Fiatalok tudósítanak önkéntesen a magyar EU-elnökség óta – Youngsters report voluntary since the Hungarian EU Presidency

2018. július. 23., hétfő

Polish-Hungarian friendship still exists

2012. január 10.
ROVAT: English | CÍMKÉK: ,

Pole, Hungarian, two good friends… (in Polish: Polak, Wegier, dwa bratanki, i do szabli, i do szklanki, oba zuchy, oba zwawi, niech im pan bóg blogoslawi!”, and in Hungarian: Lengyel, magyar két jó barát, együtt harcol, s issza borát, vitéz, s bátor mindkettője, áldás szálljon mindkettőre.) Is this saying still true? We could know about it on 12th of December in the Polish Institution in Budapest, where the event of Bye-Bye Bathory Express took place.

During the event we heard the interesting stories of the participants of the Bathory Express and we could also watch the documentary film of the travelling, which was directed by Tomek Ducki. In the end of the event Patrícia Pászt, the director of Fundacja Cracovia Express gave the keys of the Nysa to the club of Polski Fiat 125p. After the event I talked with Patrícia about the Bathory express and about the Polish-Hungarian relations.

Can you explain what the project was about?

The main aim of the Bathory express was to answer the following question: Does the Polish-Hungarian friendship still exist? We organized a travelling from the 6th of May to the 5th of June in 2011. We visited five cities in Hungary and ten cities in Poland. To fulfill the aim of the travelling we bought a Nysa, which is a car used by the ambulance in Hungary. We wanted to know how Hungarians see Poland and how Polish see Hungary and if they are still good friends. We met and talked to many people, we got to know their stories about the other nations and they also gave us photos, which we put into the Nysa.

Where did the idea of the project come from?

I heard that there was a train for pilgrims, in which Hungarians traveled to Poznan to make friendship with Poles. Later I got to know that the Poles didn’t really know about this trip. I thought the idea of travelling is brilliant; however it should be bilateral. That’s why we started to organize a travelling in Hungary and also in Poland.

­­­­How did the program looked liked in the cities?

Usually we settled the Nysa in the main square of the cities. People could come to us, they told their stories about Poland or about Hungary and they also gave us photos. We also went around the squares and asked people about Polish-Hungarian relationship and talked to them. There were also other programs, which accompanied our travelling. For example in Debrecen there was a concert and in Miskolc there were university days. In Poland there was a poetry workshop, which took place in the Nysa.

Did you have any difficulty during the travelling?

There were many technical problems with the Nysa. First it broke down during the way to Hungary, in Slovakia, so we brought it back to Poland to repair it. However it didn’t work, so we used a trailer. During the trip we used 8 trailers to move the Nysa. I think the symbolic role of the Nysa was more important than if it worked or not. The preparation took three months and we worked a lot even during the travelling to have a successful project. It wasn’t a one-day long exhibition, so the stress was enormous. It was also hard that we talked to people and gave interviews every day for more than a month and we also had to solve the everyday problems. However these problems were avoidless in a huge project like the Bathory express.

You mentioned that there are many stories, which you got to know during the route. Do you have a favorite story?

The most touching was the story of Adam. He brought the first photo to us in Budapest, in which there were a Polish girl and him. He just told us, that we should take it with us in the car, but he didn’t tell us why and we didn’t even know who the girl is. He travelled with us to some cities and during that time he told us their story. He met the Polish girl in Barcelona, but they didn’t keep in touch. He really wanted to contact her, but he didn’t know how. In Poznan, there was a girl, who told us stories about Hungary and about a Hungarian boy, but we had no idea that we already met that boy. Then she looked at the picture Adam gave us and she ran away. The next day she came back and told the whole story to us. If we assist to the relationship of these two people, then I think this project was worth it.

Do you think that the Bathory express enhanced the Polish-Hungarian friendship?

Yes. I’m sure about that. We met persons, who spoke with nostalgia about Poland or about Hungary and they had great memories about the other country. We also met young people who told us the stories of their parents or grandparents. I think due to this project we can say that there are projects and actions in the area of Polish-Hungarian friendship. I guess the secret is to be able to address people. It was really great that people in Hungary and also in Poland came to us by themselves and talked to us without forcing and it was a good feeling to listen to their nice memories about the other nation.

The article appeared in the online newspaper of the Center for Citizenship Education:

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