Info campaign on Polish diasporas inaugurated in Hungary

With as many as 20 mln Poles living abroad, the Association “Polish Community” decided to stress the importance and engraft the status of the Polish diasporas in awareness of their compatriots in Poland and foreigners by launching the “There are 60 millions of us” information campaign.

The campaign was inaugurated on Thursday in Budapest, Hungary. Out of 60 mln people of Polish origin worldwide, as many as 20 mln live abroad.

Another goal of the campaign is to encourage Polish communities around the world to intensify their cooperation with Poland.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Association “Polish Community” Zenka Bańkowska said that despite the Hungarian Polish diaspora being only 7,000-people-strong, its proactivity was remarkable. “The Polish minority in Hungary enjoys the comfort of having a spokesperson and the local authorities finance many institutions such as a Polish community school and a Polish museum,” said Ms Bańkowska.

The incumbent Polish minority spokesperson Ewa Słaba-Rónay said that her job is different from that of an MP only in that “we don’t have the right to participate in voting sessions. Nevertheless, we work as part of committees and we keep track of matters crucial to (…) the Polish minorities (…) We jointly opine acts and express our objections. We try to work unanimously.”

All that is done for the better good of the Polish diaspora in Hungary, whose rights, as Ms Słaba-Rónay put it itself, are “obvious and indisputable.”

“Nationalities who have been living in Hungary for over 100 years enjoy official rights of minorities. As long as 300 years ago highlanders from Poland’s Podhale region came to these lands searching for land and employment, and thanks to them our history and our rights in Hungary are obvious and indisputable,” said Ms Słaba-Rónay, adding that the rights “allow for the existence of self-governments whose independent decisions shape their activities. The Countrywide Self-Government supervising Polish education in Hungary is an example of such an institution.”

And as the spokesperson stressed, the self-government’s activity is “indispensable because despite the fact that Polish Sunday schools have been operating since 1993, they were insufficiently financed by the Hungarian state. In 2004, a complementary school was established and its departments may be found wherever larger communities of Poles live (…) Educators must meet the Hungarian education criteria, meaning, they have pertinent education“.

The “There are 60 millions of us” campaign is carried out thanks to the support of Poland’s Senate, the President’s Office and the National Media Council (RMN).