GLOBALink | Budapest celebrates 200th birthday of Petofi with "Chinese-Hungarian poetic dialogue"

BUDAPEST, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Literary experts from Hungary and China commemorated the 200th anniversary of the national poet Sandor Petofi's birth with a "Chinese-Hungarian poetic dialogue" here on Thursday night.

The event, jointly organized by the China Cultural Center in Budapest and the Petofi Literary Museum, started with the recital of Petofi's poems in Hungarian and Chinese by sinology students at the Eotvos Lorand University of Budapest, and was followed by a roundtable discussion among literary experts.

The discussion was moderated by Klara Zombory, a famous sinologist and translator.

Sinologist and lecturer of the Chinese Department of Pazmany Peter Catholic University Zsuzsanna Csibra, Hungarian literary and social historian Emese Gyimesi, and literary translator and researcher of Petofi Li Zhen, participated in the dialogue.

"Petofi is a foreign poet very familiar to Chinese people, his poems were introduced to China in 1907. Since then, many translators and writers in China have translated Petofi's poems," Li told Xinhua following the event.

While there were a great many events organized in Hungary in the frame of the Petofi bicentennial commemorative year, the present event was outstanding. "Not only is it about Petofi in the souls of the Hungarian people, but we are also representing what Petofi means to the Chinese people," Zombory said.

She was very proud that Petofi's oeuvre had been published in Chinese although some translations were almost a century old and needed to be reworked to be more in accordance with the expectations of the current times.

She was convinced that Petofi, born 200 years ago, led such an exciting life that he is still very much loved by the younger generations.

The audience loved the commemorative activities about Petofi held in China and Hungary, said Jin Hao, head of the China Cultural Center in Budapest.

"Through the holding of these activities, the people of the two countries can have a deeper understanding of their respective cultures and literature, and the friendship between the two countries has been deepened," he said.

Hungary marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Petofi with many bicentenary programs both in the capital and in rural museums and memorial sites.

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