Hungarian winners of the Romanian language competition ”Carte frumoasă, cinste cui te-a scris!’ were awarded by Deputy Prime Minister, Viorel Ştefan, on Friday at Victoria Palace.
The pupils ranked first in this competition from Hungarian language schools in Harghita, Covasna, Mures and Brasov, as well as their teachers, were rewarded with diplomas and books from the competition partners – the Government, the Institution of the County Prefect of Harghita, the Community Association Romanian in Miercurea Ciuc and Marton Aron Foundation in Miercurea Ciuc.
Deputy Prime Minister Stefan told the children that they are the ambassadors of the promotion of the Romanian language within the national minorities throughout the country and that their performances bring a great gain to the Romanian language and to the national culture.
“Only together we are strong and respected as a nation. When all citizens of Romania, regardless of ethnicity, live in harmony and social cohesion, we can develop the quality of life and culture with all its components, which is made universally known. That’s why I want to express my whole admiration to the entire Government and assure you that we are doing everything possible to keep your performances from being unknown and singular. (…) On behalf of the Prime Minister and myself personally, I urge you to love your country, language and folk traditions, and your contribution to the development of your ethnicity to the highest educational standards. Unity in diversity is your motto, which will guide you throughout your life, and your cultural contribution will benefit the whole world, “Deputy Prime Minister Viorel Stefan told during the awards ceremony.
Despite the fatigue caused by the long road to Bucharest, the pupils were delighted with the way they were received, the beautiful words spoken by the organizers, but also the government building.
And the teachers who guided the winners noted the importance of learning Romanian language by Hungarian children and the fact that such a competition is yet another opportunity to use the language of the country where they live.
Manuela Nicoleta Stîngă, Romanian school inspector from Harghita County School Inspectorate, talked about the benefits of learning and use of Romanian language by Hungarian students.
“The more language you know, the more people you are! Of course, all children with Hungarian mother language have heard it when they have been encouraged to learn Romanian. There are many reasons why they love Romanian. It’s the language of their country, it’s the access to success in their own country, is the way to widening their own horizon of knowledge. These are perhaps the most obvious benefits of learning and using the Romanian language. These children have certainly understood that we are not more people in one if we know more languages. But it is equally obvious that you are shattering the boundaries of your mentality, expanding your ability to understand, creativity and critical thinking, which helps them adapt more easily and better to different life situations in their own country”, said Manuela Nicoleta Stîngă.
Romanian language teacher Császár Tünde from “Nagy Imre” General School in Miercurea Ciuc underlined that this competition is expected by students and the visit to Bucharest represents an unforgettable experience for the winners.
“I am very glad that every year my students are happy to participate in this competition, I am excited to tell you how and what they wrote in Romanian. This competition improves the communication skills of Hungarian pupils in Romanian language, constantly stimulates the abilities of Hungarian pupils to create different texts, literary or non-literary texts, compositions or essays in Romanian, thus promotes pupils with literary skills and, last but not least, supports the collaboration between Romanian language teachers and Romanian literature from several counties “, said Császár Tünde.
The initiator of this contest, the Romanian teacher Maria Sturzu, confessed that the idea was born of “frustration” of failing to do more, more carefully, more conclusively for children whose native language is not Romanian.
“We chose the open way to give every Hungarian-speaking pupil the chance to” grasp “the Romanian language skills and competences according to their age and training. This competition is intended to encourage Hungarian pupils to communicate in the Romanian language and giving them the opportunity to test their knowledge. The initial frustration, the one that came to fruition later, was due to the lack of real and practical opportunities, of concrete communication situations that aimed to strictly develop the skills and competences to children who, in fact, can not help themselves, and this contest comes to those who can and want to evaluate themselves every year in terms of understanding and using Romanian as a non-mother language”, underlined Maria Sturzu .
Representative of the Romanian Community Association in Miercurea Ciuc, Angela Bîrsan, is concerned about the importance of promoting dialogue and interethnic communication in the counties inhabited by the majority of Hungarians.
“The knowledge of the official language of the state, of the Romanian language, is an asset not only in completing individual education but also in widening the horizons and possibilities for a more harmonious future for the entire community. We must realize that the Romanian Government is working to promote interethnic dialogue, according to the framework agreement stipulating the obligation to maintain contact between the minority and the majority, which is also acknowledged at European level, and today’s event actually means a sign and a symbol of both law and respect towards being different”, said Angela Bîrsan.
After the awards ceremony, the students visited the Government headquarters, including the meeting room, after which they were guests of the Romanian Television, where they learned about the history of this institution and had the opportunity to see how to make a show.
The 17 editions of this contest were attended by approximately 4,800 pupils from grades 5 to 12 from schools with Hungarian language teaching, almost 600 of them being awarded.
At its 17th edition in 2019, the Language Competence Contest in Romanian for Minorities, “Carte frumoasă, cinste cui te-a scris!”, Addressed to pupils in grades 5 to 12 from the schools with teaching in Hungarian and hosted in the past 10 years by the Marton Aron National College in Miercurea Ciuc, has the role of encouraging Hungarian pupils to communicate in Romanian and gives them the opportunity to test their knowledge.