“Because we share the dream of living in a country where…”

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In early August, we again set out with the young participants of the Dancing on the Square project to spend another week among the Nógrád hills in Hollókő.

The staff and volunteers of the Foundation For Democratic Youth were once again our partners for the organisation and implementation of the camp. The second rotation included children from Apátfalva, Somoskőújfalu, Szigethalom and Téglás. They are regular visitors with the Festival Orchestra, including in Hollókő. The novelty for the kids lay not so much in meeting new people, but in observing how much the others have grown, changed or developed over the years. Once again this summer, the kids all had a role in laying down the ground rules of the camp together, in line with the ethos of the Dancing on the Square project, to ensure that the subsequent days would be spent in harmony and mutual consideration.

Dancing and music, laughter and crying – there was plenty of each. On the first day of the camp, the young members of Perpetuum guided the campers, exhausted by the journey and the heat, through the world of jazz, with songs that were either familiar or brand-new to them. They had a great feel for the kids, who soon learned and sang the songs together with the band.


By the next day, the kids had completely recovered from the journey and were eagerly searching for treasures in a Harry Potter treasure hunt first at the campsite, then also on printed sheets, fitting together the tiny puzzle pieces in the story they knew so well.  While one half of the kids were engrossed in the story conjured up by the Libri staff, the other half experienced magic of a different kind, in the form of an instrumental recital by music school students from Budapest. For many of the children, this was their first encounter with a bassoon, flute or clarinet.

Bélaműhely once again brought interesting instruments and sounds and played music together with the children. Gypsy dance workshop, relay races and camp dance – every day brought a new adventure. The camp came to an end on Saturday, with the young people saying tearful goodbyes in the hope of meeting again.

In addition to the well organised and interesting activities, the creative and development small-group sessions gave children excellent opportunities to make decisions, create and add value together, regardless of their backgrounds. Taking everyone’s ideas and dreams into consideration, they were able to think about a shared living space, and a shared and better future, where everyone is appreciated and important. Meanwhile, the teachers accompanying the campers were busy, too. All that time spent together created the perfect opportunity for deep conversations, getting to know one another and exchanging ideas.

We fully agree with FDY’s vision: “Because we share the dream of living in a country where people don’t act as if they were enemies, where children can be brought up to create, think, cooperate and be compassionate towards others, and where we grownups can remain children at heart, too.”

The two rotations of camp confirmed for all of us the value and the important message of the project. We are already looking forward to our next time together: the 5th Dancing on the Square performance next year.

Photographs by Fanni M. Benkő.