The Confucius Institute of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Debrecen organized a scientific conference entitled “Rice in China and Hungary” on Saturday in Gyomaendrőd, in connection with the Chinese autumn festival and the beginning of the Hungarian rice harvest.
The program was also hosted by the St. Anthony’s House of Culture and House of Culture, as the fifth venue – after Debrecen, Hajdúszoboszló, Hajdúnánás and Budapest – the Chinese Lunar New Year showcase exhibition, jointly organized by the UD Confucius Institute of the University of Debrecen, Tianjin Foreign Studies University, Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts and Gyomaendrőd city.
The current event focused on the Far Eastern country’s national dish, rice.
– The most characteristic feature of a people is always its nutritional culture. As an ethnographer, I believe what bread means to Hungarians and rice to the Chinese people – the dean of the UD Faculty of Arts (BTK) said in his online greeting. Róbert Keményfi emphasized that a central theme has been chosen, which has a huge cult, a food that has now become a symbol on an international level, reflecting the whole of Chinese culture.
The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Budapest congratulated the conference on its organization.
The series of scientific presentations was opened by Pál Csontos, the Hungarian director of the Confucius Institute at UD BTK, presenting the work taking place at the institute, and thanking the city management of Gyomaendrőd and museum director István Szonda for making the conference possible. As stated, in the coming years the Confucius Institute would like to offer further scientific and educational activities and events to the settlement.
– Rice is a staple food on the Chinese man’s table. In Asia, China, especially in southern China, you can eat without vegetables, but not without rice, stressed Cui Xianjun, the Chinese director of the UD Confucius Institute, who recalled his childhood eating habits, recalling his stomach, noting that the stomach is the second brain of people.
Lectures were given at the conference – among other things – on the history of rice production in Hungary, its long-term possibilities, as well as on the spread of rice in Hungary and its role in nutrition.
It is no accident that the latter topic came to the fore, as the introduction of rice cultivation began in Békés County, including Gyomaendrőd, as early as the 19th century. In addition to the environmental conditions, the experimental spirit and perseverance of the people living here are now mature, Máté Giricz, currently located on the outskirts of the settlement, is one of the largest and most modern rice growing companies in the country.
As part of the program, thanks to Magdolna Giricz, a food presentation awaited the participants of the event, who were able to taste rice dishes prepared according to several traditional Chinese recipes.
The conference ended with a presentation by the Debrecen Chinese Students ‘Students’ Association, which featured the special voice of the Chinese piano, “gu zheng”, as well as a singing and dancing program by UD Chinese students.