National Day Message by H. E. Mrs. Tekla Harangozó, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Hungary to the Republic of Bulgaria

Dear ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues and friends of Hungary!

Thank you for being with us on this day, when we celebrate three anniversaries related to the bilateral relations between Hungary and Bulgaria.

We mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. I am pleased to say that during this considerable period of time, the contacts between our countries have developed on the basis of amity that was supported by numerous political ties, historical and cultural similarities, as well as the serious economic commitment of Hungarian companies in Bulgaria. Hungary and Bulgaria have common interests on a number of themes, connected to foreign policy, energy and security policies, such as overcoming the refugee and migrant crisis and protecting the EU's external borders or the European perspective of the Western Balkans.

On October 23rd, we celebrate the national holiday of Hungary. 64 years have passed since the outbreak of the Hungarian Revolution and the struggle for freedom in 1956, which changed the fate not only of the Hungarians but of most of Europe as well. Only 20 days, but perhaps the most significant 20 days in Hungarian history, when a small but determined nation raises its head and says NO to oppression, to dictatorship, and confronts the then largest empire in the world. Although October 23rd became a national holiday only after the change of the system, it remains a day that every Hungarian associates in his heart with the thirst for freedom, the rejection of oppression and the heroic struggle for democracy.

Another event speaks more about the excellent relations between Hungary and Bulgaria. During 2016, the Hungarian Parliament and the Bulgarian National Assembly unanimously declared October 19th as the Day of Hungarian-Bulgarian Friendship, something that further strengthens the unity between the two peoples. This is also the day on which venerable John of Rila, the wonder worker is celebrated, and in these times of crisis, I wish this saint to protect us all and give us health to continue our work for the prosperity of our two countries.

It is not a surprise that today there is a concert for the fans of Hungarian culture, because the Embassy of Hungary and the Hungarian Cultural Institute traditionally treats the audience with performances by Hungarian artists and composers. In the tense situation during the COVID-19 pandemic, when travel and foreign events are hampered, I would like to thank the Sofia Philharmonic and the Bulgarian String Quartet Frosch, which accepted the partnership proposal and will delight us with a special program.

On September 26 we celebrated the 75th anniversary of the death of the Hungarian composer Bela Bartok, an admirer and researcher of Bulgarian folklore and author of 6 dances in Bulgarian rhythms in his piano collection Mikrokosmos.

Ludwig van Beethoven's work in the program was not chosen at random as well. Apart from celebrating the composer's 250th birthday this year, his String Quartet No 130, performed by the String Quartet of Budapest, is a work that is included in the Gold-Plated disk of the Voyager 1 spacecraft and sounds in space together with the Bulgarian song Izlel ye Delyo Haydutin, performed by Valya Balkanska.

I am happy that we have so many occasions not only to work together, but also to celebrate together!

Photo: Hungarian Embassy in the Republic of Bulgaria