Hungary hopes to boost educational ties
It is not my first time in Viet Nam. I spent more than a month in Viet Nam in 2009. I travelled from Sa Pa through Hoi An to the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta. Even though this might seem a short time to spend in such a rich country with so much of geographical, historical and cultural value, it was still an incredible and beautiful experience. From the first moment, I knew I would have to come back to this exceptional country. This is one of the reasons that the moment when I presented my Letter of Credentials to Mr Truong Tan Sang, President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, was deeply touching for me.
|Hungarian Ambassador to Viet Nam Eszter Torda.
First of all, I have to underline that my predecessor formed outstanding relationships between the two countries and we are grateful that his work was awarded with the acknowledgment of the President and he was decorated at the end of his term. This decoration is important to Hungary as well.
I myself came here with the strong support of my government. I mean to do my utmost to promote ties in the field of trade and economy but I also want to strengthen our co-operation in the field of education. Furthermore, I strongly believe that the two countries have significant potential in other areas as well, like healthcare, agriculture, environment protection, water and waste management.
There are at least 5,000 Vietnamese who made their studies in Hungary and I am convinced that it is a strong and reliable community that can be a foundation for future projects. I have the honour of announcing that I plan to pay one of my first official visits to this community. I consider them members of the Diplomatic Corps of Hungary in Viet Nam.
August 20 is the greatest Hungarian national holiday, as we celebrate several cultural and historical events on that day. It is the holiday of the foundation of the State, and is the anniversary of the burial and canonisation of Hungary's first king, the founder of the State, King Stephen I (969-1038) who, simultaneously with the establishment of a formal state structure, also organised the Christian church in Hungary. So there are ceremonial programmes like the ceremonial raising of the flag and an official inauguration in Budapest where the President of the Republic delivers a ceremonial speech.
But this day is an important day in Hungarian folklore as well. Just as the Vietnamese hold the New Rice Festival, Hungarians celebrate the New Bread on this day. This year a spectacular harvest march will set out to the city's main Christian church, the St. Stephen's Basilica. The march will be attended by children and adults adorned in traditional Hungarian folk costumes who will walk across the city with the New Bread that symbolises the holiday.
|Blue Danube: Budapest's beautiful night cityscape. — Photo courtesy of kormany.hu / Arvai Karoly
Cultural and gastronomic programmes are held throughout the country. One of the most notable events is the Festival of Folk Arts in the Royal Castle, where visitors can re-discover old traditions.
As a closing event, a spectacular fireworks display crowns Budapest's beautiful cityscape each year, and as we Hungarians say: "Taking the summer and bringing the autumn." — VNS