“The nations of Central Europe should jointly enforce their historical and geographical endowments. If we determine our identities and ourselves against each other then we won’t be successful”, said Monika Balatoni at the closing event of ‘More Than a Neighbour – Hungarian Cultural Week in Bratislava’; before the concert of the Zugló Philharmonic in Bratislava Vigadó on Monday evening.

The Hungarian Cultural Week in Bratislava was closing Hungary’s V4 Presidency.  Although being a festival niche in nature it was aimed to start a tradition and held for the first time in the Slovak capital, organised in cooperation by the Embassy of Hungary in Bratislava and the Hungarian Institute in Bratislava with several other civic and professional organizations and the municipality of Bratislava. The Minister of State for Cultural Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade pointed out in her speech that the cooperation of the Visegrád Group countries has often proven its strength throughout history, such as in 1989, when “Central Europe’s desire for freedom almost reshaped the face of Europe as the common success of our nations”. As she added, it has been proven already that cooperation and national solidarity is essential for success.

The series of events ‘More Than a Neighbour – Hungarian Cultural Week in Bratislava’ took place at several different locations in Bratislava between 9 and 16 June including the central outdoor event of the venue at Hviezdoslavovo Square in the Old Town of Bratislava with a success greater than expected. The nearly two dozen programs of the festival differing in style and target audience as well, such as concerts, screenings, theatre performances and wine tasting took place under full house with events which could not be reached due to extreme demand. With similar success did the three-day-long culinary festival run at Hviezdoslavovo Square interspersed with pop music concerts, which virtually occupied one of the largest spaces of Bratislava’s Old Town from all morning till evening.

“We would have liked to see such a concentrated cultural presence to be set up, but even I did not think that there will be such interest (...) and not only the presence of the audience surpassed my expectations, but also their reactions”, said Csaba Balogh, Ambassador of Hungary in Bratislava. He added that “we did not bring here Hungarian culture to acquaint it with the Slovaks because they already know it, but to rejoice it together”.

(MTI, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)