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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Hungary Lesson 20 - Hungarian Culture Day
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Hungary Series at HungarianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Hungarian holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 20, Hungarian Culture Day. In Hungarian, it’s called a magyar kultúra napja.
All communities with a history of more than a thousand years have similar ways of remembering their old culture and arts. Hungarians are no exception to this rule. If you’re interested in Hungarian culture, then stay with us and see how Hungarians celebrate the Day of National Culture on January 22.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?
All Hungarians keep a copy of the musical score of the Hungarian national anthem when they're travelling abroad. Where can you find these scores?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
On January 22, 1823 the poet Ferenc Kölcsey wrote a very powerful poem, called Himnusz. In 1989, the parliament of Hungary verified in a regulation that Ferenc Kölcsey's Himnusz was to be the official national anthem, or nemzeti himnusz, of Hungary. It's thus quite logical that since 1989 Hungarians have celebrated the Day of National Culture on the day Himnusz was created. The events of this anniversary provide a great occasion for Hungarians to maintain their thousand-year-old traditions and not allow their old cultural values and artists to sink into the sands of time.
On this day, exhibitions, or kiállítások, archival records, and theater performances all over the country are exhibited to teach audiences about Hungarian culture, its traditions, and the great artists of Hungarian history since the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin. The traditional events present old crafts, while in the dance houses, or táncházak you can learn Hungarian folk dances or magyar néptáncok including round dances, such as the csárdás. You can also meet contemporary writers, poets, and critics at readings.
The most prestigious awards in artistic and cultural life, and since 1993, in educational and pedagogical work, are all handed out on this day. These awards are state awards that can be acquired only through outstanding success or unique achievement in a chosen area of expertise. Of course these achievements are not only recognized with a plaque; the winners receive significant financial rewards as well.
The Hungarian national anthem is so long that at international sports events, it often wasn't played from beginning to end. That is the reason that the Hungarian Olympic Committee made a new, shortened, ninety-second version of it.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
All Hungarians keep a copy of the musical score of the Hungarian national anthem when they're travelling abroad. Where can you find these scores?
In their passport, or útlevél. Of course, many Hungarians don’t know they are carrying it, but if you look at Hungarian passports under UV lights, the score of Himnusz will become visible.
Did you like this lesson? Did you learn any interesting facts?
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