Ferenc Vörös:
Teaching in Hungarian Language in Slovakia at the Turn of the Millennium

The author deals with the different levels of teaching in Hungarian language. In relation to kindergartens, he states that in the school year of 2000/2001 there were 279 Hungarian language kindergartens. In addition, there were 101 so-called alternative institutions – i.e. Slovak-Hungarian kindergartens – that welcomed also Hungarian language children, who had the opportunity to take part in the activities in their mother language. Consequently, in the mentioned institutions in 559 groups were activities (also) in Hungarian language. The number of children in these groups is 9511. More than seven per cent of children of kindergarten age is of Hungarian nationality. Almost two thirds of them get socialised through Hungarian language within institutionalised frameworks.

According to the statistical data, in elementary schools 8,12 per cent of this age-group is recorded to be of Hungarian nationality. From the institutions, 271 had Hungarian teaching language and 29 were alternative. In the two school types teaching was delivered in 2 178 classes for 42 980 children.

From the grammar school students in Slovakia, 7,1 per cent are registered to have Hungarian nationality. Besides the 137 Slovak grammar schools, there are 16 schools with the teaching delivered in Hungarian language, and there are another 8 alternative schools. In the two school types there were 178 classes for 4 657 students, with the teaching delivered partially or fully in Hungarian language.

6,91 per cent of vocational secondary school students is of Hungarian nationality. Students can pursue their studies in Hungarian language in 22 schools. Although, in this case there are only seven schools with the teaching delivered in Hungarian language, in the remaining 15 schools the Hungarian teaching is alternative. In this school type 88 776 students continue their secondary school education, of which only 3544 pursued their studies in Hungarian language partially or fully, that reaches only four per cent (3,99 per cent). Therefore, less than half of those who are by the statistical data recorded as Hungarian nationality people receive any kind of teaching in Hungarian language in this school type. Hence, the representation of the population here is very weak.

8,3 per cent of vocational school students is of Hungarian nationality. From the 368 Slovak vocational schools 336 are Slovak, and the remaining 32 schools are schools with teaching delivered in Hungarian language partially of fully. From these, there are only eight schools, where the teaching is delivered fully in Hungarian language. The overall picture is even less favourable if we examine the number of classes and students. In 4 083 classes there are 97 427 students studying in Slovak, in 408 classes there are 8 411 students studying in Hungarian language fully or just partially. There are only 89 classes with 1 834 students in institutions with the teaching delivered only in Hungarian language.

The share of students of Hungarian nationality in special schools is 6,59 per cent. From schools operating in such field, of which number is 377, thirty-one are fully or partially Hungarian. From these 14 are totally Hungarian schools, the remaining 17 are Slovak-Hungarian. Besides the 3 212 Slovak classes 180 fully Hungarian or partially Hungarian teaching groups were launched in the previous school year. Comparing with the children taught in Slovak, 29 324, only 1 543 was the number of students who studied in (or also in) Hungarian language.

It is a well-known fact that the opportunities for those students who want to pursue university studies in Hungarian language are very poor. On this level only the study of Hungarian pedagogues means the only narrow way.

Teaching combined with Hungarian study is present in three institutions: in Bratislava at the Commenius University, in Nitra at the Constantine University, and at the University of Matej Bela in Banská Bystrica. >From these the highest number is in Nitra.

In Bratislava, the teaching of students at the Hungarian branch is at the Arts Faculty of the university. In the school year of 2000/2001 the number of enrolled students per year was ten and twenty.

The teaching of Hungarian branch students began three schools years ago at the university in Banská Bystrica. Recently, in the three year-classes there are 42 students in total.

In Nitra in the recently existing three branches it was possible to study partially or in one field fully in Hungarian language. The teachers in the elementary school from 1 to 4 of Hungarian nationality receive education in fully Hungarian language. The number of Hungarian nationality students of the Pedagogical Faculty in the school year of 1999/2000 was 99, from which 26 was the number of students in the first class. This means that in the four-year study there are 25-30 students per year-class.

It is also possible to study at the Hungarian branch of the Arts Faculty with several branch combinations. The number of students is 107. Fifty students can continue their part-time studies combined with any other branch. All the subjects in connection with the Hungarian branch are in Hungarian language.

András Mészáros:
School Philosophy in Upper-Hungary

The study is an introductory study of the book ”Lexicon of School Philosophy in Upper-Hungary” that is being prepared. This is the first book deals with the given topic within the Hungarian educational history. The study gives an introduction to the lexicon. It defines Upper-Hungary and introduces those schools that in the given period (16th – 19th century) started to teach philosophy. The author writes separately about the Catholic, Protestant and later about other state educational institutions. The most emphasis is on the nature of school philosophy, mainly its propedeutic and eclectic character. He analyses the role of denominations, the theory mediating function of textbooks and tradition creating function of institutions and teacher personalities. Finally, he tries to position the school philosophy in Upper-Hungary in the whole of the Hungarian history of philosophy.

The study says that the book is on an important field of the Hungarian educational history in Slovakia, since in the given period Upper-Hungary had a rich network of schools and besides the Jesuit universities (in Trnava and Ko¹ice) the Evangelic secondary school for girls (Bratislava, Ke¾marok, Levoèa, Pre¹ov) mediated the philosophical and scientific results of the era to Hungary. Although at the beginning of the 18th century institutions were gradually formed outside philosophical schools, but the background role of school philosophy remained. This is evidenced by the spreading of the strongest philosophical tradition in Hungary – cantianism. Through it those force lines are seen that arrange not only the Upper-Hungarian, but also the entire Hungary’s philosophical culture.

Helga Szabó:
Political and Administrative Adaptation of the Re-annexed Csallóköz 1938–1941

Both, the home-landers and the Hungarians who came back welcomed when Csallóköz was re-annexed to the Up-land Hungary. The entry meant liberation from the twenty-year occupation, the Hungarian soldiers were greeted as liberators and they also tried to come up to expectations. After the military entry to the country, military administration was introduced that was to prepare the background for the civil legal system. The expectations were huge from both sides. The people in Csallóköz hoped that they could not be faced with further injury because of their nationality status. Their hope came true. By the revision the obstacles were averted from national rights and cultural demands. In addition, they did not have any doubts about their already existing political rights and about the fact that they can get those posts that had been occupied by Slovaks and Czechs to that time. They hoped that with the help of the spirit -called up-land spirit – brought by them, the political and social relations of Hungary could be formed. The home-landers thought that the unification would have a faster and smoother process.

Both parties had to be disappointed. The political and social situation of back-comers got worse. The number of people entitled to vote decreased and a lot of them had to re-apply for citizenship. In order to get offices it was necessary to undergo a course of actions that in many cases ended in a wrong result. A lot of posts, mainly offices of notary/town clerks and deputy clerks were occupied by clerks from the home-land. Administration in offices was clumsy and long, work ethic was bad, in addition the behaviour of officials led to antipathy. The public administration was found inhuman. To all this even added the fact that they were considered to be isolated, because they insisted on their rights that they received. The reforms anticipated from the ”up-land spirit” did not come true. The situation did not turn out to be even according to the expectations of the home-landers. The government realised that the application of laws and regulations was not enough when they wanted to join the re-annexed territory to the ”blood circulation” of the country. Only with this they could not surmount the differences in thinking and development. The re-annexed part could not be sunk entirely to the level of the Trianon Hungary. And there was neither money nor time to lift the home-land to the level of the re-annexed territory. The attention was soon focused on the other gained territories, and then from 1914 the country entered into the First World War. In peaceful circumstances the union would probably slowly and gradually be provided in all areas.

From the examination of administration and some events that are closely connected we can deduce that the big enjoyment from the re-annex changed into a disappointment. After the settlers moved away, from the ethnical point of view the region became unified, although not considering the national rights, the population of Csallóköz found itself in worse circumstances. Although an entire picture and a final assessment can be received only after a research that involves every territory.

Endre Tóth:
The first bilateral discussions between Czechoslovakia and Hungary (1921) – Bruck an der Leitha (2nd part)

From the Czechoslovak-Hungarian relations’ aspect, 1921 can be viewed as an important year. After two years of difficult coexistence in the first part of the mentioned year, in Middle-Europe that was newly arranged after the war, the backgrounds for, even if not friendly relations, but traditional communication between the governments of the two countries were set, of which all the necessary conditions – through the signing and ratifying the Trianon Peace-Treaty by the Hungarian National Assembly – were define from the previous year.

The first bilateral discussions on Ministry level took place in Lower Austria, Bruck an der Leitha, on 14th – 15th March 1921 – when the leading politics of the newly-formed Czechoslovakia and the post-war Hungary met: Edvard Bene¹, Czechoslovak Foreign Minister, and his Hungarian partner, Gratz Gusztáv, and Teleki Pál, Hungarian Prime Minister – as a result of the series of secret discussions that began in autumn 1920. This first meeting determined the process and character of the discussion that run in the spirit of mutual recognition of the viewpoints concerning the parties’ development of Middle-Europe and of the arrangement of the relations of the two parties. This meeting on ministry level meant the clash of the two discussion conceptions at the same time. While the Czechoslovak party, in contrast with raising political questions, initiated mainly to discuss the economic questions, while the Hungarian party connected the discussion of political issues with raising economic questions. Moreover, this Ministry-level discussion was not only of informative character, but there were concrete results. Both parties agreed on establishing four professional committees – political-legal, financial, transport and economy –, within the framework of which the most fundamental issues of the normalisation of neighbour relations can be solved. Although, the possibilities of solving the joint problems were very soon broken by Habsburg Károly’s first restoration attempt.

Zsuzsanna Lampl:
Give 1 percent!

In 2002 Slovakia’s taxpaying population had the opportunity to grant its tax’s 1 percent to one of the non-profit organisations – chosen by the population voluntarily – for the first time. After the adoption of the act, the organisations of the third sector – managed by the Information Centre – ran an extensive campaign for informing the population. Was this campaign successful? In what extent did it inform people, and what is more important, in what extent did it mobilise the taxpayers to exercise their right arising from the act?

The sociological survey – that was prepared by the Forum Institute for Social Studies and ordered by the Information Centre – presented below tried to find the answer for these questions. The standard questionnaire survey took place from 2nd to 9th July 2002. The representative sample consisted of 1043 adults, i.e. Slovak citizens over 18 years of age. 10.3 percent of the sample were people of Hungarian nationality. The data-collection was led by the Focus agency.

If we divide the 1 percent granting campaign into two parts: information giving and persuasion, the first campaign seems to be more successful than the second one. Because 71 percent of people who were questioned during the survey knew about the 1 percent, although only 20 percent of them granted it. And if we consider only the actual people who were concerned, i.e. the taxpayers, then the proportion is even worse: from those, who are taxpayers and were informed about the 1 percent, 60 percent did not grant it. The reason for this was not that they were distrustful towards the non-profit organisations, rather because of ignorance, forgetfulness and because of the demanding administrative side of the granting process.

Forty percent of entitled persons granted. They supported such organisations of which services are utilised by their family members or such organisations of which activities they knew well. Most of them supported health, educational, and sports organisations, and from the geographical point of view, they chose organisations that operate in their nearest locality.

The proportion of people of Hungarian nationality who granted their 1 percent was even lower, 30 percent. They supported educational, health, cultural, and religious organisations, and from these from a geographical point of view they chose such educational and cultural organisations that operate in their locality.

Sándor Bordás:
Social Consequences of Regime Changes (Value Confusion and Psychopathy)

After the 1989 changes in Slovakia serious value changes took place that affected and still affect the behaviour and lifestyle of people. For a lot of people, money and getting rich means the only value, and in order to achieve it, nothing deters them sacrificing family, health, honourable and moral behaviour. This essay intended to examine this change/shift of values of adolescents and youths, since parents’ behaviour samples, way of thinking infiltrate to the personality through identification processes. We tried to reveal that value judgement that is formed after the influence of parent and friend relationships. We defined six value circles within the framework of one test: performance, emotions, honesty – verity, family, belief and money, about which we asked 518 students of four classes of the Business College in Veµký Meder and the Grammar School. The received results show paradoxes, value confusion and the question is whether these events can contribute to the formulation of a psychopathic personality? We can see that crime, cheating, fraud has grown in our society. Has the number of psychopaths also increased? What are the characteristics of psychopathy? Is it curable?

Key words of the essay: value confusion, verity, performance, money, corruption, fraud, cheating, psychopathy, possibilities of treatment.

Rastislava Stolièná:
Slovakia as an ethno-cultural field

The author in her study examines the European roots of the Slovak folk culture, and its embeddedness in Europe. First, she emphasises the impacts of the natural environment, mentioning that Slovakia lies in the northern part of the Carpathian basin, at the boundary of two natural regions: the Carpathy that is of mountainous character and the Tisza-Pannon area that is of flat ground character. Later she introduces the connections of the Slovak folk culture to the folk culture of other nations of Europe in relation with several migration processes (the settlement of Slovaks in the region, the coming of Hungarians, the many waves of German colonisation, the Vlach settlement, etc.). Denominational status also strongly influences the certain expressions of folk culture, therefore she deals with this aspect too. Later she deals with the effects of public administration, central direction, and emigration to America. At the end she points out that the territory where Slovakia stretches in Europe, has always been an eventful, open, and transitional territory; effects of European culture coming from its western and eastern parts as well have always influenced it. Therefore the ethno-cultural phenomena have been formed by several effects that finally resulted in colourfulness and variety.

See also synthesis on this issue titled Slovakia – European Contexts of the Folk Culture (Bratislava 1997) in English.

József Liszka:
Differentiation and Homogenisation in the Culture of the Hungarian People in Slovakia in the 20th Century

The present Hungarian nationality people in Slovakia found themselves in minority position after the First World War, in the territory of Czechoslovakia in 1918. This community of over 600 thousand people lives on the territory of roughly 500 kilometres stretching by the boundary regions of the present Slovakia’s southern part. The Hungarian language area in Slovakia can from the ethnographical point of view be divided at least into three major cultural units, and in general these units were in closer relationship with the neighbouring Hungarian, and/or Slovak territories than with each other. This differentiation seemed to be gradually equalised after the formation of Czechoslovakia in consequence of the changes of new administration and trade centres, new school system, infrastructure, etc. This homogenising process was supported by several Hungarian folk programmes in Slovakia, centrally directed educational camps, the Csemadok – the Cultural organisation of Hungarians living in Slovakia – etc. Since after 1989 the central role of Bratislava in the Hungarian cultural life has gradually become weak, several local and regional societies and associations have been created and today this homogenising process seems to come to a stop, while the territory is also affected by different globalising effects.

Gyula Viga:
Changing of Economy, Society, and Culture in the Education/Culture of Bodrogköz in the 18th – 20th Century

In the first part of the 1990s (in the first years with the support of the Ethnographical Institute of the Academy of Social Sciences) the author provided ethnographical research in the villages of north Bodrogköz that belong to Slovakia, of which results he summarised in a volume of essays and studies and in several papers and lectures. This survey – presenting some case studies – summarises the changes of economy and society of that territory that took place in the 18th – 20th century. The author states that the regional research can reveal edifying connections between the different periods and levels of the territory’s education/culture. The people of the historical area are the inheritors of their ancestors’ lifestyle and culture even though they do not know or avow it. The process of modernisation and achievement of middle-class status do not entirely eliminate the traditional education/culture: in the core of it there is everything in which the descendants are practically identical with their ancestors whom they barely know. Knowing the historical precedents, the old system of connections/interdependence is indispensable if we want to define the regions’ Europe and to form harmonious relationships between nations and ethnic groups that live together. The northeastern part of the historical Hungary with its complex cultural formula and its late achievement of middle-class status is especially suitable for revealing and analysing the examined processes. The past decades prove that this disadvantaged territory is affected by strong economic and social pressure and if considering the accessibility to culture, the territory is underdeveloped. Therefore, from professional-methodological and practical point of view, it is worthy to continue in the research.

Ilona L. Juhász:
The ”Permonyík” (Mining Ghost and Mining Imp in the Suppositional Life of the People Living in a Mining Settlement in Gemer, Rudna)

In mining areas Europe-wide the character of the mining imp or mining ghost is well-known. Certain people name it differently and there are a lot of suppositional stories connected with this figure. Generally, it is described as a dwarf-like figure, but in some places it is said to be a giant. It holds a miner’s lamp and/or mining tools in its hand and according to the suppositions it represents the ghosts of miners who had a disastrous fate underneath the ground. The folklore literature recognises several types of the imp’s actions and character. It can appear e.g. as a helping or harming ghost: it can help the miners in finding the ore, it can signalise the possible dangers, it can work for them, but it can also cause misfortune, falling in of the mine in case the dwarf is made angry. The study introduces this suppositional figure on the basis of collected materials in Rudna (Slovakia), that is a settlement with Hungarian majority and stretches on the Slovak-Hungarian language border in the former county of Gemer. The Hungarian and Slovak population of the above-mentioned community and the surrounding villages call this mining ghost ”permonyík” and ”perpónyik”. The author of the study summarises the results of ethnographical examinations of mining ghosts and then presents her own research results. The ethnographical researches provided up to now confirm that the suppositional figure was brought to the life of the population of the research area and to the historical Hungary by German miners; its name also refers to German origin (Bergmandl). The author on the basis of collected materials in 2000-2002 introduces another suppositional legends and stories of the village’s population and shows how known are they in the circle of the population. The author also examines what differences are in certain age groups. She also states that the closing up of the mine (in 1979) contributed to the fact that the suppositional stories almost entirely disappeared from the memories of people. Only a few people of older age – that were asked – knew what ”permonyík” means; while in the middle of the 20th century a researcher succeeded to record a story in which a miner described his experience with the ”permonyík”. Today the majority of people know about this figure only from children’s playing songs. The author in her study faithfully discloses the suppositional stories recorder by her and by other ethnographers.

István Lanstyák:
Varieties of the Hungarian Language Spoken Outside Hungary – Superstitions and Clichés

The author, referring to a lecture of the Hungarian linguist living in Romania, Szilágyi N. Sándor, that took place at the general assembly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2002 gives his view on some of the issues of the varieties of the Hungarian language spoken outside Hungary, mainly on unscientific language superstitions spread by language cultivators and on simplifying doctrines and clichés that can be found in bilingual and social linguistic handbooks.

The functioning conditions of the Hungarian language are in Hungary and in the seven countries that surround Hungary different, therefore the Hungarian language in these countries changes in a different way. In Hungary, where the Hungarian is the official language, the conditions are favourable. In the other countries, Hungarian is a minority language and its variation is influenced by different social conditions and by the country’s official language (and in some cases the country’s other languages). Language cultivators often talk about the development of the Hungarian language as a ”threatening danger”, while objective analyses can lead only to the conclusion that the development of the Hungarian language is the necessary consequence of the dissolution of the historical Hungary in 1918 and at the same time it is a fortunate fact, because it proves the vitality of the Hungarian language. Concerning the ”language unity” emphasised continually by language cultivators, the author quotes Sándor Szilágyi N., according to whom the „unity of the Hungarian language can be maintained only if we realise that it is possible to speak Hungarian in different ways, and it is OK.”

Since the Hungarian language is used in official functions in many countries – although, in a limited extent – (it has official status only in Hungary), it is qualified as a pluri-centric language; state variations – that differ in a small extent – of the Standard Hungarian language is spoken in several countries of the Carpathian basin (first of all in Hungary, then in Slovakia, in the territory called Kárpátalja in Ukraine, in the territory called Erdély in Romania, and in territory called Vajdaság in Serbia). Language cultivators tried to question this fact, although in order not to classify the Hungarian language to be a pluri-centric language, the definition of pluri-centrism should be changed.

One of the important characteristics of the varieties of the minority Hungarian language is the linguistic insufficiency; of which main reason is the situation of the minority, and/or that language discrimination that is felt by the population with the Hungarian mother language since 1918 in the countries that surround Hungary. The author compares linguistic insufficiency with contact phenomena. The contact phenomena – when considering in a tighter sense – enrich the minority varieties of the Hungarian language, although linguistic insufficiency reduces the communicative potential of speakers, and they are forced to use the second language in such cases when they should not feel the urge to do so. linguistic insufficiency prevents people from exercising their language human rights – e.g. the right to use their mother language -, and even their basic human rights can be reduced, e.g. right to freedom of speech, since the lack of knowledge of the language can mutilate the message of the speaker or entirely silence him.

Later, the author examines the relation of language cultivation and language planning. In contrast with that general opinion that language planning is simply a more modern and scientific form of language cultivation, the author definitely separates the two, although he does not contradict that there are connecting points between them. The author opposes with that popular opinion that language cultivation is necessarily a marking activity. He gives an example of the Gramma Language Office in Dunaszerdahely/Dunajská Streda, Slovakia, which activities are language advice service by telephone, e-mail and snail-mail for institutions and private persons with the aim of facilitating bilingualism; translation revision; compilation of bilingual forms and texts for use in state and local administration; revision and editing of publications development and planning of lectures and courses in the field of linguistics and other social sciences.

„The Reason of My Father’s Fall was that He Saw the Situation in a Very Real Way”
Béla Angyal’s interview with János Lelley

Angyal Béla, historian, author of the book that was recently published with the title Organizing National Minority and it’s Self-defence (Chapters from the history of the Hungarian party policy in Czechoslovakia between 19118–1938) speaks with János Lelley, son of Jenõ Lelley, born in 1909.

Jenõ Lelley was born in 1879 in Nagykér. He accomplished his studies in law in Budapest, then he worked as a lawyer in Nitra during the time of state changes (dissolution of the Austria-Hungarian Monarchy, formation of Czechoslovakia). He participated in the organisation of the Hungarian Christian-Social Party in Czechoslovakia, and in March 1920 he was elected for the post of the party’s first national chairman. Between 1920 and 1925 he was the parliamentary representative of the party. Due to internal party struggles in May 1925 he had to resign from his post. The main reason of his resignation was that he lost the support of the Hungarian government. After the split in the party, in November 1925, he led the west Slovakia group of the party in the Parliamentary elections, but they did not succeed to step across the electoral threshold and did not enter the Czechoslovak Parliament. After that, he withdrew himself from politics.

During the interview Jenõ Lelley’s son recalls his father and that period that he experienced as a child.