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Novák Katalin Nagykárolyban Kölcsey Ferenc szobrának avatásán 2023.04.12.

We Hungarians, inside and outside our borders, can always count on each other

We Hungarians, inside and outside our borders, can always count on each other – the President of Hungary declared at the unveiling ceremony of the statue of Ferenc Kölcsey in Nagykároly in the Partium on Wednesday.
At the unveiling ceremony of the memorial made by sculptor Lajos Győrfi at the square in front of the Mayor’s Office, Katalin Novák stressed that Kölcsey warns the Hungarians that we must enrich the future, protect the present and guard the past all at the same time.

"There are those even today who question the Hungarian identity of the Hungarians, the irreplaceability of the mother tongue and the obvious historical facts: we do not allow this, we should not allow this, we must stand up for our common future and also for our common past " – the Head of State said in her speech. She remarked that guarding our past is at least as important as thinking responsibly about the present and the future.

The President and her entourage were greeted by hundreds of celebrators in the town's main square, while around a hundred nationalist protesters with Romanian flags and banners, shouting and chanting, attempted to disrupt the event.

Katalin Novák, who during her tour of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County also paid a visit to Nagykároly, said in her speech: the Hungarians are exposed to the pressure of the despairing masses arriving from the South, the warfare of Western ideologies called liberal but in reality seeking hegemony, and the military offensive threatening from the East.

According to her words, the dangers facing Hungarians are growing, which is why we need to be "even more sensible and vigilant than others " when observing the world around us. It is up to the Hungarians living in the Carpathian Basin, at the crossroads of cultures, whether they prosper or suffer poverty as a result of their choices in today’s complex situation. Therefore, it is the task of Hungarians to turn threats into challenges, and challenges into tasks. This requires, among other things, the ingenuity, quick thinking, adaptability and steadfastness that characterise Hungarians, as well as respect for others, perseverance and the willingness to take action.

Katalin Novák recalled: Nagykároly can be proud of Ferenc Kölcsey, as it was in this town where the poet was elected to be Szatmár County’s delegate in the Pozsony National Assembly. Praising Kölcsey, she said: he had fought for the Hungarian language, for religious freedom, and most of all he had wanted to work towards the abolition of serfdom by self-financed liberation.

"He wanted to have an impact, to create and to enrich the nation's forces, and he did his best", said the President of Hungary. When talking about the birth of the National Anthem of Hungary she said that many shed tears hearing this national prayer at national holidays and ceremonies, as it lends support to lonely Hungarians isolated from their homeland.

"He gave an account of our history that expresses the natural togetherness of the nation at the highest level " – said Katalin Novák, who then added: Kölcsey’s “Himnusz” is the Hungarian pain and the Hungarian hope all in one, the poem has now become an inseparable part of the Hungarian identity.

Hunor Kelemen, Chairman of the Hungarian Democratic Alliance in Romania RMDSZ and Deputy Prime Minister of Romania, recalling the story of the first statue for Kölcsey unveiled in 1897 and demolished more than forty years later, said: The sculpture by Ede Kallós was erected in the nearby Károlyi Castle in the context of the millennium celebrations, but four decades later it was vandalised and then virtually decapitated by four young people with a saw. A few days later, the work was removed from its pedestal and later melted down.

Kölcsey’s new statue has a place anywhere where Hungarians live – Hunor Kelemen stressed in his speech that he delivered both in Hungarian and Romanian. He remarked: the preservation of identity can be promoted in many different ways, but it is only worth doing so in one: responding to the challenges of the age bravely and with foresight.

"Progress is a precondition for survival, no responsible politician can think otherwise even today, especially not in Transylvania " – said Hunor Kelemen, noting that we must try to adapt Kölcsey's legacy to the 21st century with courage and determination.

The event was also addressed by Jenő Kovács, Mayor of Nagykároly. The statue of Ferenc Kölcsey was blessed by Jenő Schönberger, Bishop of the Diocese of Szatmár.