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Fatherland in the heights
The Hungarian National Studies student book, which won first prize at the competition of the Hungarian Ministry of Education, was written for teachers and students above ten years of age living in the Western World and for the Hungarian ethnic minorities beyond our borders, learning and speaking Hungarian.
This book is intended as a supplement to their studies laying the foundation to their knowledge of the nation, giving a free hand to the teacher to assemble various curricula for students speaking the language at different levels, ranging from beginners to intermediate students preparing for their matriculation examinations in Hungarian (compulsory or optional). The teaching of Hungarian language and Hungarian studies in general can only be effective if one can convince their children that it is in their own interest to keep their Hungarian selves. Claiming two cultures as their own is such a gift in the world that makes it possible for them to find their way in life more easily than people being raised in only one culture.
This study book makes learning and getting to know Hungarian culture, Hungarian landscape and language attractive and friendly and gives a sense of winning within the student. The issue, rich in colorful pictures and illustrations, is made up of two volumes but makes up one whole. It gives an overview of the secrets of ancient Hungarian history, the world of national characteristics and symbols, the peoples and landscapes of the Carpathian basin, of Hungarians living in the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth, or in North America or Western Europe.
The survey also gives an introduction of Hungarian history. introduced in small chapters, a Pantheon of world famous artists, scientists and sportsmen, and demonstrates at the same time the beauty of Hungarian language and sets examples of the linguistic creations and our most renowned writers.
The aim of the authors was to give specific Hungarian-related knowledge in the field of Hungarian studies, and at the same time to keep the adequate level. Another aim was to provide this knowledge as a complement to education acquired in foreign schools and to form Hungarian self-image. Keeping in mind that foreign Hungarian students will study this book in very different circumstances, in different schools and with various language skills, the second aim of the authors was to express themselves clearly, sometimes to explain, to order the chapter; adequately and to aid orientation, with a lot of colorful maps and pictures.
This gap-filling study book, published in the centennial anniversary of Gyula Illyés, one of the nation's greatest poets, is useful in educating both Carpathian Hungarian communities and to be integrated into the Hungarian studies curricula of foreign universities. The publication, carrying the message of the above named poet, can be used in domestic schools as well as it contains the curricular requirements of homeland and national studies in the basic national curriculum, version B.
István BAKOS
Creative editor
Head of Advisory Board of the Bethlen Gábor Foundation

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