Vice Rector Pál József welcomed children, some of whom might become a student of the University of Szeged in the future.
The group of 50 children from Sichuan and their accompanying teachers, education office leaders and diplomats arrived to Hungary on 25 July. These children are from families which are victims of the April earthquake. They were invited to spend 12 memorable days in Zánka, Budapest and Szeged by Ujhelyi István, Deputy Speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly and at the same time President of the Confucius Institute at the University of Szeged. Organizers would like to introduce Hungarian history, culture and language to the students through trips, boat trips, sightseeing in Szeged and Budapest.
The group coming from the city of Ya’an, Sichuan province also visited Szeged. In the city of sunshine, they were welcomed by Pál József, Vice Rector of the University of Szeged on 1 August in the Rector’s Office. Ujhelyi István also gave a welcoming speech. He consideres this invitation as a solidarity act, offering a symbolic help for some of the families who suffer from the tragedy in which thousands of people lost their homes. As an effect of this initiation, Chinese press mentioned Hungary and Szeged in the last couple of weeks.
Mr Pál started his speech by saying how tragic the starting point of this holiday is, however, people insist on living and renewal, and we have to be capable for a fresh start in all kinds of situations. “Now you are at one of the largest and most significant universities of Hungary, which is at the top of most international rankings” – he said. “Besides Budapest, the University of Szeged has the strongest Chinese relations. Vivid cooperation is well demonstrated by the establishment of the country’s second Confucius Institute in Szeged. There is a remarkable interest towards Chinese culture, not only by university student but also by high schools and elementary schools – the university tries to do its best to support this. We would like you to spend memorable days in Hungary. I sincerely hope that this current visit will encourage you to come to the University of Szeged to study.”
Ji Ping, Director of China Foundation for Peace and Development, a support organization of the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry, agreed that they would definitely support those students, who would like to study in Szeged in the future. He also added that this is his first time in Hungary and so far he is impressed. He hasn’t known much about Hungary let alone Liszt Ferenc, the poetry of Petőfi Sándor and Hungarian folk dance. Szent-Györgyi Albert’s discovery of Vitamin C in Szeged was new information for him. “I think Hungary may contribute to global development in the fields of biotechnology, medicine and culture.” He also emphasized that in order to strengthen cooperation between Europe and China, to enhance economic and cultural relations, it is inevitable for Hungarians to get to know Chinese language and culture.
Guests gave presents to their Hungarian hosts and then visited the Confucius Institute led by Szentmártoni Lívia director. Following a discussion at the Institute the group left to take part in a sightseeing tour in Szeged and went to Napfényfürdő Spa to have some fun in the pools. The main organizers of the program are the World Bridge Foundation and the China Foundation For Peace and Development. The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Hungary, the Confucius Institute at the University of Szeged, Hungarian-Chinese companies, the Táncsics Mihály Foundation and the Great Wall Association also contributed greatly to the organization and implementation of the almost two-week long holiday.
SZTEinfo, SZTE Confucius Institute