After the speech of Deputy Mayor Dr. Gábor Erős, International Director János Kovács, the moderator of the ceremony, gave the floor to the main foreign VIP guest, H.E. Mr. Morteza Moradian, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Budapest. His Excellency’s participation at the opening ceremony carried special actuality, since the guest of honor of this year’s Avicenna Christmas Fair is “Persia”, which means that about half of the exotic products at the fair came directly from Iran. Ambassador Moradian praised the stable, always problem-free and historically long lasting Hungarian-Iranian relations based on mutual respect. He also highlighted an actual event of great importance such as the upcoming Ministerial meeting on the agenda of the Hungarian-Iranian Joint Economic Committee, that seems to be embedded for by the Avicenna Group’s Christmas Fair, which carries both cultural and commercial values.
The next high-ranking speaker was Mr. Miklós Bornemisza, Vice President of the International and Foreign Economic Cabinet of the Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BKIK). Mr. Bornemisza also praised the excellent relations between the BKIK and the Avicenna Group, and later even suggested that the Budapest Chamber would be glad to take on the role of co-organizer at the next year’s Avicenna Christmas fair.
Professor Dr. László Rosivall, PhD, DSc, FERA, FAPS, the former Rector of Semmelweis University, also played an important role with his speech, as he himself was present at the launch of Avicenna International College 28 years ago. He noted that in the beginning, the main goal of this institution’s activity was to attract and professionally embrace talented Iranian students who wanted to build their future in the field of medicine. As a result of the continuous development of the Avicenna group, students from around two dozen different nations study now within the walls of the patinated educational institution built in 1898, which now not only offers active university preparation programs, but effectively operates an English-language high school that has recently won a full-fledged, long-term ERASMUS partnership.
Later, the guests took their seats in the designated space in front of the stage located at the end of the pavilion and watched the performance of two groups of artists who enriched the opening day by providing distinctive cultural value:
- First, under the leadership of drummer Kristóf Kövér, who also is one of the head coaches of the Dragon Sword Kungfu Association, presented the famous Chinese “Lion Dance”, which, according to Chinese beliefs, brings cleanness to the event opened in this way and good luck to those who touch the dancing lion. This group was introduced to us by the ELTE Confucius Institute.
- The second artistic performance was a “three-phase”, dazzling Korean classical dance performed by the Mugunghwa (mallow flower) Korean Traditional Dance Ensemble led by Zsuzsanna Vargáné Esztergomi, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Han You Hungarian-Korean Arts Foundation. We got to know the foundation thanks to the great help of the Korean Cultural Centre operating in Budapest.
After expressing their appreciation to the performers, the guests returned to the building of the Avicenna International College to enjoy an exotic reception in its impressive restaurant.