Being an ethnic Hungarian in Romania or any of the other countries that include territories taken from Hungary under the Treaty of Trianon at the end of World War I is both a challenge and a task. Hunor Kelemen, President of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (known by its Hungarian acronym of RMDSZ) made this comment in a video message posted on Facebook for the 100th anniversary of the treaty.
“You are not just an entry in a census database; this is also a challenge and task for all of us,” Kelemen said. “It is a challenge because you have to prove that while linguistically, culturally and spiritually you are a member of another nation, the Hungarian one, and in our case a Romanian citizen by birth, you are also in the land of your ancestors; by your deeds, work and taxes [paid], you are in fact building the country where you were born and where you live.”
Looking back on [the 20th] century, during which the Hungarian nation “lost a lot and gained only very little,” Kelemen said the best thing about it is that it was over and the nation has transitioned into a new century of togetherness.
“The 21st century has brought us together. There is a Hungarian national unity; being a Hungarian [living] across the border now has a different meaning and, despite the circumstances and malicious political statements, our community has managed to thrive,” Kelemen said.
He added that while the Hungarians have the right to their own language, schools, institutions and [national] symbols, the minority is not an enemy and strives to build partnerships.
“We have a solidarity with every Hungarian community of the Carpathian Basin, but I don’t look for an enemy in the other nations, rather a potential partner, with whom we can hopefully proceed to build this part of Europe in the spirit of mutual respect.”
Romania has close to 1.5 million ethnic Hungarians, accounting for 6.1 percent of the country’s population of just under 20 million, making Hungarians the largest minority group.
Title image: Hunor Kelemen, President of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ). (source: Facebook)