MINELRES: Prizes for Minorities 2005 Hungary

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Wed Dec 14 10:37:22 2005

Original sender: Solymosi Judit <solymosij@mail.datanet.hu>

Office for National and Ethnic Minorities
Budapest, Hungary


"Prizes for Minorities" awarded

Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany delivered the Prizes for Minorities 
for 2005 in the building of the Hungarian Parliament on 13 December. State 
President Laszlo Solyom, President of the Parliament Katalin Szili, the 
ambassadors of the minorities concerned and the heads of several public 
institutions and minority communities also attended the ceremony. Since 1995, 
this prize has been awarded to persons and institutions for their outstanding 
efforts made in the interests of national minorities living in Hungary and 
those of Hungarians living abroad. The 2005 prizes were awarded to the persons 
and institutions whose short presentation can be read here below.

Janos Budai, now retired, had worked for 32 years as director of the Nicolae 
Balcescu Romanian Primary and Secondary School and Student Hostel in Gyula, the 
only educational institution of the Romanian minority with nation-wide 
enrolment. During his 40-year-long professional career he played also an active 
role in the public life of this minority. Between 1994-1998 he was the 
president of the National Self-government of the Romanians of Hungary.

Jozsef Choli Daroczi, teacher, writer, poet, literary translator, socio-
cultural animator undertook also an active part as president of the Budapest 
10th district Roma minority self-government in the public life of the Roma 
minority. From 1994 to 2002, when he retired, he worked as associate professor 
of the Apor Vilmos Teachers' Training College in Zsambek, where he taught 
romology, Romani language and history. The Romani dictionary and the language 
book he compiled are used in the teaching of Romani even today. Since 1975 he 
has been the member of the Hungarian Association of Writers and the Federation 
of Hungarian Journalists. Besides publishing several volumes of poems, he is 
also known for the translation of the Gospels.

Dr. Erno Deak is a historian, research worker of the Vienna Academy of 
Sciences. He is also the president of the Federation of National Hungarian 
Associations of Western Europe as well as the president of the Central 
Federation of Hungarian Associations and Organisations in Austria and editor in 
chief of the newspaper of the Hungarians of Austria entitled Becsi Naplo. He 
represents the interests of the Hungarians living in the Western hemisphere at 
the Standing Conference of Hungarians. As a historian, his field of research is 
minority research, urban history and the history of the Austro-Hungarian 
Monarchy. He teaches Hungarian history at the Vienna University of Sciences.

Antal Farkas is the president of the National Association of Roma Community 
Development Workers, leader of the Roma Community Centre of Kiskore, vice-
president of the National Roma Self-government and member of the Heves County 
Assembly. His commitment to represent the interests of the Roma population, to 
safeguard the traditions of Roma culture and to promote the social integration 
of the Roma as well as his tireless activity for the community are exemplary.

Professor Dr. Iren Gabrity Molnar is the member of the Public Board of the 
Hungarian Academy of Sciences, founder and president of the Scientific Society 
for Hungarian Research of Subotica, member of the Society of Sciences of 
Voivodina, external member of the presidency of the World Council of Hungarian 
Professors, member of the Voivodina Council for Hungarian Higher Education. She 
co-ordinates the research projects in the area of minority research and 
educational sociology of the Scientific Society for Hungarian Research and is 
the co-editor of its series of publications. She is the author of six 
university manuals and has also published two specialized monographs and more 
than 100 studies. Her personal exemple is very important for the preservation 
of the Hungarian intellectual class in the Voivodine and the further 
development of the Hungarian community.

Dr. Ivan Golub is the director general of the Uzsoki Hospital of Budapest and 
the president of the Hungarian Federation of Hospitals. He was born and he 
lives in Pomaz. For decades he has been a most active member of the Serbian 
community: he is a founding member of the Democratic Union of Serbs and the 
Assembly and the Presidency of the National Serbian Self-government. Since its 
establishment, he has been the president of the Local Serbian Minority Self-
government of Pomaz. The Public Foundation for the Serbian Minority of Pomaz 
was set up upon his initiative in 1995. He is also active in the newly 
reorganized local Serbian parish and the Buda Serbian Orthodox Diocesan 

Mihaly Guttman worked from 1949 until his retirement as a teacher of 
orchestral, chamber and choral music of the Cluj Secondary School of Music. For 
20 years he had been the artistic secretary of the Cluj State Philharmonic 
Orchestra and the external expert of the State Hungarian Opera. He is the 
honorary president of the Federation of Hungarian Singers of Romania, which was 
first founded in 1921 in Brasov and then reorganised upon his initiative in 
1994. He is being awarded for his work in music pedagogy and for his merits in 
choral revival.

Zoltan Maga and Gyula Nyari got awarded with a shared Prize for Minorities. 
Zoltan Maga obtained his first successes as the child of a dinasty of Roma 
musicians when he was six. In 1987 he was admitted to the world famous 
Orchestra "Rajko", where he became first violin. He started his career of 
independent musician as a guest artist of the Budapest Operetta-Theatre. In the 
meantime he founded his own orchestra, the Budapest Gypsy Band. He gave a great 
number of successful concerts in Hungary and abroad (Europe, United States, Far 
East). He created a specific musical style by combining the elements of Roma, 
classical and light music. His virtuosity represents an original colour in 
Hungarian musical life and was met with much recognition worldwide.
Gyula Nyari, musician and photographer started his career as clarinettist in 
the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, later he worked for the Duna Artistic 
Ensemble of the Ministry of the Interior. Between 1968-1978 he worked with his 
own music band in Hotel Budapest, then in the Castle District between 1978-
2004. After a long career of musician, he started the new career of 
professional photographer and took photographs for the newspapers Jozsefvaros 
and Mai Belvaros as well as the Roma papers entitled Lungo Drom and Vilagunk. 
As a musician, he toured the world and as a photographer, he had exhibitions in 
Hungary and in Yugoslavia, Vienna and London. His world famous album of 
photographs entitled Uton (On the road) has been published in four languages 
and presents the life and the positive values of the Roma community in a 
realistic way.

Jozsef Illar, mayor of Kisszelmenc, and Lajos Toth, mayor of Nagyszelmenc got 
awarded with a shared Prize for Minorities. Sixty years ago, after World War 
II, a Hungarian settlement was divided by a borderline within one single night, 
resulting in the separation of families, relatives, friends, and also in 
splitting the community. One half of the settlement, Kisszelmenc became part of 
the then Soviet Union, while Nagyszelmenc was attached to the then 
Czechoslovakia. At present, Kisszelmenc is located in Ukraine, while 
Nagyszelmenc is part of Slovakia. After the fall of communism, the divided 
settlements launched a joint movement in order to end their isolation. In a 
joint petition, their residents claimed a pedestrian border crossing point. 
Even a book was published about the settlement's history, which has become 
known also to the Council of Europe, and to the Congress of the United States 
of America, which addressed the leaders of the affected countries in an 
official letter asking them to open the border crossing point. The delegation 
of the Council of Europe made an on- the - spot visit. The border crossing 
point is expected to open soon. This, however, is unlikely to undo the 
distresses of the soul and the burdens of economic impossibilities of the last 
decades. The Prize for Minorities is an acknowledgment of Kisszelmenc and 
Nagyszelmenc for their endeavour to end the isolation, and at the same time, it 
is also an expression of appreciation for the Hungarians living in these 
settlements for their exemplary moral courage.

The Public Foundation for the National and Ethnic Minorities living in Hungary 
had its statutory meeting in 1995. With respect to the five-year activity of 
its legal predecessor, the Public Foundation has been promoting the 
preservation and the development of minority culture for fifteen years. The 
Public Foundation's Board of Trustees financially supported ten thousands of 
projects, and it also granted scholarships for thousands of students in the 
past years. As one of the main actors of channelling state subvention in the 
field of minority media, the Public Foundation has undertaken an important role 
in supporting press published in the mother tongue of minorities. The theatre 
festival of national and ethnic minorities living in Hungary has been organised 
upon the initiative of the Public Foundation, which has also been the main 
sponsor of the festival since its start. The Board of Trustees established the 
National Prize for Youth with the aim of acknowledging those youngsters who 
perform remarkably well in their public and cultural activities. The Public 
Foundation has been awarded the Minorities Prize for its successful 

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