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General News Sun, 31 Mar 2019

Hungary to hold Cultural Festival to warm up relations

The Hungarian Embassy in Ghana is set to launch its annual Cultural Festival, from Wednesday, April 10, to promote better understanding between the citizens of Ghana and Hungary towards strengthening socio-economic partnerships.

Activities for the the-week-long festival, include light painting workshop, questions and answers with artistes, wind album, listing party and jam sessions.

There will also be performances from the Corpus Quartet, Nart Orchestra and Irie Mafia featuring Yaa Pono, Sena Dagadu, Worlasi, One Love, Mensah, Mc Kermon and Ria Boss and a promotion of Hungarian sweet delicacies.

A Hungarian chef would thus be hired by the Kempinski Hotel to prepare the Hungarian meal on the menu during the week in the Hotel’s restaurant.

Mr Andras Szabo, the Hungarian Ambassador to Ghana, in an interview, said the Festival, which started in 2017, would not only offer opportunities for the cultural exchange but to advance the economic aspirations of artistes in both countries.

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He explained: "We call the cultural diplomacy, a soft diplomacy, and this is a tool to bring our cultures together - if we don’t understand each other and are afraid of each other we will never be able to do business together.

"If Hungarian business circles don’t know much about Ghana and if we don’t put Ghana on the map, they are not going to come here. People might not have enough information to do business in Africa but the more we show this beautiful country Ghana, and its beautiful culture, democracy and business climate, they will see it is a vivid country and society, and it becomes a very good engine for Hungarian business societies to come and work with Ghanaian counterparts and invest in the country.

" On the Ghanaian perspective, they already know about Europe; due to the history of Ghana, they have more relations with the Western part of Europe, but we would like to show a small but culturally rich country in central Europe, which is Hungary".

The relationship between Ghana and Hungary dates back to 62 years ago, but the Ambassador said, there was a new generation growing up so it was timely to show and call on the youthful generation on what Hungary was.

Previous editions of the festival, he said, which had witnessed good patronage from Ghanaians from all works of life, and had been supported by the Ministry of Toursim, Arts and Culture, as well as the artistes.

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"The symbol of the cultural festival week is the sparrow.... This is because a sparrow leaves Hungary during winter to Ghana to enjoy some warmth and goes back to Hungary when the winter is over," Ambassador Szabo said.

"In the coming years, we want to organise some of the elements of the festival week out of Accra, and go to other cities like Takoradi, Cape Coast, Kumasi and many more, to absorb any new information, this is our aim to see our activities all around the country.

"For now, we are performing for a maximum of thousands of people but in Hungary, the festivals are about ten thousands of people and this is what we want to achieve," he said.

Ambassador Szabo said he was very happy and proud that Hungary was offering scholarships to Ghanaian youth to study in Hungary so that upon their return, they would use their knowledge to further the development of Ghana.

Source: ghananewsagency.org