Debrecen Summer School

Prompted by three professors (János Hankiss, Rezső Milleker, and Béla Tankó), the Council of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Debrecen resolved to found Debrecen Summer School on May 9, 1927. Their purpose with the new institution was to popularize Hungarian as the language of a “small” nation in a world in which, as Hankiss put it, “nations are so intertwined that it would be a hopeless and harmful endeavor to pick out certain thicker lines, single national threads, to the detriment of the whole fabric.” To quote Professor Hankiss again, getting to know the long-suffering Central Europe with any degree of depth “may as well start with getting to know Hungary… given that the history and cultural life of Hungary incorporate a large part of the nations and values of Europe along the Danube River.”

Eighty years later, on June 23, 2007, the Association of Hungarian Heritage and Europe declared in the great assembly hall of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences that “Debrecen Summer School’s service to preserve the Hungarian language” makes it worthy of receiving the Hungarian Heritage Award. The same year the 80-year-old institution was awarded the Pro Urbe Award of the city of Debrecen. Is this a Hungarian success story? One from Debrecen? Probably more than either of them. It is a Debrecen initiative launched in the spirit of university integration and internationality. In the past nine decades, DSS has grown to assume nearly world-wide status and shown examples of good practice to several similar ventures. At the same time, it has gone to great lengths to remain a torchbearer of Hungarian language and culture both inside and outside the present-day borders. Source: Debrecen Summer School Website

Updated: 2017.09.14.


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