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The importance of stories

Text: Balázs Trautmann | Photo: László Kertész |  11:53 August 15, 2022

“Nándor Gion has shown us that all men, all nations live in their stories. And we must tell these stories further”. This was stated at a ceremony held in the Nándor Gion Memorial House at Szenttamás (Srbobran), Serbia on Sunday, 14 August.

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The memorial day – which has traditionally been held every August since 2012 – saw the unveiling of the bust of Nándor Gion, prose writer, editor and journalist (who passed away in 2002) and the holding of the award ceremony of the 2021 novel and short story competition. Among others, the event was attended by Eszter Gion, the writer’s widow and Gábor Gion, the writer’s son, MoD State Secretary for Strategic Analysis and Human Policy, as well as by Lieutenant Colonel Pál Fejes, Hungary’s military and air attaché accredited to Belgrade.

“Although my father wrote most of his works in Novi Sad and Budapest, he took the essence of his books from here, from this street and the people living on it. The strongest characters, the best venues all originated from here, Szenttamás. This place must certainly know something, since it gave such strong characters, good stories and permanent values for artistic depiction”, pointed out Gábor Gion.

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The state secretary highlighted that the relations between Hungary and Serbia have never been so good on the level of intergovernmental relations; and culture, too, has an important role in this achievement. “Culture is one of the strongest fields of our strengthening political relations: if cultural ties will also deepen and we consider each other’s culture as ours, then this good relationship will be permanent and sufficiently deep”, said Gábor Gion.

Until January 31 this year, altogether five novels and 31 short stories have been submitted to the novel and short story competition announced on 1 February 2021. This year, the professional jury judged Miklós S. Tátrai’s novel “Chasm”, and Zoltán Riegel’s short story “Cherry-picking” to be the most outstanding ones. The award-winning authors read short excerpts from their works during the event.

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The ceremony finished with the unveiling of Nándor Gion’s bronze bust, which was made by sculptor László Szilágyi and funded by the Hungarian National Council.