After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, the two countries had rich cultural relations. However, due to changing political winds, the billowing cultural sails were diverted for a short moment of history, and only got under way in the beginning of the 21st century. Since then, it is in continuous movement, resulting in sprawling nexus until today.
Short historical review:
- 1953. – Chinese Film Festival in Budapest.
- 1954-1955. – Chinese National Football Team’s fitness camp in Hungary.
In April 1954 25 Junior Chinese National Football Team members started their 1,5 years long fitness camp in Hungary.
- 1955. – József Domján wood-carver artist travels to China.
During his several-months-long journey, József Domján met Qi Baishi, the father of modern Chinese painting, starting a beautiful friendship.
- 1955. – Presentation of the Middle-Chinese Radio Tower, built with Hungarian support.
- 2007-2008. – Hungarian Season in China.
The cultural events of Hungarian Season titled „Freedom, love" Hungarian Culture in Focus, were organized in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Shenzhen. The Season offered exhibitions; folk-, jazz- and classical music concerts, operetta nights, literary discussions, gastronomic events, theatrical performances and puppet shows, film weeks, classical music master courses, and also translation conferences. In addition, within the confines of the Hungarian Season, Hungary participated in educational fairs in Beijing and Shanghai, and was the guest of honour at China – Shanghai International Art Festival. In Shanghai, the second bust of Sándor Petőfi was also inaugurated.
- 2008. – China participated at the 15. Budapest International Book Fair as guest of honour.
- 2008. – Vacation of Chinese children in Hungary.
After the tragic Sichuan’s earthquake in 2008, Hungary offered help in the vacation of aggrieved children. Within the confines of the program, 50 older than 12 years old children could travel to Hungary. Most of them never traveled outside the shire. Before the departure, the Embassy of Hungary in Beijing held a reception for the children with the participation of Chen Pest, actor-humourist.
In the past years, a new movement characterizes the cultural relations between the two countries:
2011. – Liszt Year in China.
For the 200 anniversary of the birth of Ferenc Liszt, a monumental series of events were organized, such as piano concert of Claudia Yang, Liszt Extravaganza concert-series, donation of sculptures about the famous Hungarian musician to the Chinese National Grand Theatre, exhibitions, piano concert at Chinese Academy of Music by Péter Nagy, head of the piano department at Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music.
2011. June – Introduction of contemporary Hungarian artists at Chinese Museum of Fine Arts.
20 June 2011 at 8 halls and two floors of Chinese Museum of Fine Arts 33 Hungarian artists exhibited 303 art pieces at the event titled „Hungarian Art”. The exhibition was part of the Bilateral Cultural Cooperation Plan, as well as the exhibition of contemporary Chinese artists in Budapest, held the year after.
August-September 2012 – Contemporary Chinese art exhibition in Budapest.
The contemporary Chinese art exhibition of Chinese Museum of Fine Arts opened its gates in August 2012 at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest.
8 November 2012 – Investiture of the Insignia Pro Cultura Hungarica to Yuan Xikun artist.
The insignia was handed over by Marcell Biró Ph.D., administrative secretary of state of the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice. At the ceremony, the New Liszt Ferenc Chamber Choir sang pieces of Liszt and Lajos Bárdos.
14 May 2013 – I. China-Central and Eastern European Countries’ Cultural Forum in Beijing.
At the event Hungary was represented by Zoltán Balog, minister of human resources.
14 May 2013 – Signing of Bilateral Cultural Cooperation Plan for the years 2013-2015.
The Cooperation Plan was signed by Zoltán Balog, minister of human resources and Cai Wu Chinese minister of culture.
August 2013 – Hungarian Bridge Summer Camp.
In August 2013, for the invitation of Viktor Orbán Viktor prime minister 100 Chinese students could travel to Hungary to learn about Hungarian culture. With the programs of Hungarian Bridge Summer Camp the participants could visit historical sights of Budapest, travel to the Danube Bend and to Veszprém, and they also could start to learn Hungarian language by favor of ELTE Confucius Institute.
13 November 2013 – Opening ceremony of Beijing Hungarian Cultural Institute.
Xie Jinying, the director of Chinese Ministry of Culture International Affairs Office and Péter Szijjártó, minister of state for foreign affairs and for foreign economic relations of the Prime Ministry and government commissioner responsible for coordinating Chinese relations officially opened the gates of Beijing Hungarian Cultural Institute. At the opening ceremony the first Hungarian-Chinese coproduction movie, the China, Hungary and football was screened, and the guests also could attend the “Gombold Újra” Fashion Show, where Hungarian traditions are rethought.
13 February 2014 – Visit of the Prime Minister at Beijing Hungarian Cultural Institute, investiture of the Insignia Pro Cultura Hungarica to Claudia Yang pianist.
The season opening of the Cultural Institute was attended by Viktor Orbán prime minister, who at that time was on an official visit in Beijing, and also by Hungarian and Chinese politicians and experts of the cultural field.
29 March 2014 – “Welcome spring” exhibition in Beijing.
The exhibition opened in China Millennium Monument was organized by the Chinese Academy of Paint and Calligraphy, what belong under the Chinese Ministry of Culture, and the Beijing Hungarian Cultural Institute. At the exhibition the visitors also could see works related to Hungary made by various famous Chinese artists.
7 October 2014 – Voice of Yunnan concert in Hungary.
The event was held in Budapest for the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
11-31 October 2014 – Forever friends – József Domján and Qi Baishi exhibition.
The exhibition was held in Beijing Hungarian Cultural Institute for the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
12 December 2014. – Investiture of the Insignia Pro Cultura Hungarica to Gao Jianjin professor.
The insignia was handed over in the Beijing Hungarian Cultural Institute by Cecília Szilas ambassador for the pioneer work of the professor in the propagation of the Kodály-method. At the event Ding Wei, deputy minister of culture, Wang Cizhao, head of Chinese Central Academy of Music and Cecília Szilas Ambassador delivered a welcome speech. At the ceremony three of China best choirs had a performance: the 6th grade choir of Philharmonic Experimental Primary School, the choir of the Central Academy of Music Practicing School and the choir of the Central Academy of Music.
29 January 2015 – “Mihály Munkácsy and his era, Hungarian painting at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries” exhibition opening in Beijing.
The art exhibition is a remarkably important result in point of the bilateral cultural relations, since this is the second time after the first Munkácsy exhibition 63 years ago, that the Chinese audience could admire the works of the famous Hungarian painter in Beijing.
During the event, the Hungarian National Museum of Fine Arts and the Beijing Academy of Fine Arts also signed a cooperation agreement to organize an exhibition in April 2015 in Budapest at the National Museum of Fine Arts from the works of the famous Chinese painter, Qi Baishi.
March 2015 – Hungarian Rhapsody at Beijing Minzu Hotel.
During the one-month-long series of events the guests not only could learn about Hungarian gastronomy, but also about Hussars, folk dance, folk music and customs, Hungarian inventions and last but not least about the offers of Hungarian higher education institutions.
19 June 2015 – Sport and Educational Conference in Beijing.
The Conference was organized by the Embassy of Hungary in Beijing and the Beijing Hungarian Cultural Institute in name of the EU Delegation for the 40th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the EU and China.
13 November 2015 – Signing of Bilateral Cultural Cooperation Plan for the years 2016-2019.
The Cooperation Plan was signed by Péter Hoppál, secretary of state responsible for culture in the Ministry of Human Resources and Luo Shugang Chinese minister of culture.
March 2016 – Hungarian Cultural and Gastronomic Month in Beijing Minzu Hotel.
Due to the great success of the last event, this time the series offered an extended range of programs, besides the Hungarian cuisine’s masterpieces proffered in the Hotel’s restaurant, a series of children’s events was also added to the colorful performances of Hussars, folk dancers and singers.
May 2016 – Hungarian Month in China.
With the support of the Cultural Secretariat of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Embassy of Hungary in Beijing and the Beijing Hungarian Cultural Institute organized a one-month-long series of programs for the popularization of Hungarian higher education and culture. The series was titled Hungarian Month, included 22 major programs and several side-events, from which the Culturebazaar was so significant, that the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs included it officially in the 2016 China-CEEC Civil and Cultural Programs.
August 2016 – 23. Beijing International Book Fair.
On the near one week long event Hungary participated as one of the 16 guest of honour countries of Central and Eastern Europe. At the Fair István Íjgyártó, secretary of state responsible for cultural and science diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade delivered a welcome speech.
30 November 2016 – „One Belt, One Road” culture-education-tourism working team session.
The culture-education-tourism working team, leaded by István Íjgyártó, secretary of state responsible for cultural and science diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, had delegated members from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ministry of Human Resources and also from the Hungarian Tourism Agency.
Highlighted events from the European Union:
2016 EUnic EUrope
The 2016 EUnic Europe season was organized by EUNIC, EU Delegation in Beijing, Embassy of Hungary in Beijing and Beijing Hungarian Cultural Institute. The aim of the season was to represent the colorful European culture on a weekly basis, each time at a different cultural institute or embassy.
The 2016 EUnimals season was organized by EUNIC, EU Delegation in Beijing, Embassy of Hungary in Beijing and Beijing Hungarian Cultural Institute. The aim of the season was to call the attention to the environmental protection on a monthly basis, each time at a different cultural institute or embassy.