Hungarians send heartfelt video message to Wales

Hungarians from all walks of life have come together to send a powerful ‘love letter’ to Wales, the country they all feel attached to.

The trilingual video, produced by Welsh-Hungarian cultural initiative Magyar Cymru, features residents from Hungary’s ‘Welshest village’, opera and folk singers, educators, as well as Hungarians from Cardiff to Caernarfon who embrace the Welsh language and culture with pride.

The heartfelt message kicked off Magyar Cymru’s ‘Let’s build bridges’ campaign, which also invites Welsh and Hungarian people to pen their own messages to the other nation via its website and social media.

Balint Brunner, Founder and Editor of Magyar Cymru, said: “We wanted to kick off the campaign with something truly special. The aim was to bring together the voices of Hungarians from across Wales, Hungary and beyond who feel a strong sense of attachment to Wales and its people.

“From music, through football to literature, there are many things that unite our two nations. We wanted to invite Wales to help ‘build bridges’ between our cultures – through the words of the Hungarians living among them, and those wishing their best from afar.”

Among the thirty Hungarians featured in the video, some familiar faces have also made an appearance. Folk singer Andrea Gerák stunned Budapest tourists with her rendition of ‘Calon Lân’ in both Hungarian and Welsh earlier this year. Meanwhile, Welshophile music collector László Záhonyi has been hosting Welsh Language Music Day events in Budapest for several years.

Residents from the remote village of Kunágota, branded Hungary’s ‘Welshest village’ due to their tradition of hosting Welsh-Hungarian concerts, also thanked their Welsh friends across the continent for the opportunity to get to know them.

Other notable appearances included Budapest’s Három Holló café (which had a full Welsh-language makeover in February in honour of Dydd Miwsig Cymru), Balint Brunner from Magyar Cymru, and the owners of Aberystwyth’s newly opened Hungarian gourmet restaurant, Paprika.

Classical singer Elizabeth Sillo, the organiser of Cardiff’s annual Welsh-Hungarian concerts, was joined by acclaimed Hungarian pianist Katalin Zsubrits and musician colleagues from all parts of Hungary who adore the work of Sir Karl Jenkins and other Welsh composers.

Welsh viewers can spot many familiar sights in the video, as local Hungarians have checked in from places including Aberystwyth Castle, Snowdonia and the Flintshire Bridge in Deeside.

The video shows off some of Hungary’s iconic attractions too, including Budapest’s Liberty Bridge, Lake Balaton, the Reformed Great Church of Debrecen, and even the grand interior of Bréda Castle near Kunágota.

Magyar Cymru is now inviting people from both cultures to write and send their own best wishes to the other nation. Welsh people, from anywhere in the world, can submit their messages to their Hungarian friends through the website, or share them on social media using the hashtags #LetsBuildBridges, #AdeiladuPontydd or #ÉpítsünkHidakat.

Launched in 2019 by editor Balint Brunner, Magyar Cymru is a volunteer-led cultural initiative aiming to build bridges between the Welsh and Hungarian cultures. Recent projects have been featured on the likes of BBC News, S4C, WalesOnline and news outlets across Hungary.

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