in the capitalcity of Hungary


Let me briefly inform you about a projected event organized by the Albannach Scottish Cultural Society ( from Hungary.

The Scottish are preparing with several cultural and historical programs to commemorate William Wallace, who died 700 years ago. As you know: David R. Ross, current convenor of the Society of William Wallace, will commemorate the memory of Wallace, by walking from Robroyston near Glasgow, to London, on the 700th anniversary of the actual event. Wallace was captured on the 3rd of August 1305, and arrived in London on the 22nd of that month, the journey taking 19 days. On the 23rd, he was taken to Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the current Houses of Parliament, where his sham trial took place. He was taken outside and tied to the tails of horses to be dragged the 6 miles through the city to his murder at Smithfield. Therefore the same dates in 2005 mark the 700th anniversary.

The walk will end at the Church of St Bartholomew the Greater, the oldest church in London, and there will be a private, invitation-only commemoration of Wallace, very like a funeral service, starting there at 3pm. This will last about an hour and a half. St Kentigerns in Lanark is to be the last resting place for the "Spirit of Wallace". There is also a huge event in the town over the weekend of the 10th and 11th of September, when many thousands can gather to pay homage to Scotland's National Hero. The coffin will be carried through the town on the evening of the 11th, the anniversary of his victory at Stirling Bridge, to its final resting place.

The Albannach Scottish Cultural Society also joined the program of the Wallace anniversary. It is our common aim to present and represent Scottish tradition, national and cultural values, thus we consider it our duty to commemorate William Wallace.

Our society decided to organize a torchlight commemoration on the Heroes’ Square of Budapest on 11. September 2005 – the same day when our Scottish friends’ commemoration takes place in Lanark. Thus we can build a relationship overcoming borders between the two countries. Following the solo of György Kéri only Hungarian bagpiper and a short speech by the President of our society, participants will light their torches and form a W-shape for the short and silent commemoration at 7 p.m.

As the program will take place on 11 September, we would also like to commemorate the victims of the tragic terror attacks of New York and London.

The torches will flame and the bagpipe will sing for them as well.

Enclosed you will find a brief introduction of our society and the documentation of our latest charity event. We hope that you could make a little article, a report about our program.

Yours sincerely,

Lajos Tamás Szalay

Journalist, President of the Albannach Scottish Cultural Society

Albannach Scottish Cultural Society










Albannach : Scottish roots in Hungarian land

A young cultural society, dedicated primarily to the familiarisation of Scottish values and Scottish culture, has just started its work in Hungary with encouraging enthusiasm and dynamism. The founding members of Albannach Scottish Cultural Society are young Hungarians, most of whom work in the media and in the field of mass communication, which means an obvious advantage in realising the target of cultural events and news.

The president of Albannach, Lajos Tamás Szalay, as he puts it, a "foolish and faithful" admirer of Scotland for years, is devoted to act as a voluntary ambassador, spreading the beauty of Scottish culture, the values of the country and its people. In 2003, with the help of VisitScotland and Hungary’s market leading publishing company, Szalay published his guidebook on Scotland. Due to the financial contributions of several generous sponsors, an album-like, descriptive and informative guidebook was put together. According to the publishing company, reprinting has become necessary, as each copy has been sold out. Szalay offered his royalties to a school supporting the education of blind children. The book has recently been registered by the National Library of Scotland and an article was also published about it in the prestigious Glasgow Herald.

The primary aim of founding Albannach was to establish still closer links between Scotland and Hungary on the basis of common, but at least similar historical and cultural events, memories. The society firmly believes that the enlargement of the European Union provides an excellent opportunity to build a bridge between the Scottish and Hungarian cultural world. It is important to help Hungarian people learn more about the Scottish and to have more and more Hungarians visit and understand Scotland. As a first step, Albannach bought the domain on the Internet (Skócia=Scotland) to create a regularly updated information portal. Besides containing a number of important and interesting news and data, the website also gives continuous and accurate information on Scottish and Hungarian events, cultural initiatives.

Albannach has been establishing more and more contacts both in Scotland and in Hungary. Besides the leadership of VisitScotland, several MPs of the Scottish Parliament, the operative colleagues of Scottish Executive, the vice-president of the National Bank of Scotland and several key personalities of Scottish cultural life have already assured the society of their personal support. Kálmán Kovács, Hungarian Minister of Informatics and Communications, was among the first to welcome the initiative and the successfully launched information portal of Albannach.

The Hungarian society is about to establish better and tighter cooperation with Hungarian fellow societies, including the Hungarian-Scottish Society, which was founded several years ago, and the Budapest Scottish Dance Club. While acknowledging the results achieved by its fellow societies in the last years, the leadership of Albannach is willing to point out that besides charitable and diplomatic events, much more emphasis should be laid upon the organisation and management of programs propagating and supporting Scottish culture. They believe that despite the previous work of fellow societies, not enough emphasis and support has been dedicated to Scottish cultural initiatives and programs in Hungary. Therefore Albannach is primarily planning to improve this situation and become the flagship of a related movement – in accordance, of course, with its possibilities. It is, however, encouraging that although the society was officially founded not long ago, it has already been registered both in Scotland and in Hungary.

A high priority project of Albannach is the publishing of a short book during the summer. The book will be about Scottish Gaelic language and the related linguistic, visual and musical culture. At the same time we are also planning to start a small advertising campaign in Budapest, promoting Scottish culture and the Gaelic language. The book will be put together by Lajos Tamás Szalay; preparatory works have already started.

As a Gaelic-related book might not have much business value in the recent Hungarian publishing market, the society has decided to take charge of proofreading and publishing. In the meantime, members are continuously searching for possible sponsors. It is important to note that several well-known publishing companies have already expressed their willingness to help in future distribution. Szalay, going on with the established tradition, is about to devote the income to charity purposes. According to the decision of the leadership of Albannach, the royalties will be transferred to a foundation supporting blind children.

A future plan of the members is to organize a spectacular cultural weekend, a Scottish Weekend (probably in 2006). According to preliminary ideas, visitors could watch movies, attend exhibitions, literary and musical evenings. Some of the further plans are publishing and managing literary volumes, establishing diplomatic relationships, founding and operating a Scottish Cultural Office in Budapest, and organising children’s and youth camps dedicated to Scottish culture.

I am looking forward to hearing from you in due course and thank you in advance for your time.

Yours sincerely,



Albannach Scottish Cultural Society (Hungary)

Postal address: ASCS, Budapest, Páskomliget utca 22. X/40, 1156, Hungary

Fax: 0036-1-4779020

Mobile: 0036-30-2763472







Kálmán Kovács, Minister of Informatics and Communications, Hungary


"Every nation has its own characteristic features. Ordinary things and concepts uniquely related to a nation, country or region. The same applies to Scotland as well. All of us have heard about Scotch whisky, kilt or the "mysterious" Loch Ness monster. The unflattering phrase "to be a Scot" (stingy) also sounds familiar. This widespread belief, however, is based on a misconception. In my personal opinion, Scotland is a beautiful and friendly country and the Scottish are not "Scots" at all.

This is why I recommend Scotland with all my heart to everyone interested. I can assure you that whoever visits Scotland will meet a wonderful country and hospitable people.

Thanks to the Albannach Scottish Cultural Society a new opportunity has now arisen to learn about Scotland. This website helps you get acquainted with the sights of Scotland as well as with Scottish culture and the Celtic tradition."




The Day of a Hundred Smile"

Charity-project of Albannach Scottish Cultural Society - 11.05.2005

On the 11th of May 2005 the presidency of the Albannach Scottish Cultural Society shared out one hundred packages of toys, books, magazines and sweets in the Childrens' Hospital of Madarász Street in Budapest. György Kéri, the first and only Hungarian bagpiper and Gábor Kapócs, the under-secretary of the Ministry of Health were both present at the charity event.

Gábor Kapócs under-secretary, György Harmat director of the Hospital,

Lajos Tamás Szalay president of the Albannach and Alexandra Jenei, the secretary of the Society

György Kéri bagpiper, Alexandra Jenei,

Lajos Tamás Szalay and the hundred packages



Alexandra Jenei secretary of Albannach and one of the children in Hospital Madarász

György Kéri bagpiper is giving a package

A short selection of the presents

(Partners of the „Day of a Hundred Smile"-program: British Airways, Malév Hungarian Airlines, Walkers Shortbread, General Press, Hungarians Society in Scotland, Ringier Kft, Kossuth Publishing, etc…)

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