Today was spent on a tour of the city of Szeged. We had two interpreters, Anna and Andrea who showed us the sights and told us some of the extensive history of the town. The evening was the official cultural program and we were hosted by the Vice President of the Csongrad General Assembly and the Vice Mayor of the City of Szeged, who is also a member of Parliament.
Unfortunately, the program was in Hungarian, so I do not have all the names of the performers nor the pieces they did. (I will provide it as soon as I get it translated.) The first group was traditional folk music and very unique. The trio did a tribute to the Hungarian composer Bartok. The second performance was a pianist playing Bartok. It was wonderful to compare the folk music tribute and then to hear Bartok on piano. Many of the keys played sounded just like the violin and guitar-like instrument when they are played. It was a wonderful way to introduce us to both the composer and the traditional folk music of Hungary. We also had poems and several opera selections. The cultural program was followed by a reception in the ‘marriage room’ of the city hall. This room is used for marriage ceremonies and it is decorated with paintings of couples and children.
I must mention the extraordinary gift to the citizens of Lucas County from Csongrad, presented by Mr. Attila Marosvari, Vice President of the Csongrad General Assembly. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1956 uprising against the communist government. Through historical research, they have learned that the uprising actually began in the City of Szeged the week before the actions in Budapest. Three individuals have documented the activities of the Szeged university students during that week in a series of photographs which have been made into posters. The posters will be unveiled as part of the nation’s celebration. The gift to us is a set of these posters with the request that we help them in their commemoration by displaying them during October. I agreed that we would find an appropriate way to display such a wonderful treasure and will also help them to celebrate the courage of the Hungarian people which gave inspiration to the world.
(Note: There seems to be some problems with blogger over here and I can't upload any photos. I will try to do so tomorrow.)