“Every kind of peaceful cooperation among men is primarily based on mutual trust and only secondarily on institutions such as courts of justice and police.” – said Albert Einstein.
Esteemed Madame President,
Even Einstein’s ideas could have inspired the creation of the World Congress three decades ago.
The first World Congress, held in the capital of the Komi Republic on the initiative of the Finno-Ugric peoples living in the Russian Federation, was born out of a peaceful cooperation between well-meaning nations enjoying a kinship with each other.
Having trust in each other was what provided the basis for this unity.
Hungary was happy to join the cooperation not only because of the kindred but also because of the community of fate.
After all, millions of Hungarians have been living in minority for 100 years now.
Few people know that of the nearly 90 languages spoken in Europe, only 37 are official languages, and that some 100 million people on the old continent belong to different linguistic and ethnic minority communities.
Minority status carries one of the great contradictions of our human existence: while we have a desire to join the majority, we also wish to be recognised and valued for our uniqueness.
The European Union, which currently has 27 Member States, considers diversity to be a value in principle, as expressed in the Community’s motto: “United in Diversity”.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Over the past 29 years, we have witnessed the good that can come from the cooperation between Finno-Ugric peoples on numerous occasions.
Just one example to illustrate this.
In 2016, some Hungarian experts approached the President of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, Mr Richard Willems, who they knew had established one of the world’s leading population genetics research centres in Tartu.
The Hungarian researchers requested the assistance of their Estonian counterparts to test a hypothesis.
Their hypothesis was that the gene pool of the communities living in the area of the former Magna Hungaria, known from medieval records, around the region of the Kama and Volga rivers, might still contain elements that could substantiate a distant relationship with the Hungarians.
The enormous database and excellent methodology of the Estonians yielded success.
The hypothesis of the Hungarian researchers was confirmed.
It turned out that the genetic cluster investigated can be found in three areas in Eurasia: in the Carpathian Basin, in Tatarstan among the Khanty and Mansi people, and in a particularly high proportion of around 50% in some Bashkirian regions.
In other words, thanks to Estonian-Hungarian cooperation, it was possible to find the remaining traces of Hungarians in the East, among people, the Bashkirian population, who themselves sent a delegation to the Second World Congress in 1996.
Let me use this opportunity as well, to appreciate our Estonian friends for their active role in this research and its financing.
Distinguished delegates, dear friends,
I am proud that Hungary is also a member of the World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples, where all participants can make their voices heard equally, as each nation has one vote.
In this organisation, different peoples are equal partners.
This is why I believe that our friendly cooperation built on trust not only has a past but also a future.
As the French linguistics professor Jean-Luc Moreau, a prominent proponent of Finno-Ugric unity wrote:
“Despite the Tower of Babel, the diversity of languages is not a curse, nor a devastating scourge. It is useful, helpful, productive, like genetic diversity. Language is a tool for thinking, but each language is a different tool. Indeed, our thinking is only fluent in our mother tongue. (…) The charm of our part of the world can be mainly attributed to its linguistic diversity.”
Let us preserve this linguistic and cultural diversity, not only for the benefit of the Finno-Ugric peoples but for all the nations of the world.