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Novák Katalin újévi beszéde 2024

I wish a hopeful New Year to all Hungarians - Katalin Novák's New Year's Address

Dear Fellow Hungarians! 

The last notes of the anthem still resonate in our ears. Looking into each other's eyes, we say: this year hasn't been easy either. But here we are. The world is a turbulent sea around us. The whirlwind rages, stormy waves lash out everywhere. War in Ukraine and now in Israel too, mass protests, economic and political uncertainty. At home, there's worry, there is struggle day by day. Life is more expensive, expenses must be carefully considered, reserves had to be touched. In many families, illness seems almost constant, as if our immune system has also weakened. 

But we can live in peace. There was no drought, there is bread on the table, and we had reasons to rejoice and to be proud. 

The three days of Pope Francis' visit brought joy and gratitude to the heart of the Hungarian people. Catholics, Protestants, believers and non-believers, Hungarians from inside and beyond the border felt: we belong together. 

At the Athletics World Championships, our beautiful capital, Hungarian hospitality, the new stadium, the organization, and the enthusiastic volunteers were all admired. We hadn't even digested the joyful news of Katalin Karikó's success in reaching the top of the world of science, the success of Ferenc Krausz was already announced. After the Nobel laureate from Kisújszállás, we could be proud of another Nobel laureate from Mór.
It was especially good to be Hungarian when the football team advanced undefeated and made it to the European Championship as group winner. 

And it was good to experience in all thirty countries I officially visited this year that the President of Hungary is received with respect. They know that we are a talented, resourceful nation with a strong sense of identity and a unique mindset. And even if they don't always understand us, they pay attention to us. Personally, I work to turn this attention into understanding and cooperation. 

Twenty years ago, in December 2003, we were eagerly awaiting the new year. We knew: Hungary would soon become a member of the European Union. Today, we see the advantages, the difficulties, and we have never forgotten for a moment: full membership was promised. And this week, among the letters of warning, the postman from Brussels finally brought us some of our money as well.
Twenty years ago, in the last days of 2003, while watching the movie "Love Actually" for the first time, I feverishly knitted the sweater intended for my husband, hoping to finish it before the arrival of our first child. Back then, this meant the world to us. 

Twenty years ago, in the final days of 2003, while watching the movie "Love Actually" for the first time, I feverishly knitted the sweater intended for my husband, aiming to finish it before giving birth to our first child. At that time, this meant the world to us. 

The new-born baby, the child, the grandchild symbolise hope and joy, even today. They give meaning to earning money, building the country and teaching. We would like to provide them with a more predictable, peaceful, and happier future. 

For me, 2023 was the year of connections. I thank you all for helping me walk with open eyes, ears, and hearts. Thanks to the doctors and nurses, that Panni, born weighing 520 grams, and her twin Lalika, can hope for a full life. Thanks to the helpers who rescued little Ahmet and his companions from the ruins of the earthquake in Türkiye. Thanks to the staff at the children's home in Balassagyarmat for caring for those whose parents have given up on them. Thanks to Szabi, the baker, for teaching children how to bake. Thanks to the educators in Kecskemét, Mór, Csurgó, and Pannonhalma for their teaching work. I am grateful to those who help the Gypsy people living in Tiszabő, Tiszaalpár, Sárkeresztúr, and Sóshartyán. Thanks to the young hussars of Fonyód for their patriotism and to the people of Rimóc, Terény, and Hollókő for preserving traditions. Thanks to the educators and helpers in Somogyvár, Nyírbátor, and Mexikói út for educating children with disabilities. Thanks to the charity home in Lajoskomárom for taking care of Aunt Inci and Uncle Pali, who have been married for 69 years, and for taking care of the other elderly as well. Thanks to the Single Parent Centres for helping when a family falls apart. Thanks to those who care for the homeless, for being there even in the most vulnerable situations. 

Here we stand on the threshold of 2024, filled with anticipation and hope. It's like when we've completed a challenging level in a video game, and at the end, our lives are restored. Somehow, we also believe in this. That with renewed energy, vitality, and momentum, we can tackle our tasks. We have faith in talent, diligence, and grace. 

This year, Hungarians will once again be there in the Football European Championship and the Olympics, as well as the Paralympics. 

And now, as the time for New Year's resolutions has arrived, I suggest we take an example from professional athletes. Let's not just cheer, let's also move more regularly! I invite every Hungarian, regardless of age, to run, hike, swim, cycle, play football, and work out. Let's get active together! Let 2024 be the Year of Getting Active, too! 

Wine, wheat, peace, brightness in darkness! 
May the New Year bring something new, but not take away the old good.
Those who were friends, let them remain so,
those who set out, let them move on.

I wish a hopeful New Year to all Hungarians!