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Hungarian Cultural Festival opens in Beijing

Princess Sissi is known to millions of people in China. So is Hungary's great poet Petőfi. Though a small country, Hungary is rich in culture. Hungary is bringing its best to China for the Hungarian Cultural Festival.

Famous Hungarian singer Beáta Palya opened the concert. It's a performance revealing the rich music traditions of Hungary: Hungarian, Gypsy, Jewish and Balkan. The melodies echo the quotation of Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály “let everyone have his music”. Hungary brings its best to China. 74-year-old pianist Tamás Vásáry is honored as a national treasure of Hungary.

The maestro and his wife, ballet dancer Henriett Tunyogi gave a fresh interpretation of Liszt's great piece. The couple has been performing around the world. This is their debut on the Chinese mainland. They've waited, wanting to be here for a long time. At the opening ceremony, Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány expressed his wish for closer and deeper ties between Hungary and China through cultural communication.

From theatres to universities, the fiesta shows the full-spectrum of Hungarian culture through the ages. There's an operetta of Sissi's story, a folk-music exhibition by collector Zoltán Kodály. There are puppetry shows about the patriotic poet Petőfi's life; a Hungarian film festival and on top it all week of great food and colorful lifestyle.

Fan Jing, senior project manager of China Performing Arts Agency, said, “The one-year-long festival is a large-scale cultural exchange activity of China and Hungary. Next year, we will invite Chinese artists to Hungary to show the best of our culture. China and Hungary are apart in distance. Yet, culture is a mental bridge for us.” (Read more)