, I believe, and I wish I’d had something written in English so you can verify immediately (I promise I’ll look more next week and post it here) an EC report concluded that there were “over 70” theories regarding Csangos origin. The author of this report, Tytti Isohookana Asunmaa, favored the one that stated the Csangos were the descendants of Finn soldiers, after some XVII century conflicts between Sweden and Russian, when many Finn soldiers (Finland was controlled by Sweden) arrived in Moldova’s region of modern day Romania and settled there. Now. This theory is as kookoo as they come. Point in case. To this day, many efforts by historians and anthropologists have been made to try and unlock the secret of Csangos origin. I knew them as Romanians in Romania, I lived next door to them. However, it seems that Hungary has the key to this mystery and took complete responsibility for their origin. Now, watch out with that wiki website. They can only serve as For Your Eyes Only, never trust and never quote. A friendly advice

  49. Mihaela :
    @gdffx … I would never, ever cite Wikipedia as serious source of information. Unless you tried to write a page on Wiki, you won’t understand how easy it is to write bogus stuff and never be questions about it. Now, going back to serious sources. The Csangos (a pejorative name otherwise) have been the subject of intense scrutiny by the EC. In 2002, I believe, and I wish I’d had something written in English so you can verify immediately (I promise I’ll look more next week and post it here) an EC report concluded that there were “over 70″ theories regarding Csangos origin. The author of this report, Tytti Isohookana Asunmaa, favored the one that stated the Csangos were the descendants of Finn soldiers, after some XVII century conflicts between Sweden and Russian, when many Finn soldiers (Finland was controlled by Sweden) arrived in Moldova’s region of modern day Romania and settled there. Now. This theory is as kookoo as they come. Point in case. To this day, many efforts by historians and anthropologists have been made to try and unlock the secret of Csangos origin. I knew them as Romanians in Romania, I lived next door to them. However, it seems that Hungary has the key to this mystery and took complete responsibility for their origin. Now, watch out with that wiki website. They can only serve as For Your Eyes Only, never trust and never quote. A friendly advice

    Indeed, I never tried to write or correct an article in the Wikipedia. However, from what I know, everyone has the right to correct information that is wrong, so why don’t you? As I said, this should be discussed in a serious scientific debate, without labeling anyone kookoo. A Google search on the word csango comes up with 635,000 hits an although I don’t have the time to look even at a small fraction of those, I am convinced that there are trustworthy sources among them. By the way, where does your information that csango is a pejorative name come form? According to this site http://www.eliznik.org.uk/RomaniaHistory/csango.htm “There are many suggested derivations of csango. Two examples are given below:
    – from the Hungarian word Csáng to wander, stroll etc thus referring to the migratory character of the Csango.
    – meaning “people who are separated” from csángani meaning to hybridize and was applied by the Szekely to the Romanians who changed to Catholic religion and became known as csángók.”

    Going back to your previous post, where you say “Budapest finances professors to go to these villages and teach Hungarian in their private homes, hold religious ceremonies in Hungarian and God knows what else … creating animosities between those who chose the Budapest way, and the rest who think doing so means betraying your country and homeland, and people. “, I was surprised that professors going to private homes and teaching Hungarian is such a major problem. Why? Because some others think that this a betrayal of the country, homeland and people? I thought that in a united Europe this kind of talk was somewhat obsolete, wasn’t it? And what do you mean by “God know what else” these professors do there? Some kind of cannibalistic ceremony? Or what?

    Again, I think that the nationalistic hysteria should be excluded from the discussion of this and any other topic.

  50. @gdfxx: As I have written before, the Jews and Germans how were left Romania before 1989 did it for political reasons, because they were given the opportunity to get out, not because they were discriminated on ethnic criteria. All Romanian citizens (doesn’t mater their ethnic background) was suffered in Ceausescu’s regime… with or without opportunity to leave his communist hell.

    Citizens who left the country after Romanian Revolution did it for economic reasons, not because of discrimination on ethnic criteria. Gypsies complains represent an big issue everywhere in Europe, not only in Romania, because this group disrespect the legislation of the countries in which they have gone in the same way how disrespected Romanian legislation before. Gypsies was an example that does not Romanian legislation or Romanian discrimination based on ethnic criteria are the reason of Gypsies emigration. The real reason is different. In fact majority of gypsies are not able to integrate into EU society; their refusal to be educated and to work.

    So, the only group who continue to make complaints in Romania (and in the world capitals) and claim that they had discriminated as ethnic group in Romania (although they have more rights than anywhere else in the world) are Hungarians (Szekeler). Their complaints are encouraged by the Budapest government. By comparison, the government of Israel or Germany does not encourage their ethnics from abroad to ignore the law of the country in which they were born and live.This was essence of my comment.

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