Statement of the Deputy Commissioner for the Rights of National Minorities on the Month of Serbian Culture in Hungary

The Month of Serbian Culture in Hungary, which is now organized for the ninth time, commenced on September 7, 2018 with an opening ceremony and a classical music concert presenting the works of the Buda-born Serbian composer Péter Sztojánovits. The rich series of events closing on October 5 offered a wide selection of Serbian folklore, church music, jazz, theatrical art and contemporary poetry but Belgrade also introduced itself to the audience by some touristic programs. The journey on the “Pest Literatary Omnibus” was a special element of the program series, which showed the places of Budapest connected with Serbia through poems. Thus, in addition to presenting the culture of Serbia, the program offered an opportunity for showing the values of the Serbian community living in Hungary, as well as their activities aimed at preserving their identity and cultivating their traditions.

As the Deputy Commissioner for the Rights of National Minorities, I find it important that the national minority communities living in Hungary, with help and support from their mother countries, as the case may be, should be given the opportunity, as often as possible, to present their values and culture, which enrich our common homeland, to the majority society. Besides the Serbian Cultural and Documentation Center in Hungary, many Serbian national minority self-governments, parishes, national minority institutions, and civil society organizations participated in the joint efforts as a result of which the events of the Month of Serbian Culture in Hungary were realized. I am convinced that by this exemplary initiative and the series of cultural programs of other national minority communities, as good practices, the diversity of the cultures of the national minorities in Hungary will become an everyday experience to all of us.

The Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights would like to take its share from this work by regularly hosting cultural programs, exhibitions, as well as organizing memorial meetings and conferences in honor of the outstanding personalities of these national minorities, thus allowing the promotion of the cultures of these communities.

Dr. Elisabeth Sándor-Szalay, Prof. HC

Deputy Ombudsman