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Hungary, just as it was 200 years ago on the day its national anthem was written, remains Hungarian, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Sunday, marking the Day of Hungarian Culture.

Addressing an ecumenical worship service in Szatmárcseke, in north-eastern Hungary, where Ferenc Kölcsey penned the Hungarian national anthem in 1823, Orbán said that thirty years ago he had believed that Hungarians’ merit was their unwavering desire for national independence. Hungarian heroes who had died “under the blood-stained flags of freedom” earned the nation its right of survival, he added. He said he still believed this but also believed that it was necessary to “fight our freedom fights not merely for the sake of political independence and economic and political self-determination”. “We always fought our biggest battles … for the right to remain who we are and to live the way we want” and not “how others tell us to”, he said. “We have always found the paths for our own life,” Orbán said. Even when it couldn’t be openly written on the flag, everyone knew that we are who we were and will be who we are.”
The prime minister also greeted the city of Veszprém, in western Hungary, a European Capital of Culture in 2023.