Cleveland Cultural Gardens – Hungarian Americans celebrate multiculturalism

On June 24 the Hungarian section of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens celebrated its 80th anniversary. Cleveland has one of the largest Hungarian American communities in the United States.

Hungarians and Romanians celebrate together at the Cleveland Cultural Gardens.

I visited the garden a couple of years ago and highly recommend it to those who are interested in nature or Cleveland’s history. The Gardens were created at a time when the US was threatened by “Americanism,” our own brand of nationalism. They were created to recognize and appreciate the customs and traditions of people of many nations. The constant infusion of new immigrants has enriched us as a people and has made Cleveland a great city.

The Gardens are located in Rockefeller Park, a tranquil 250-acre setting donated to Cleveland by John D. Rockefeller in 1896 in celebration of Cleveland’s first centennial. Landscape architects designed the ravine with four stone bridges to carry transportation routes across the Park. Twenty-five nations are represented in the Gardens. The American Legion Peace Gardens (Garden of the Nations and Garden of the States) represent the central theme “Peace through mutual understanding.” There is a marble crypt containing soil from twenty-eight nations, mixed together to symbolize harmony and unity among all people.

In the musical program 14-year-old Brian Harper played Bartók’s Allegro Barbaro.

Carolyn Balogh, Hungarian Cultural Garden president welcomed the crowd on June 24 and there were speeches after the US and Hungarian National Anthems. Some older Clevelanders were present who remembered (and had also attended!) the original dedication of the Hungarian section in 1938.

Ms. Carolyn Balogh, Hungarian Cultural Garden president.

In May 2015 Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán declared that the era of multiculturalism is over. In an interview with daily Napi Gazdaság he claimed: “Multiculturalism means the coexistence of Islam, Asian religions and Christianity. We will do everything to spare Hungary from that.” It seems that the Hungarian American community of Cleveland strongly disagrees with him.

I was dismayed that the organizers invited Ms. Zita Bencsik, Consul General of Hungary in Chicago who briefly greeted the audience. Ms. Bencsik’s invitation was inappropriate and her presence was an insult to Clevelanders. Her government openly promotes xenophobia and intolerance, the very same values Clevelanders and the vast majority of Hungarian Americans in North-America soundly reject.

It was inappropriate to invite Ms. Zita Bencsik, Consul General of Hungary in Chicago.

A Proclamation was also issued by the City to the Hungarian Cultural Garden signed by Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson. The Mayor invited all Clevelanders to celebrate this “momentous occasion” and the contributions of Hungarian Americans to his City. I was happy to see that Consul General Bencsik was not mentioned in the Proclamation.

György Lázár

12 Comments

  1. Chris, I don’t know if you realize, but your behavior in regards to censorship on this site hurts you more than it hurts my right to free speech. It is not so much that you will gain a reputation for unfair censorship. You have shown that you know how to take care of that by simply not publishing any comments that complain about your behavior, therefore the public is spared from knowing the truth in this regard. It is the reputation of this site which will suffer, because when there is no push-back and challenge allowed to ideas being pushed on one side, it quickly ends up a place where articles and forums will descend into more and more unreasonable arguments, leaving any somewhat impartial reader who might stumble on to the site with a negative impression.

    Just to give you an example, I am sure you know Eva Balogh. I don’t believe she does it anymore, but she used to zealously censor comments. The end-result is that she now has a radical following which praises her for any fantastical ideas she puts forward. A few months back, before the election, I visited her site and saw an argument on the forum where they were seriously discussing Orban bombing Hungarian towns with “barrel bombs” if he will lose the election. Now, needless to say that anyone from outside who will stumble on to that conversation, will need no further clues in regards to what the site is about. Keep this up, and your little site here will become no different. In fact, it is already increasingly pushing fantastical ideas, which are harder to defend, which is why you have to resort to censorship. You may think that you are helping win arguments here through censorship, but you are wrong, because as I pointed out, you are on your way to defeating your own arguments!

    There was really no ethically justifiable reason to censor my comment. Article condemns Hungary’s rejection of multikulturalism, I simply pointed out the unethical aspect of pushing such a concept on a distinct ethno-cultural entity, by pointing out the differences between Hungarian identity and American identity, which makes it inappropriate and unethical to do so. And yes, you can disagree with me, but given that I did not violate the generally accepted decorum online, you had no reason to censor me. Disagreeing with me is really not an ethically viable reason at all.

    • Hungarian Free Press says:

      Commenting on this site is a privilege, not a right. You are advised to find yourself a pro-Fidesz site (there are many more of those than there are opposition sites) and comment there.

      • So you are an advocate of ideological segregation versus dialogue? Interesting! But Mr. Reality Check was just recently flashing your mission statement, claiming that you are impartial, among other things. Does that not mean that everyone is welcome, regardless of views?

        I am not disputing your right to censor. I do think that you are one of the most zealous & biased in this regard that I have ever come across. You mentioned “Fidesz sites”? Have you ever had your comment censored on Magyar Hirlap for instance? It shows you and your fellow contributors here are simply not confident in allowing for a fair rebuttal of your work. Did you ever consider that then perhaps the problem is with your arguments that cannot stand up to scrutiny, rather than me?

        BTW, censorship on your own blog may be your privilege, but ethically, your behavior remains wrong nevertheless.

        • Peter your scribbler is so primitive and self-mournful and arrogant that is not worth publishing. buhääh he did not publish me, that gives revenge buhääh.

          An example „Did you ever consider that then perhaps the problem is with your arguments that cannot stand up to scrutiny, …“ What argument, it is an opinion!

          You think you’re smart … on the contrary.

          • Did you ever get censored just because someone disagreed with you? Do you believe it is ethical to do so?

            Did you think your own argument through before writing?

            If my comments here would not be anything else but an intelligent rebuke, therefore inconvenient, would anyone bother to censor? Would it not be more convenient to publish in order to highlight the “dumb” argument of the other side, therefore reinforce their own?

            “You think you’re smart … on the contrary.”

          • Robert Morrison says:

            Or had your comments ever kept in limbo by not “moderating” it rather having labelling them as “Your comment is awaiting moderation” to suppress your opinion indefinitely like 8 of mine at this moment?

            Just to mention the free flow of ideas a la liberal method.

          • Don Kichote says:

            „Did you ever get censored just because someone disagreed with you? Do you believe it is ethical to do so?“

            You do not even know what censorship is, poor droplet, Wiki helps. If you publish “Der Stürmer” to be able to write under it, that’s racism. No, a racist or fascist opinion is not an opinion it is a crime … against everything that stands for civilization (or the blog).

            Oh yes, I have not been published many times, probably I was not good enough … what should it be. Only chauvinists have a problem with that, see Wiki.

            „Did you think your own argument through before writing?“ Yes, and you.

            „Did you ever consider that then perhaps the problem is with your arguments that cannot stand up to scrutiny, …“

            “… intelligent rebuke …” oh that is intelligent?

            “Would it not be more convenient to publish in order to highlight the “dumb” argument of the other side, therefore reinforce their own?”, no look at “Der Stürmer”.

            Can you give me an argument for human rights without taking your comments to absurdity?

          • Don Kichote says:

            Oh, excuse me not chauvinism I meant, but narcissism.

    • Don Kichote says:

      Peter, from you i did not heard any truth – and who is Chris?

  2. Vivian Kahn says:

    2019 International Jewish Genealogy Conference will be held in Cleveland next summer. Anticipating a good number of Magyars to attend. I will be there and look forward to connecting with relatives whose families settled there in the early 20th century.

  3. Robert Morrison says:

    @ Mr. Lázár

    Greeting from the capital of Xenophobia-Intolerance Land, the vibrant and beautiful illegal immigrant-less Budapest. It’s so refreshing to be Home again!

    “I was dismayed that the organizers invited Ms. Zita Bencsik, Consul General of Hungary in Chicago who briefly greeted the audience. ”

    Why I am not surprised? Being such a Hungarian (Government) hater anything connected with this country’s duly elected government dismay you. Why would this be different?

    “Ms. Bencsik’s invitation was inappropriate and her presence was an insult to Clevelanders.”
    Should ask them rather than proclaiming for them how insulted they were by the presence of the Consul General of a Democratic Country that supplied so many good people to the USA!

    “Her government openly promotes xenophobia and intolerance, the very same values Clevelanders and the vast majority of Hungarian Americans in North-America soundly reject.”
    I wouldn’t bet my money on the last part of this statement. It might be true for the blinded far left liberals, but please do not make proclamations for the society that you are not representing and reaslly have no idea how they think or feel.

    Just another chance for your venting on the Hungarian Nation that seems to be overwhelmingly “xenophobic and intolerant” in your distorted views. It has never crossed your mind that they might be right and you might be wrong?

    For the record; how many illegal invaders did you house in your own home? Or you are again beating the stinging nettle with others c….?

  4. Robert Morrison says:

    Hello Chris,

    In spite of several request to release, moderate or advise of your reason for not doing either,

    3 of my comments are waiting for moderation since the 20th of July and on just here on “Cleveland Cultural Gardens – Hungarian Americans celebrate multiculturalism”,

    6 of my comments are waiting for moderation since the 20th of July on “The Orbán Government insults French President Emmanuel Macron”,

    2 of my comments are waiting for moderation since the 13th of July on “Fidesz holds Budapest’s Józsefváros in mayoral election amidst 23 percent turn-out”,

    2 of my comments are waiting for moderation since the 13th of July on “Daniel Berg’s letter to the American ambassador in Budapest, David B. Cornstein”

    Isn’t that a form of censorship to silence differing opinions?
    The “Orbán rezsim” could take a course from HFP in the subject of suppressing opposition, I guess.

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