The "Kisebbségekért - Pro Minoritate" Foundation organizes the Csángó Festival for the seventh time on 22 February 2003 in the Petőfi Csarnok. This time again former prime minister Orbán Viktor was asked to be the patron of the evening.
Basically the aim of the event is to show the exceptionally old and rich folk art and traditions of the Csángós living in Moldavia and Gyimes (Ghimeş) to the guests from Hungary and abroad.
The festival wants to give the Csángó Hungarians, who preserved many elements of medieval and early modern Hungarian and European culture, an opportunity to present their costume, customs, music and dances on stage. The audience can become part of this culture by joining the dancers in the dance house until dawn. In this part of the program those interested can learn Csángó Hungarian dances from folk dance groups from Moldavia and Gyimes.
It is important that beside traditional presentations guests can get an insight into the Csángós' culture by means of contemporary arts, too. Therefore there will be an exhibition of works by photographers, and textile and film artists. In the photos taken in the last decades everyday moments of the Csángós come to life again, and one can follow the changes in the lot of the almost entirely isolated Hungarian communities.
The Pro Minoritate Foundation and the Csángó Cultural Association of Moldva is organizing the seventeenth Csángó Ball in Budapest, in the Petőfi Csarnok (Petőfi Hall) on 9 February 2013, already a tradition by now. The Csángó Ball is a whole evening programme, composed of parallel running programmes, and is the Budapest festival for Csángó Hungarians. The patron of the XVII. Csángó Ball is dr. János Áder, the President of Hungary.
The organizers of the programme intend to call the attention of the public to the unfavourable social and economic processes endangering the existence of Hungarians in Moldva, and would like to support efforts aimed at the survival and the rise of Csángó Hungarians.
The programme aims to present the extraordinarily archaic and incomparably rich popular traditions and culture of Moldva and Gyimes Csángós to the Hungarian and the international public. With our festival we would like to create an occasion for the Csángós to bring and present, to those interested, the culture they cultivate, their national costumes, customs, music, dances in the context of a stage performance. For this purpose we have invited performers from Csángó villages.
In 2013 we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Incze János Petrás, Minorite monk, Klézse priest. The programme intends to commemorate the scholarly Klézse priest who was committed to Csángó Hungarians., presenting his correspondence with his fellow countrymen, his collections, as well as documents about him. From 19.00 in our programme the stage will be taken by cultivators of the Csángó traditions from Klézse, Külsőrekecsin, Magyarfalu, Somoska, Pusztina, Egyházaskozár, Setétpataka, Gyimesbükk and Gyimesfelsőlok. Our guests will be: Erzsébet Bálint Balán, Ilona Nyisztor, András Hodorog, László István Legedi, Mária Petrás, Aurel Mandache, Gheorghe Stefan, Ivanciu Milea, Paun Ionel, Timár Viktor, Timár János, Antal Tibor, Zerkula Memorial Band, Mihály Dresch Dudás, Bácsi Gyurka Band, Fanfara Complexa, Somos Ensemble, Zurgó Ensemble, Kőketánc Children’s Dance House, Szellő Dance Ensemble, Tintér Gabriella, Szigony Ensemble. The programmes on the stage will be followed by dance houses, concerts, song teaching and other programmes at several places.
However, we find it important to present certain elements of Csángó culture not only through traditional means but also through contemporary arts. The public can see the works of Mária Petrás ceramist at our exhibition.
Moldavian Csángó Hungarians were first mentioned in historical sources in the thirteenth century. According to today's generally held view, they came from the Carpathian Basin to their present place of living to guard the eastern frontiers of the medieval Hungarian kingdom. In the fifteenth century Hussite heretics from South Hungary took refuge here from the inquisition. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries wars and epidemics made the number of the Csángós decrease considerably, and it started to increase again only from the second half of the eighteenth century, when Szeklers immigrated to Moldavia in greater and greater number after the massacre in Mádéfalva (Siculeni) in 1764. This was the time when Gyimes, the so far uninhabited pass of the Eastern Carpathians became peopled.
The Csángó Hungarians in Gyimes and mostly in Moldavia are a community that have lived separated from the motherland and as a minority for centuries. Among people with different language and religion, their culture became isolated and thus - and also because of the Turkish reign in Moldavia until 1861 - conserved. Therefore they still have many features of traditional, pre-industrial societies.
Today only a fragment of the circa 250,000 Moldavian Csángó Hungarians speak Hungarian, about 60,000 people. However, they cannot use their mother tongue in administration, school and church.
Not having an intellectual class, a real political interest group or any other independent institutions, Moldavian Hungarians are defenceless against globalisation, modern nationalism and economic recession in Eastern Europe.
At the beginning of the new millennium - due to Hungarian foreign political efforts - the international public follows the difficulties of the Moldavian Csángó Hungarians as well as their cultural values with special attention.
On 23 May 2001 the Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe unanimously accepted the report of Finnish rapporteur Tytti Isohookana Asunmaa (Csango minority culture in Romania, Doc. 9078 4 May 2001). This report says: "Csangos speak an early form of Hungarian and are associated with ancient traditions, and a great diversity of folk art and culture, which is of exceptional value for Europe."
On 6 June 2001 the committee gave voice to its worries about the situation of the Csángó minority in Romania again.
On 9 October 2001, during his visit in the Vatican, Hungarian president Mádl Ferenc gave thanks to the Apostolic Holy See for their role in achieving that the Council of Europe officially declared the language of the Csángós Hungarian language. The President was informed by the Vatican that they had made steps in order to have the consequences drawn and to make the practice of religion in Hungarian possible.
In September 2002 - after nearly fifty years - Hungarian could be taught as a school subject (as a chosen foreign language) in two Moldavian Csángó villages, Klézse (Cleja) and Pusztina (Pustiana).
In the past years the Festival became acknowledged and popular. Estimated by the number of invitations cards sent and tickets sold, each festival was visited by about 3000 people, including illustrious representatives of Hungarian social, economic, cultural and political life. Several newspapers, radio and TV channels gave information on the events.
The organizers of the Csángó Festival wish to call public attention to unfavourable social and economic processes that threaten the existence of Moldavian Hungarians and they want to find support and supporters to their efforts in the interest of the survival and progress of the Csángó Hungarians.
The Csángó Festival is a nine-hour-long program with events running parallel. Similarly to the previous years, traditionalist groups from Gyimes and Moldavia as well as professional and amateur groups from Hungary can be seen on the stage. Guests can get an insight into the musical and dance culture of the Csángós with the help of about fifty dancers, singers and musicians invited from Moldavia. The concert and the performance are planned to be followed by dance house.
Musicians and dancers come from Gyimesbükk (Ghimeş-Făget), Gyimesközéplok (Lunca de Jos), Hidegség (Valea Rece) and Setétpataka (Valea Întunecoasă) from Gyimes, and also from Klézse (Cleja), Pusztina (Pustiana), Külsőrekecsin (Fundu Răcăciuni), Lujzikalagor (Luizi-Călugăra), Băcioi from Moldavia.
Guests from Hungary: Berecz András and the Egyszólam Ensemble, Szabó Dániel and Unger Balázs, Fábri Géza and Szokolay Balázs, Kerényi Róbert, the Somos Ensemble, the Zurgó Ensemble and the Ordasok Folk Dance Group.
The Csángó Festival, now traditional, was organized by the Kisebbségekért - Pro Minoritate Foundation for the sixth time on 16th February 2002. The patron of the evening was Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Basically the aim of the program was to show the very old and exceptionally rich folk art and traditions of the Csángó Hungarians in Moldavia and Gyimes (Ghimeş) to an audience from Hungary and abroad.