On Tuesday evening, May 19th, members representing various Cleveland Hungarian organizations met with Dr. Imre Szakács at the Museum, for an informal “round table” discussion of the various issues affecting our local Hungarian community and its organizations. Dr. Szakács is one of five Hungarian consular diplomats throughout the world, whose task is to aid Hungarian communities in retaining their Hungarian identity by supporting cultural and linguistic programs. As the diplomat in charge of this program of Hungarian national cohesion in the United States, he is mapping out various strategies whereby Hungarians living in the Diaspora can effectively pass on to future generations the knowledge and thirst to know more about Hungarian history, culture and the language. These things help people feel a part of the greater Hungarian nation, or as he described it, the goal is to help people identify with their Hungarian heritage even though they do not live in the Carpathian basin. The attendees suggested various ways in which Dr. Szakács could work toward these goals, one being an invitation to be present at various events promoted by organizations in Cleveland, as well as giving assistance in engaging artists from Hungary; another idea that was discussed was the need for educational material for young people written in English, so that they too could become familiar with the history and culture of Hungary on an academic level that corresponds to their educational level here in the United States. Organizations that were represented Tuesday evening included the Hungarian Association, The United Hungarian Societies, American Hungarian Friends of Scouting, the Hungarian Cultural Garden, The Hungarian Heritage Museum, and the Bocskai Radio Program. The Honorary Consul for Hungary, László Bőjtös was also present.
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