About the Cultural Round Table of the Carpathian Basin
The current institutional background for cultural activities of Hungarian communities living outside the borders of Hungary was established in 2008, and since has become an important forum of the cultural life of Hungarian communities living in the Carpathian Basin. The Cultural Round Table of the Carpathian Basin was founded by the Csemadok Cultural Institute of Southern Slovakia, Hungarian Cultural Society of Transylvania (EMKE) – the Hungarian Cultural Institute of Central Transylvania, the Hungarian Cultural Institute of Transcarpathia, the National Hungarian Institute for Culture of Prekmurje and the Hungarian Institute for Culture of Vojvodina, with the intention of rethinking the common past and the present aspiring for unification.
Almost in parallel with its foundation, the organization was regarded as a partner by the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Hungary, and with its support helped to get the already highlighted and, we hope, new emerging nodes of this new institutional network, created by integrating new members, that in the near future would become institutions organizing researches about culture, as well as operating the regional relations system and the information providing services, activities for which the organization can rely firstly on the National Institute of Culture (www.nmi.hu), as well as on a few Hungarian professional institutions and organizations: the Balassi Institute (www.bbi.hu), the Office of Cardinal Points (www.egtajak.com), the House of Traditions (www.hagyomanyokhaza.hu), and the International Association of Hungarian Language and Culture (http://hungaricus.net/), for direct professional and methodological assistance.
The aim of this unique institutional network aim, besides the preservation of unique regional characteristics is to strengthen the national Hungarian identity in the Carpathian Basin Hungarian, by using tools of culture; developing joint cultural thinking and common action through trainings, cultural researches, future planning, establishing methodological centres; determining common minimum professional standards, by creating and operating a joint Hungarian data network, as well as providing up to date information, not forgetting about exploiting the potential of a multicultural environment. The members of this specific form of cooperation: Hungarian Cultural Society of Transylvania – the Hungarian Cultural Institute of Central Transylvania, Cluj. Homepage: www.emke.ro. The umbrella institute – through mediating the Hungarian house network – primarily supports the scattered Hungarian community’s cultural activities and works with the cultural institutions of Hungarians living in ethnic blocks, amongst others, with Covasna’s and Hargia’s counties’ cultural centres. Its main aim: strengthening the Hungarian language and national identity, establishing and operating cultural institutions.
Hungarian Cultural Society of Transylvania (EMKE)
The evolution of EMKE
- Founded in 1885 in Cluj-Napoca.
- Established by the Transylvanian Hungarian bourgeoisie and aristocracy.
- Its basic aims at establishment:
- – strengthening the Hungarian language and national identity, especially amongst the scattered Hungarian communities of Transylvania;
- – to establish cultural institutions, primarily in diaspora: kindergarten, elementary schools, libraries, choirs, etc., organizing aphabetization courses, spreading the Hungarian language;
- – supporting the economical development of Hungarian communities.
- 1885-1910: the rise of EMKE, economic consolidation, the honorary chairman Kun Kocsárd establishes the School of Sekler Farmers on his estate, in Algyógy (Hunedoara County);
- 1911-1918: the stagnation of economic consolidation; its activity consists of mainly asset management; conflicts occur within the management, but the farmer schools flourishes; flourish
- 1918-1920: with the shift of power that took happened in Transylvania, EMKE was almost completely loot stripped of its assets, the plundering of its property;
- 1921-1940: its operation become almost impossible, the new Romanian authority demanded more and more amendments of its Constitutive Act, thanks to the work of President Joseph Alexander, representative in the Parliament, the institution is not dissolved, fighting for minority rights;
- 1941-1944: after the Vienna Award, EMKE starts operating in Northern Transylvania, subdued, the writers participate in cultural activities, visiting villages and this is arranged with the book-lending library ‘ambulant’ Culture-bus, the ’Tale-car’, received from Hungarian cultural icons and equipped with, for that time, modern audio-visual equipment;
- 1945-1947: operates as a cultural Affairs Committee for the Hungarian People’s Alliance;
- 1947: the people’s democracy, the new communist regime dissolves the institution, EMKE as an institution representing civic values;
- 1948-1990: EMKE does not operate;
- 1991: with the help of UDMR, the institution is re-established in Brasov, making the cultural autonomy a main goal from the first minute, as a depository of modern cultural education of good quality, as an incentive for modernization, still respecting the main principles of the objectives from 1885;
- 1992: building up the organizational life, establishing of professional colleges;
- 1993: EMKE is the operational executor of the Culture chapter of Program of the advocacy association in UDMR’s new municipal structure; among its results:
- – creates a chain of Hungarian-houses in the diaspora with the support of the Hungarian state (Illyés Foundation) support, as well as representative donations, bequests (eg. Szabédi Memorial House, Györkös Mány Albert Memorial House);
- – EMKE converts its professional colleges into independent national professional non-governmental organizations, contributing to the institutionalization of the Hungarian cultural life in Romania (Association of Hungarian Musicians in Romania, Hungarian Book Guild in Romania, Hungarian Folk School Society, Hungarian Folk Artists Association in Romania, Hungarians Music Society in Romania, etc).
- 2001: EMKE detaches from the UDMR, from here will operate as an independent umbrella organization;
- since 2004 becomes an umbrella organization, the ally of cultural non-governmental organizations.
The Hungarian Cultural Institute of Transcarpathia, Beregszász
Just like other similar institutions operating in the Carpathian Basin, besides preserving the national traditions, the institute considers the Hungarian culture, organizing the intellectual life as its main task.
The National Hungarian Institute for Culture, Lendava
The institute is the professional institution of public service for the Hungarian community living in Slovenia. Its responsibilities include providing professional assistance for dilettante groups, embracing and organizing the Hungarian literary life of Prekmurje, undertaking a singnificant proportion of the Hungarian book publishing in Slovenia, organizing various events on the occasion of national anniversaries and other events, etc. All forms of preserving and spreading the Hungarian language are an important part of their activity.
The Slovakian Hungarian Cultural and Social Society – Csemadok Cultural Institute, Dunaszerdahely
The institute is intended for a wide range of embracing, mediating and professionally asisting the culture of Hungarians in Slovakia; as well as undertaking scientific and other research work aiming the preservation of the national identity.
The Hungarian Institute for Culture of Vojvodina, Senta
Its objective is to coordinate and manage the public collections, public cultural and scientific life in all areas where there is no chance to set up solely-owned Hungarian cultural and scientific institutions; operating a region-wide system for consulting and providing services on public cultural matters; as well as designing, in cooperation with other similar institutions of the Carpathian Basin, a unified intellectual life based on each other’s strength and knowledge, supporting its virtual interoperability and usefulness.