Anna Palinko on Identity and Cultural Understanding

The following address was delivered by Anna Palinko, representative for Hungarian Honorary Consul General Helen Szablya, at our Winter Festival on the Danube Event.  We thought we’d share Ms. Palinko’s words, as they reflect so much of what we try to achieve with cultural events like this one.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

It is a great pleasure and honor to be here this evening.  My name is Anna Palinko, and I am here on behalf of Helen Szablya, Honorary Consul General of Hungary, who unfortunately couldn’t be here today because of her recent duties in Washington, D.C.

We are not only here this evening to meet each other, but to enjoy each other’s culture.  Each one of us has a certain identity.  An identity which is based on our personal character and our national characteristics.  If we want to know each other better, we cannot ignore our national backgrounds.

I am certain that this event creates better understanding between us, and deepens the friendship between our different national specialties.  I do believe that by sharing our national identity with its specific characteristics – such as joyful music and dance, or delicious food – we will be able to get closer to each other.

I was born in Hungary and grew up there.  When I moved here I immediately started to enjoy everything the US offers.  I enjoy being here, but there is one thing I keep missing: authentic Hungarian food.  I am really happy that this evening provides satisfaction not just for our souls but to our taste buds as well.  Not just for hungry Hungarians!

Let’s enjoy this evening together!

Thank you very much!

(Reprinted courtesy of Anna Palinko.)