HU: Prof. Szöllősi-Nagy András idén köszön le a delfti székhelyű UNESCO Víztudományi Oktató Intézet (Institute for Water Education) rektori posztjáról, amit 2009 óta töltött be. Búcsúbeszédét a leköszönése alkalmából szervezett szimpózium mondta el Delften, 2014. szeptember 12-én. Az ünnepségen részt vett Dr Réthelyi Miklós, az UNESCO Magyar Nemzeti Bizottság elnök, beszéde alább olvasható. Tovább információk elérhetőek az Intézet hivatalos honlapján.
EN: On 12 September 2014, the farewell event of Rector András Szöllösi-Nagy was organized on the occasion of his retirement. Prof. Szöllösi-Nagy was Rector at UNESCO-IHE from 2009 to 2014. Dr Miklós Réthelyi, Chairperson of the Hungarian National Commission for UNESCO attended the ceremony, his speech can be read below. Also for more information please visit the official website of UNESCO-IHE
Valedictory address and Mini symposium
September 12, 2014, Delft
Guests! Dear András!
Thank you very much for giving the opportunity to say few sentences why so many of our compatriots were more than pleased when the news spread that Rector Magnificus András Szöllösi Nagy would continue his activities in Hungary, at home.
As many of you certainly know, our country is rich in rivers, springs, one finds several lakes in the map of Hungary. One of them, Lake Balaton - with its almost 600 square kilometer surface - is the largest lake in Central-Europe. With its shallow banks and numerous beaches it is a beloved resort site for many Hungarian families and it was a treasured meeting point of the separated East and West German families for decades before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Along the North-South axis of the country runs the Danube. It washes the banks of ten countries, four capital cities, 15% of its length waters Hungarian soil. The Danube was the border, the Limes between the Roman empire and the barbarian tribes for centuries.
The Hungarian poet, Attila József wrote in 1936 about the Danube:
I sat there on
the quayside by the landing,
a melon rind was drifting on the flow.
I delved into my fate, just understanding:
the surface chatters, while it’s calm below.
As if my heart had been its very source,
troubled, wise was the Danube, mighty force.
However, one does not find only poets near the shores of this river. The establishment of a UNESCO transboundary biosphere reserve along the Drava, Mura and Danube Rivers, by the governments of Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia and Slovenia in 2012 protect many other species in their rich natural habitats, as well.
Yes! We came a long way from the halfway secret decision of the Hungarian Government in the seventies to build a hydroelectric plant on the Danube. The Bős-Nagymaros case prompted the organization of civil societies and incited - in the late eighties - the turmoil leading to the collapse of the communism in our country.
Had I more time, I could also tell you poems written by another Hungarian poet about our second largest river, the Tisza.
It would be worthy also to speak about our precious water resources, about the floods and droughts. About the large number of cold and hot water springs, about the spas, about the bath-culture that goes back to the 16th-17th century as one of the rare lucky relics. of the otherwise unfortunate Osman occupation.
I hope that with this short address I could convince you that Hungary welcomes the homecoming of András Szöllösi Nagy. We do need his expertise, his personality, the water-wisdom represented by him and the world-wide network he created while he was the Rector of this excellent institute.
Let me finish by reciting the last verse of the already quoted poem in the master translation of Peter Zollman:
…I want to work. It’s hard for human nature
to make a true confession of the past.
The Danube, which is past, present and future
entwines the waves in tender friendly claps.
Out of the blood our fathers shed in battles
flows peace, through our remembrance and regard:
creating order in our common matters,
this is our destiny; and it will be hard.
Dr. Miklós Réthelyi
President of the Hungarian National Committee of