The Pro Minoritate Foundation is an independent, public benefit organization that aims to support European and national ethnic and national minorities, with a particular focus on helping Hungarians beyond the border. Our Foundation intends to contribute to the more effective protection of national minorities in Central and Eastern Europe and to their integration into the European institutional systems.
Programs of the foundation are typically implemented in Budapest or beyond, but the foundation operates on a national level, because we announce our events at national level. Participants also participate in large number not only of surrounding settlements, but of all parts of the country. The Pro Minoritate Foundation has a wide range of activities. It organises summer universities, conferences, professional days, foreign policy clubs, festivals and publishes the “Pro Minoritate” quarterly magazine, as well as books, analysing the current issues of minority rights, European integration and regional cooperation.
Outstanding events organised by the Foundation
Each Year the Foundation organises summer universities in Ukraine/Transcarpathia, Romania/ Transylvania and Slovakia in order to facilitate and strengthen the relationship between the various ethnicities and nationalities in the Central European region by easing the tensions between them. The goal of these organised events is to provide an open forum where Hungarians who live in minority situation could meet Hungarians from the kin-state and discuss the actual political, economical, cultural problems, and could find possible joint solutions and strategies to resolve these problems.
At all events there are lecturers from various ethnic backgrounds, so the problems could be analysed from the point of views of minorities and majorities in that particular country. This fundamental approach provides an opportunity for various ethnicities living in the Carpathian basin for the mutual understanding of each other’s standpoints.
In the framework of our events, we pay special attention to provide cultural entertainment after the political and scientific discussions by involving local orchestras, bands, folk dancers and theatres in our programmes.
The Pro Minoritate Foundation organizes the traditional Csángó Festival each year in February with the active participation of the Moldavian Hungarians for the Moldavian Hungarians Alliance. The principle goal of this event is to introduce the particularly rich and archaic folk art and traditions of the Csángó ethnic group from Moldva and from Gyimes to the international audience. With this festival, we would like to create an opportunity for the Csángó Hungarians to introduce their customs, music and dances. The remnants of this archaic culture clearly show the traces of medieval and early modern Hungarian culture.
The organizers of Csángó Festival want to draw the public’s attention to the unfavourable social and economic processes that threaten the existence of the Moldavian Hungarians, and seek to gain support to preserve and rise the Csángó Hungarians.
At the Csángó Festival, following the stage productions, there is usually a dance workshop in which the audience can also participate. It is an excellent way of getting acquainted with Hungarian Csángó dances through the help of contemporary art and through traditional folk groups from Moldva and Gyimes.
At these occasions, we consider it very important to get a glimpse of the old Csángó culture with the aid of contemporary arts. For this reason, there is also an exhibition of photographers, textile manufactures, exhibiting their works related to the Csángó World. This event has been a great success so far. There are over 3000 participants each year, amongst them, the leading representatives of culture, commerce and politics of the region.
In the past two decades, we have learned many details about the Csángó Hungarian traditions: from everyday habits, through festive occasions, to family events, dances, songs, music, poems, films, books, photos, collections, works of renowned ethnographers. The Csángó Festival and the Csángó culture were spread by Hungarian ambassadors, institutions of the country, Finnish rapporteurs, Hungarian folk musicians, artists, csángó folklorists, companies, local governments.
Lőrincz Csaba Prize Award
Lőrincz Csaba Prize founded by the Pro Minoritate Foundation in 2009 preserves Lőrincz Csaba memory. The prize rewards outstanding foreign and national policy activities of scientists, experts, writers and journalists. The award ceremony take place in June each year (close to the date of adoption of the Status law – as is well known, Csaba Lőrincz has developed the concept as deputy state secretary). Until the establishment of Lőrincz Csaba Prize in Hungary, there was no prize that would recognize the outstanding foreign and national policy activities.
The prize recognizes a professional activity which, in terms of quality and impact, is recognized in the Hungarian diplomacy and in foreign policy thinking, so is worthy to preserve the memory of Lőrincz Csaba.
In cooperation with the Méry Ratio Publisher, earlier with the Osiris Publishing Company we publish a series of books. Each book in the series is addressing the problems of minority politics or of cultural survival of minorities in today’s Europe. We have published so far 21 books in this series.
The first issue of the Pro Minoritate scientific quarterly was published in the summer of 1992, during the second summer university in Bálványos. The journal has a new chief editor and a new editorial board as well a new format since 1999. It is published four times a year. In the quarterly, we regularly inform the public about the political and cultural life of Hungarians living outside of Hungary. As well as the history and current issues regarding the neighbouring nations. Moreover, we strive to continuously provide a current analysis of our geographic region – Central and Eastern Europe and that of the wider Europe. Our contributors are mainly Ph.D. students or young researchers from the region from various ethnic backgrounds. We try to publish as many different views from Central, South-East and Western Europe as possible in order to get a full picture and facilitate each other’s better understanding.