Festivity in the year of Pável Ágoston


The 6th edition of the meeting of the Hungarian Slovenes


Szentgotthárd, 2006/08/19


Like a year ago, the Hungarian Slovenes celebrated a reunion day in Szentgotthárd (Monošter). Apparently, this year’s supporting programme differed from last year’s edition introducing a special guest: the daughter of Pável Ágoston.


Like last year, the guests met at the House of the Slovenes (Slovenski Dom) in Szentgotthárd. However, unlike the year 2005 the visitors did not meet outside, but inside a marquee. There they had both welcoming schnaps, which was served by a couple dressed in traditional Porabje costumes, and snacks. Freshly-invigorated the guests then left the marquee and headed for the church. Like last year, church service was held by Ferenc Merkli, the Roman-Catholic priest of Felsõszölnök (Gornji Senik), in Slovene language.


Pável Ágoston in sound and vision


Subsequent to the mass, the cultural programme took place in the theatre of Szentgotthárd. Last year, both politicians from Slovenia and Hungary made speeches and children folklore groups and a dance group performed on stage. This year, the organizers seemed to be fully obliged to the Slovene poet Pável Ágoston. The year 2006 is the commemoration year of this great Slovene poet and ethnologist, who was born 120 years ago and died 60 years ago. After the Slovene and Hungarian national anthems had been played, the president of the Slovene self-administration in Hungary, Martin Ropoš, welcomed the guests and reminded the Slovenes in Hungary to register for the coming self-administration elections on October 1. What is more, he asked them to cultivate their Slovene mother tongue by communicating in Slovene and by keeping the traditional songs alive. The ethnologist Marija Mukič was the host of the cultural programme, which was held in Slovene and Hungarian. In her laudation she depicted the biography of the poet Pável Ágoston and presented a multilingual (Slovene, Hungarian, German) video documentary about the life and work of the ethnologist. With special appreciation Ropoš, amongst others, thanked Judith Ágoston, the poet’s daughter, for her visit. The cultural part of the meeting was rounded off by three Pável Ágoston choirs from Austria, Hungary and Slovenia, which were personally introduced by Mrs Mukič, and which then performed some of their songs.


Entertaining get-together instead of long trip


Last year, the cultural programme had begun in the theatre as well, however, subsequent to it the guests went on a bus trip to Cankova (Slovenia), the birth-place of Pável Ágoston. By popular request, the organizers of this year’s meeting of the Hungarian Slovenes dispensed with trips of any kind. People preferred a jovial get-together with friends and relatives, those present said. Complying with this wish the guests returned to the marquee after the cultural programme had ended in order to discuss animatedly, to dance or to savour local specialties. The celebration lasted well into the night, and one can be curious about the programme the organizers will come up with for next year’s reunion.



                Pictures                                                       Joël Gerber / Tibor Horvat