A Kyrgyz Corner was established at ELTE
At the end of February, Mambetakunov Ulanbek Esenbekovich, Minister of Education and Science of Kyrgyzstan, announced at the 1st Hungarian-Kyrgyz Conference of Rectors that his country intends to foster the development of Hungarian-Kyrgyz relations through the establishment of a Kyrgyz Corner at ELTE. With the contribution of the Ministry of Culture, Information, Sports and Youth Policy (Kyrgyzstan), a collection of books has been compiled that offers wide-ranging information about the history and culture of the Kyrgyz Republic, the traditions and customs of Kyrgyz people, with special regards to their modern life.
The opening ceremony was held in the presence of the ambassadors of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in Budapest on 28 March. Talantbek Kushchubekov, Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic to Hungary, pointed out in his speech that with the books and publications presented, they wanted to contribute to that more and more people in Hungary would learn about the Kyrgyz Republic and realise that the traditions of the two countries and the daily lives of their inhabitants are similar in many respects.
Rector László Borhy referred to the project from the aspect of the development of ELTE’s international relations. “The Kyrgyz Corner is an important milestone in strengthening our relationship with the Kyrgyz Republic,” he said.
“The opening of Corner is the first step on the way to realise the plans of the department,” explained Benedek Péri, Head of the Department of Turkic Studies. “Our goal is to raise the interest of our students in the current Turkic world. We wish to launch an educational programme that trains specialists who can maintain relations with Turkic partner countries, which are important for Hungary. These Turkologists would be specialised in a particular country or a large region and know the local Turkic language. They could help the decision-making and relations of Hungarian government bodies, economic organisations, and entrepreneurs with foreign partners.”
The Kyrgyz Corner can also be a model for other Turkic countries and contribute to the realisation of the goals of the department by creating similar corners. In the future, ELTE wants to start teaching the Kyrgyz, Kazakh, and Uzbek languages in addition to Azerbaijani. Within the framework of the Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship Programme, four students are currently studying at the Department of Turkic Studies at the Master’s and Doctoral levels, and they are already contributing to teaching Turkish and Azerbaijani languages. If everything goes according to plan, students from Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan will arrive at ELTE next year.
The rector and the head of department expressed their gratitude to all those who contributed to the event, ambassadors Talantbek Kushchubekov and Zhanibek Abdrashov, the representatives and staff members of the participating embassies, Miklós Lengyel, Deputy State Secretary, Imre Hamar, Vice-Rector for International Affairs at ELTE, and the ELTE Rector’s Cabinet International Strategy Office.
The meeting concluded with a performance of Kyrgyz folk music.