The renowned summer folk camps at the Kallós Zoltán manor in Válaszút draw hundreds of participants from ten countries

 In 1992, Kallós Zoltán, the now deceased double Kossuth laureate and visionary folklorist, established the foundation that bears his name and entrusted to it his collection of ethnographic objects. The meticulously gathered collection is the culmination of 70 years of travel and research.

The mission of the foundation focuses on conserving and promoting the spiritual and material values of Hungarian popular culture and traditions. Since its establishment, the Kallós Zoltán Foundation organizes a wide variety of events and professional training programs dedicated to invigorating the cultural life of the region and helping maintain the communities of the Hungarian diaspora.

Summer Folk Camp

Summer programs include folk camps for different age groups. The International Adult Folk Dance and Music Camp in August, held at the Kallós manor, offers a unique experience, said Oomes Crsipijn, folk musician from the Netherlands, one of this year’s participants.

“I am a musician. I play the violin and I’ve always been fond of Hungarian folk music. But this time I am here to learn the traditional dances. I believe that to be a professional folk musician, you have to know the steps, the dances of the region.”

The international camp has a well deserved outstanding reputation among folk dancers and musicians. This year’s 300 participants came from ten countries and participated in dance sessions for beginners, advanced and experts that lasted up to eight hours a day.

“Kallós Zoltán was the founder of this camp 27 years ago,” said Gyöngyi Balázs-Bécsi, president of the Kallós Zoltán Foundation.

“This is the first year without him participating,” she continued. “From the folk music revival and the Dance House Movement of the 70’s, this camp system throughout Transylvania was formed because after the fall of communism in Romania we could freely organize them. Válaszút was the ideal place to gather all these youngsters who were interested in learning folk dances, music, or playing an instrument. And now, we continue to keep alive the dream of our great folklorist, Zoltán Kallós.”

For youngsters not of Hungarian descent, the city of Csíksomlyó hosts a summer camp for German minorities

Author: Blanka Székely