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With more than 2,500 participants, the literary contest “Way of Life” organised by the Ministry of Social Affairs of Hungary in the frame of the European Year 2012 has proved to be an outstanding success.
Aimed to promote intergenerational dialogue, the contest encouraged senior citizens to write about their lives and their historical memoirs and share them with the younger generations. Hence, in many cases, participants wrote these texts in collaboration with their children or grandchildren.
The winners were announced during a ceremony which took place in Budapest on May 29th. A total of 107 participantss were rewarded with cash prizes, subscriptions to literary magazines or books.
“It’s not important what you have, but who is beside you”, reminded Erika Asztalosné Zupcsán, Deputy State Secretary for Social Affairs, during the ceremony. She also explained that young people like to listen to the stories of their grandparents, so that’s the reason why the constest encouraged citizens over 60 to share their experiences and memories about the past, without thematic limitations.
The film director Gábor Hanák, poet Márton Kalász and writer Huba Kozma evaluated the finalists, which had been preeviously pre-screened by students due to the high participation. Writer Anna Jókai, president of the Jury, praised the essays received and emphasized the importance of sharing our stories before the end of our life with the younger ones.
Among the finalists there are stories from war times, about marriage and the importance of family which must be said and should be taught.
During the ceremony, members of Ministry of Social Affairs informed about the changes in pension system and gave individual counseling to those who had doubts.
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