President Milanović Visits Croatian School in Budapest
On the second day of his Official Visit to Hungary, the President of the Republic Zoran Milanović visited HOŠIG – Croatian kindergarten, primary school, secondary school and pupils’ dormitory in Budapest. Following a literary and dance programme performed by the school pupils, President Milanović told representatives of the Croatian community and self-government in Hugary and pupils that he “sees they are aware of their Croatian identity, and that they love and are attached to their homeland Hungary”.
As for the Croatian and Hungarian culture, President Milanović noted it is a common European and Christian culture based on tradition. He told representatives of the Croatian community in Hungary to preserve and nurture this relationship. “Hungary was close by and helpful when we were in a difficult situation. Times were indeed hard because nobody helped Croatia in the 1990s. At that time very few cared for Croatia, and among those who were here to help us were the Hungarian authorities”, President Milanović stated, and recalled that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán attended the funeral of the first Croatian President Dr. Franjo Tuđman. “Viktor Orbán was one of two persons who deigned to attend the funeral of President Tuđman. Nobody came, which was quite an ugly move towards Croatia. This was a gesture, perhaps not the most important one in the world, but something we will remember”, he noted.
“We differ in terms of politics and some outlooks on the world. But we must realize and accept – that if we live in Europe as a common community with its structures and behaviour patterns – in this community we have our house – Croatia, and the Hungarians have theirs. We don’t enter their house and don’t check what situation it’s in. We look at it as you look at something that belongs to someone else, as you look at a sovereign state. We expect the same from others, we don’t let them meddle in our affairs. Only such a relationship of mutual respect, understanding and cool relationship – yet of friendship, allows the European Union to function properly. Imposing force – that doesn’t work”, President Milanović stated in concluding his address.
The Croatian kindergarten, primary school, secondary school and pupils’ dormitory (HOŠIG) in Budapest is an educational institution and cultural centre of the Croatian community in Hungary that will mark 30 years of independent activity this year. The fundamental task of HOŠIG is to connect with the motherland. The school is attended not only by pupils from Budapest but also of other communities in Hungary where Croats live, even members of the Croatian minority in Vojvodina. In the current school year, 35 children are enrolled in kindergarten, 83 pupils in primary school, and 73 pupils in secondary school.
Following the literary and dance programme performed by the HOŠIG pupils, President Milanović toured the school in the company of the school principal Anne Gojtán.
PHOTO: Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia / Ana Marija Katić