The history of Bulgarians living in Hungary – exhibition in the Hungarian Ombudsman's Office
The tightknit and persistent community of Bulgarians in Hungary, preserving its identity, language, religion and culture, could serve as a model not only for other nationalities living in Hungary, but also for the majority in society, said Elisabeth Sándor-Szalay, Deputy Commissioner, Ombudsman for the rights of national minorities, in her welcoming address delivered at the opening of the exhibition held on the occasion of the traditional Bulgarian spring festivities. One of the speakers, Miklós Soltész, Minister of State for Churches, Minorities and Civil Affairs of the Ministry of Human Capacities, said that financial support provided to the Bulgarian nationality had almost doubled in 2015, and support to the nationalities living in Hungary would be further increased by two billion forints in 2016. Making a reference to the common past of Hungarians and Bulgarians, he said that the parliaments of the two countries would declare October 19 the day of Hungarian–Bulgarian friendship. The fact of such preparations was also confirmed by Szimeon Varga, Bulgarian nationality advocate in the Parliament of Hungary. Bisserka Benisheva, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Bulgaria in Hungary reminded the participants of the fact that the Association of Bulgarians in Hungary and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church of Hungary had been operational for one hundred years, and the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Bulgarian school in Budapest was soon to be commemorated, as well. During the opening, Dancso Dimitrov Muszev, President of the National Self-Government of Bulgarians in Hungary, expressed his thanks for the opportunity to hold this event. He emphasized that the strength and desire for freedom of their ancestors are still alive in their contemporary community and, combined with the receptivity of the Hungarian nation, contribute to the welfare and the preservation of the double identity of the members of this community living as Bulgarians in their adoptive country. Concluding the event, Elisabeth Sándor-Szalay indicated that, following the earlier introduction of the minority culture of the Germans and the Roma and the Bulgarian spring festivities, the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights would gladly provide venue, in the future, for the cultural events of other nationalities living in Hungary, as well.