Ivan’s private site

June 28, 2009

“Because a country using only one language and having only one custom is weak and frail”

Filed under: General,Hungary,Links — Ivan Herman @ 12:27
Tags: , , ,
Saint Stefan
Image via Wikipedia

I have already blogged a few weeks ago on the sad success of right wing extremist parties in Europe. One of the toughests and, in my view, most frightening one among those is the Hungarian “Jobbik” party, with its openly racist, anti-Semitic message. Being Hungarian, I feel embarrassed and saddened by their success… However, a new Facebook group, set up recently to fight against this Hungarian phenomenon, has made me realize a sad irony, too.

One of the historical figures of Hungary is St Stephen I of Hungary, the first king of Hungary. He established the Kingdom of Hungary more than a 1000 years ago, ensuring the future of his nation. As such, he has become, among others, the reference point for all nationalists and, of course, racist movements in Hungary.

St Stephen had a son, Prince Emeric (Imre); and St Stephen wrote a text to prepare his son to play his a role as a king. This old text, known as “Saint Stephen’s admonitions to his son Emeric”, is available on the Web thanks to the National Library of Hungary (sorry, only in Hungarian, I could not find an English translation). It consists of 10 general admonitions, the 6th being on the role of foreigners (the text actually uses the word “guests”) in the country. It would be a bit long to translate, but the title of this blog may be the most important sentence of the paragraph:

Because a country using only one language and having only one custom is weak and frail

(If you are interested by the original: “Mert az egy nyelvű és egy szokású ország gyenge és esendő.”)

Wise words coming from the “dark” middle ages! Worth for a number of people, from the Netherlands to Hungary, to think about…

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