Charta of Reconciliation - towards a peaceful coexistence of nations in the Carpathian Basin

We are on the world to make it better… Without problems to be solved, our lives would be boring. Making the World better sounds utopist. However doing something for the peaceful future of our homeland, for the reconciled coexistence of the communities living there, is a realistic aim.


And that is what we discussed on October 24th, during the conference organized by the Ferenc Rákóczi Foundation. The Rakoczi Foundation organizes annually 3 - 4 times conferences, thematic seminars, networking events for the "Rakoczi youth", former participants of the Students Without Boundaries Program. These are the occasions, when young people from five countries gather, change their experiences and talk about a better future.  These meetings always charge us... with hope, happiness, pride, and determination... When we return home, we might see a clearer way to live and to follow, a way, where a values and principles are respected and seen as "cool".

This time the event took place in Nagymegyer - Velky Meder. The little town of Slovakia, where almost 90% of the inhabitants belong to the community of ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia. One of the main themes of the conference was the reconciliation among nations in the Carpathian basin... a very actual and annoying problem that "poisons" lives of thousands due to means of unsuccessful politics. How to solve it?

László Surján, Hungarian Member in European Parliament has made a proposal. More precisely, He Has a Dream, and his dream is also ours. Peaceful coexistence among Hunagrians, Slovaks, Rutens, Romanians, Serbs. Thousands of years connect these nations very strongly. The nationalistic trends of the 19th and 20th century lead to severe tensions that despite of the European cohesion are still alive today. He thought of approaching this problem from its social point of view (because the political initiatives have not been triumphant at all for the last century) - and that is how the Movement for Reconciliation has started. Bringing people to people, tying souls to each other instead of making party agreements. The Charta of Reconciliation has been composed, which accentuates the necessity of ceasing the tension between our nations.  

The invited personalities discussed their attitudes to the problem, and they all agreed on the text of the Charta. Michal Vasecka, Slovakian ethnographer-researcher said, that the most important is to know about history... to observe that we are tied to each other because of the common past. Why do we want to separate, when two nations joined together are stronger than one alone. The Hungarian professors, ethnographers, researchers and historians (Liszka József, Tóth Károly, Kollai István) mentioned that both Slovakians and Hungarians (and also Romanians, Ukrainians, Serbians and Hungarians) has caused each other lot of sufferings, both parts have made mistakes but the first step toward peace is to forgive and refuse all kind of enemity. Arguing won't lead to good results. It only consumes our energy and distract our attention from more important things.

We have to open our ears, and not to pretend we are deaf when someone nearby us is calling for help. We should learn more about the other nation's culture, history, way of thinking, sometimes even its language; we should identify its values, and respect it.

Keeping our language, history, culture, but accepting the differences between us, we could build together a better and colorful common future. It can be declared: this is the best way. If more and more people join and they walk on this way the reconciliation and the peaceful coexistence is not just a dream anymore.

We just stood there and listened joyfully to these people. We felt hope and happiness in our hearts. Determination to make something for this peace has born in us.

And then we listened to Petra Dzerengova, the famous Slovakian writer, who spoke fluent Hungarian. She told us that she wanted to learn our language, to understand Hungarian people around her. She talked proudly about her family and her Hungarian husband. We smiled undisturbed. Hope has risen in us.

Then we listened to Kati Szvorák, whose songs filled the hall our hearts. We admired how naturally the Romanian, Serbian, Slovakian and Hungarian folk songs are close to each other. It was the proof, the undeniable proof: we belong to each other.

That was the message of this meeting, and I think it has reached a lot of hearts. Personally, I see now a way to follow. I will follow it, and I shall try to send this message to others. And I think the eighty people who were in that hall will do the same.  

This is why we all signed the Charta for Reconciliation.

Anna Kiss, Romania

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