Hungary cannot stand alone and survive isolated from the rest of Europe, Deputy Prime Minister Tibor Navracsics said in his opening address to the Balassi Institute’s annual hungarology conference on Monday.
Losing contact with the outside world could be the first step in the nation’s going under, Navracsics, who is also minister of justice, warned. On the other hand, he said, Hungarian studies could help avoid such a tendency; Hungarian teachers at foreign colleges and universities “could make Hungary clear” in other countries.
“It is important that they understand us and not just in a linguistic sense[...] Hungary’s achievements should be presented and promoted to the public of other countries,” Navracsics said.
The scope of Hungarian studies should be broadened in a way that even those who do not speak the language can understand Hungary’s history and current tendencies, he said. “They should learn our own interpretation, and it does not necessarily depend on Hungarian language skills,” he insisted.
The Balassi Institute supports Hungarian courses in other countries and sends teachers to over 30 foreign universities that deliver lectures to 1,500 students. Apart from teaching classes, those professionals participate in research, help develop ties with Hungarian universities, and promote Hungarian culture.