Culture

Hungarian Christmas songs playing in Marosvásárhely thanks to activist

It’s part of the holiday spirit to hear Christmas songs as you walk through the city center. In some countries, playing songs in all languages spoken in a specific area is a given; yet that’s not completely the case in Marosvásárhely / Târgu Mureș. But thanks to the involvement of civil activist and programmer Márton Kodok, the mayor office’s playlist now includes Christmas music in three languages: Romanian, Hungarian and English (via Székelyhon).

For some while now, the mayor’s office has been playing Christmas music through loudspeakers placed in the city center as the December holiday period approaches. “Last year, I spent several hours with my wife in downtown Marosvásárhely the week before Christmas and noticed that among the Christmas songs being played, none was Hungarian. The playlist included forty songs: half of them Romanian, the other half English,” Márton Kodok told TransylvaniaNOW.

After facing this harsh reality, Kodok reacted by offering a solution to the mayor’s office instead of pressing the explosive “we want it now” button. He got in touch with Ilka Kilyén (Hungarian actress and singer), Katalin Kristóf (Hungarian singer) and Dancs Market Records, who backed his initiative and offered royalty-free Hungarian Christmas songs. Kodok then forwarded the playlist to the mayor’s office along with the paperwork required, surprising the city hall employees. The shared playlist includes 56 Hungarian songs.

This is a good example of how a civil initiative is able to gently force change in a city that is still carrying heavy scars from the Black Spring of 1990. Since Kodok submitted the Christmas songs, the city hall has included them on their playlist. And this year, Hungarians, Romanians and English-speaking people can enjoy familiar songs while walking in downtown Marosvásárhely / Târgu Mureș on weekdays between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. and on weekends between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Title image: Christmas lights in Marosvásárhely/Târgu Mureș. Image credit: Punctul

Author: István Fekete