As an Ambassador of a country that shares more in common with Montreal and Quebec than you might think, it is important to me to show you some samples of beautiful works of the over a thousand-year-old Hungarian culture.
Hungarian culture is deeply and profoundly European and original. During the second week of September, Béla Bartók, Ferenc Liszt, folk songs and many others will tell you more. Creativity and ingenuity are words that come to mind for those who know our history and our present. Matches, the ballpoint pen, the computer, the car, and many other inventions would not be present in your life without Hungarian innovators.
A gold mine is the term I often use to describe in two words the many opportunities available to establish even closer relations between Hungary and Canada, between Quebec and Hungary.
As part of the Hungarian Cultural Week, great composers will be presented by artists of the highest caliber. Culture is a sphere increasingly important in communication among peoples, countries and individuals. Let’s preserve our cultural heritage and try to build relationships on what is our common heritage. You will discover that there is much more than you thought. Take the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, for instance. After the defeat of this historic act, 38.000 refugees were accepted into Canada. Among them, many chose to settle, work and create in Montreal, thereby contributing to the richness of Canada.
I look forward to the Cultural Week for this reason, but also because during the course of the preparations I was amazed to see the wealth of cultural institutions at the forefront of Montreal.
So welcome to Hungary in Montreal for the second week of September. Afterwards, feel free to follow in the footsteps of tens of thousands of your compatriots by taking a flight and enjoying much more than a coffee in Budapest.