This article was written as a reflection of the coverage on Viktor Orban government's financing of Hungarians abroad. The Sme daily was part of an international project of journalists from Slovakia, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, together with the Investigative Centre of Jan Kuciak. All the stories that emerged from the project are available at www.hungarianmoney.eu.
It would hard to fit the identity of ethnic Hungarians solely into the grand categories of nation and nationality.
That identity is also formed by poets Endre Ady, Attila József and Árpád Tóth. And by all the things that the Hungarians cannot name other than in their mother tongue. Children laugh about the fat bird Artur, cry over the fate of Vuk the fox, and listen to the tales of king Mátyás.
Some speak the dialect of the people from Gemer, but most are able to round the vowel 'a' to make it sound like a Budapest accent. At the same time, they have learned to pronounce Slovak words like zmrzlina (ice-cream) or vŕba (willow tree).
Along with the fragile porcelain cups of their grandparents they have inherited the stories they would like to tell their grandchildren in Hungarian. They want to live in dignity and speak Hungarian without the fear of a beating like Hedviga Malinová received.
A commentary is too short to list even a fragment of all the things ethnic Hungarians consider values worth protecting and that make up their identity.