These 4 little
books and the attached CD's contain a representative sample of Hungarian
folksongs. It is a small sample of a rich musical trove: the data
base of the Hungarian Science Academy's Music Institute records over
150 000 songs. Some of these reach back into the centuries well prior
to the birth of Christ, when the ancestors of the Hungarians lived
on the vast steppes below the Ural mountains. Others are from the
various periods of Hungary's 1100 year-long history within the Carpathian
Basin of Central Europe.
Yes: wherever they may be. Because today, as a consequence of the tragic 20th century, one third of the Hungarian people live outside the present borders of Hungary. After World War 1, over 3 million found themselves living in foreign countries even though they had not moved at all: instead, the country's borders had moved-over their heads, so to speak - when Hungary's historic territory was reduced by two-thirds. In addition, throughout the century, another 1.5 - 2.0 million were forced to find refuge in countries of western Europe and overseas, in Australia and the Americas.
The life of
the person in whose memory this collection is being published - Margit
Kokron Dömötór - exemplifies Hungary's turbulent recent history.
Forced by WW-I I to leave the country at the age of 6, she grew up
in Switzerland, Argentina, Chile and Brazil, spending most of her
adult life in Brazil and in the USA. As a young girl she joined the
Hungarian Scout Association Abroad, which has troops in North and
South America, Australia and Western Europe. While she held a number
of leading positions, Hungarian folklore became her special area of
expertise, which she transmitted to several generations of young people.
She knew close to two thousand songs, and it is from among these that
we have selected the contents of these CD's. Upon her death in 2001,
the Scout Association, together with the Hungarian Cultural Society
of Connecticut, decided to create a memorial foundation which would
continue her work of preserving and disseminating Hungarian folklore.