Kallos Zoltan Alapitvany logo

About the Foundation

Our foundation was established in 1992 by the Kossuth Prize laureate ethnographer Kallós Zoltán. His famous saying is also the motto of our institution, guiding our work each day: “We will maintain our Hungarian identity until we sing in Hungarian and dance the Hungarian way”.

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The Kallós Zoltán Foundation is a wide-ranging institution with three main areas of activity: providing educational programs, public cultural activities, and the maintenance of the founder’s ethnographic collection. Our mission lies in the transmission of Hungarian folk culture, in uniting and strengthening the Hungarian diaspora, and in cultivating the legacy of our founder, thus conserving Transylvanian folk traditions and handing them down to the younger generation.

We are acutely aware that, in addition to nurturing the mother tongue, the secret for preserving our ethnic identity is held by our culture of song and dance. Our work of 27 years proves that this renewed heritage, both tangible and intangible, can be transmitted to future generations. Hence, we believe that those who visit us in Válaszút (in Romanian: Răscruci) will leave with gifts providing guidance and a value system to follow even within our contemporary crisis of values.

About Kallós Zoltán

Born on March 26, 1926, in the diaspora region of the Transylvanian Plain (Mezőség, or Câmpia Transylaniei, in Romanian), în Răscruci (Válaszút), at a 26 km distance from Cluj (Kolozsvár), the famous ethnographer has spent his childhood years in an ethnically mixed village, where he had the chance to learn the Romanian and the Romani language in parallel with his Hungarian mother tongue.

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After Válaszút, he continued his studies at the Reformed College of Cluj. Then he went on to the Pedagogical College of Sfântu Gheorghe (Sepsiszentgyörgy), but got his graduation diploma in Cluj. Between 1946 and 1950, he worked as a primary school teacher in Viștea (Magyarvista). In 1951, he was admitted to the College of Music, where he was a student of the legendary Jagamas János, who encouraged him to pursue his activity as a collector of folklore, which he has already begun in his childhood. This preoccupation was now also aided by Gunda Béla’s courses in ethnography, held at the University of Cluj.

The first years of communism already predicted his later troubled life. His family was designated as „kulak”, that is to say, a public enemy. Thus, his official relationship with the College of Music ended in 1955. Due to his professional calling and curiosity, as well as on the basis of his teaching diploma, he was appointed as a school teacher to Lespezi (Lészped), a Csángó village from the vicinity of Bacău (Bakó). It was here that he got to know their traditions and, faced with the forced Romanization policy of the state, he also began to collect their vocal and instrumental folk music and other traditions.

In 1957, teaching in Hungarian was prohibited in the Csángó villages of Moldova. However, he was not able to leave this enchanting region. Thus, he took up a job in logging in the Ghimeș (Gyimes) valley, where he worked for eight years. During these years, he got acquainted with Martin György and Andrásfalvy Bertalan, with whom he later shared his travels through Transylvania, especially in the region of the Transylvanian Plain and Călata (Kalotaszeg), in order to record the everyday traditions and the knowledge of the folk dancers, musicians, and singers.

He began publishing the volumes of his uniquely valuable ballad collection in the ’70s. Nevertheless, this did not mean at all an end to his harassment by the authorities.

The regime change in December 1989 and the facilitation of border crossing also meant that he could now better enjoy the fruits of his hard labor. Now he could also begin to systematize his enormous collection and to publish the recorded material. In 1992, he created the Kallós Zoltán Foundation, which to this day organizes and supports various activities directed at the preservation of Hungarian folk traditions. The Foundation is also one of the most important advocates of the Moldavian Csángó’s cause and the basic educational institution of the Hungarian children living in the diaspora of the Transylvanian Plain,

In 1990, Kallós Zoltán was distinguished with the Életfa (“Tree of Life”) award for his lifelong activity. Ever since then, the awards of the Hungarian state continued to flow, including the Kossuth Prize (1996), the Hungarian Corvin Chain (2001), the Kossuth Grand Prize (2017), and the Europa Nostra award.

Kallós Zoltán was the single most important collector of folk music in the Hungarian language area. His collections were anthologized on several audio records, and his archival records were edited and published as several record series. Although considering himself “no folk singer, but a mere lover of the Hungarian folk song”, he has also published two audio records as a singer, and contributed to several ethnographic films as a specialist advisor, while also participating at folk music festivals as a celebrated singer.

Last but not least, Kallós was one of the great initiators of the “dance house (táncház) movement” and of folk music and traditional folk dance camps. His influence as an educator can scarcely be overestimated. During the long decades of his life, he made several generations of young people love Hungarian folk art. His professional and personal advice inspired legions of followers to undertake the career of the folk musician, dancer, and/or ethnographer.

On February 14, 2018, we have lost in him the most successful collector of Hungarian folk music, the father of the Transylvanian dance house movement, and the honorary “grandfather” of several hundred children from the Mezőség diaspora. His long and meaningful life, as well as his exemplary work now still shows the way for his family and colleagues of several generations. His biography proves once again that hard work always bears its fruits. We will always remember him with a heavy heart, while also cheerfully recounting the life stories of our Uncle Zoli.

  • 1992

    The establishment of the Foundation by ethnographer Kallós Zoltán

    The establishment of the Foundation by ethnographer Kallós Zoltán

  • 1998

    The creation of the Ethnographic Collection

  • 1999

    A kindergarten was opened in Válaszút (Răscruci) and elementary education in Hungarian was restarted

    Beyond the high-level teaching of the compulsory curriculum, the educators working at the Válaszút School have the unconcealed aim to instill in the mind and heart of their pupils the love for their native Hungarian culture, while also shaping them into creative and confident individuals.

  • 2000

    Methodological training courses for teachers

    We provided the opportunity for participants to acquire skills that facilitate both the teaching and the learning process according to the national school curriculum.

  • 2004

    The range of our ongoing training courses widened

    We have begun to offer continuing vocational training courses on topics according to our Foundation’s profile, dedicated especially to young people.

  • 2007

    Inauguration of the Diaspora College and of the Educational Center of the Mezőség region

    Thus, we gained the ability to provide mother-tongue education, food and accommodation for children living in the diaspora.

  • 2010

    The opening of the Kallós Zoltán Ethnographic Collection

    The Ethnographic Collection comprises about 6,000 art objects, accompanied by a rich archive of photographic materials and an ethnographic library.

  • 2013

    Traditional Hungarian folk music began to be taught in a formal academic setting in Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca)

    We started an instrumental folk music course held by professionals for the students of the Music School.

  • 2013

    We started an instrumental folk music course held by professionals for the students of the Music School

    The training provides theoretical and practical knowledge for pupils, enabling them to start their own housekeeping economy or to further develop their family farm.

  • 2014

    The inauguration of the Diaspora College in Nagysármás (Sărmașu)

    This institution, established under the Mezőség Diaspora Program, offers quality education in their Hungarian mother-tongue and boarding for pupils from the Belső-Mezőség region.

  • 2015

    The opening of the Crafts House in Válaszút

    The aim of the folk art house is to provide an academic framework for the teaching of traditional crafts in domains such as weaving, embroidery, pottery, leather decorative masonry, and wood carving.

  • 2016

    The aim of the folk art house is to provide an academic framework for the teaching of traditional crafts in domains such as weaving, embroidery, pottery, leather decorative masonry, and wood carving

    The renovated Almási mansion, along with the associated land and livestock, offers the possibility for agricultural vocational school students to carry out traineeships.

  • 2017

    The delivery of the extended building that houses the Ethnographic Collection and the opening of the Hungarian folk art exhibition, extended with the new exhibitions rooms

    There are currently 12 showrooms waiting for visitors.

Educational Activity

Our educational activity can be grouped in two main areas: Hungarian diaspora education and adult training.

The most important achievement of the Foundation consisted in restarting school education in the Hungarian language in Válaszút (in Romanian: Răscruci). The establishment of the Diaspora College was motivated by the previous liquidation of Hungarian school classes and the large number of Hungarian-speaking children, with a similar college established in Nagysármás (Sărmașu).

After our establishment, we also started our adult training programs training for agriculturalists. The educational offer of our institution has been gradually increasingly diversified over the years, now offering ongoing training for musicians and teachers. Additionally, the Kallós Zoltán School of Folk Music is also operational since 2014 in Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca), offering a three-year curriculum to participants.

Education in Hungarian was banned in 1974 in Răscruci (in Hungarian: Válaszút). The kindergarten and elementary education could be restarted only in 1999. This was also the beginning for the Educational Program of the Câmpia Transilvaniei (Mezőség), aimed at preserving Hungarian identity and strengthening national conscience through ensuring quality education for the children from kindergarten age until their graduation or the attainment of professional qualification. Our elementary-school pupils (children from age 5 to age 11) are from Cluj (Kolozs) county, while the students of the professional school (from age 15 to 18) come from the counties Cluj (Kolozs), Mureș (Maros), Alba (Fehér), Sălaj (Szilágy) and Bistrița (Beszterce).

In the case of the elementary-school pupils of the school from Răscruci, there is significant linguistic deficit and also an underdeveloped consciousness of ethnic identity, due to the mixed marriages and their surrounding Romanian milieu.

Thus, along with the transfer of basic knowledge, one of the most important tasks of our teachers is to reduce this linguistic disadvantage and to raise children who are physically and psychologically stable and able to work in teams and to think in terms of community, capable of standing up for themselves and accepting responsibility, while being creative and daring in their dreams.

We complement the methods of traditional school teaching with some elements of the Step by step educational program, enabling our pupils to coherently speak about their feelings and plans, current joys and problems, thus also developing their emotional intelligence.

Special programs included in our college education

For the benefit of our college pupils who live in our boarding community, we provide after-school educational programs, medical care and free daily or weekly commute. We also provide continued assistance for them to advance with their studies according to the curriculum, while paying careful attention to remedying any deficiencies and to helping them to catch up with their peers. Children with emotional problems benefit from the regular weekly assistance of a psychologist, since the proper care for their mental hygiene is just as important as their studies.

The focus on learning should always be balanced with relaxation. Thus, the kids from Răscruci also have the time to play board games, enjoy handicraft activities, watch films on some evenings, and enjoy educational trips and theatre performances, which all contribute to a memorable and fun time spent in our educational institution. Additionally, we provide instruction programs in traditional children’s games, as well as programs that include folk dance and song classes.

Balázs-Bécsi Gyöngyi
Email: gyongyi@kallos.org.ro
Tel.: 0040 744 800 533

The Agricultural School opened its doors in 2013 and has annually 50 students.

After finishing the 8th grade, the school’s students may enroll for a three-year course, concluded with a dissertation and a practical exam.

This training program offers theoretical and practical knowledge for starting their own farm that can provide their future livelihood or for working on their family’s land. Due to the skills learned here, the products of their private farms may even reach a wider market. As an important part of their training program, our students participate on field trips and are invited to expert presentations. Thus, they can gain firsthand experience about the operation of other farming businesses, both on their beginnings and on their future expectations.

The educational farm

The educational farm was established in 2016, with the support of our Foundation and the Bethlen Gábor Fund, in Felsőtök (Tiocu de Sus). Students can gain here direct knowledge about all agricultural processes. The farm is constantly developed and extended, growing in its territory, infrastructure, and livestock.

Currently, the educational farm includes 350 m² of built-up areas (main building, stables, hay storage) and 7500 m² of farming land (orchard, arable land, pasture). The multi-purpose halls, the kitchen, the dormitories, and the cellars are located in the fully renovated Almási mansion that lies on the property. The educational farm is also endowed with its own agricultural machinery, providing sufficient conditions for all essential production processes.

Balázs-Bécsi Gyöngyi
Email: gyongyi@kallos.org.ro
Tel.: 0040 744 800 533

In 2014, at the request of the village community of Nagysármás (in Romanian: Sărmașu), our Foundation undertook the commitment to establish a local educational center for the children of the Hungarian diaspora, providing the necessary institutional framework and background for this project.

The diaspora center of Nagysármás fulfils the same educational function in the Middle Transylvanian Plain, as the Kalló Zoltán Foundation and the Téka Foundation in the northern part of this region. With the inauguration of the Diaspora College, the educational center of Nagysármás has also joined the Program for Diaspora Education in the Mezőség region of Transylvania.

Student life in the Nagysármás College is similar to that at the diaspora school in Válaszút (Răscruci), which has a similar functioning schedule. The educational institution provides commuting options, full boarding during the week, extracurricular activities and supplementary programs for its pupils.

Balázs-Bécsi Gyöngyi
Email: gyongyi@kallos.org.ro
Tel.: 0040 744 800 533

Ethnographic Collection

The Kallós Zoltán Ethnographic Collection was opened to the public in 2010. The core of the collection is comprised of the folk objects personally collected by Kallós Zoltán. This tangible collection is presented in the traditional “clean rooms” (in Hungarian: tisztaszoba).

This private collection contains 6,000 objects. The territorial coverage of the private ethnographic collection extends to all Romanian regions inhabited by ethnic Hungarians, i.e. the Transylvanian Plain and the region of Călata (Kalotaszeg), Ghimeș (Gyimes) and Moldova. Additionally, the material culture of the Transylvanian Romanian and Saxon population is also strongly represented in the collection.

The building that hosts the collection warehouses and the exhibition gained its present form in 2017. The collection warehouses store textiles and folk costumes, ceramics, and furniture, along with wooden and metallic objects. Additionally, the photo archive, a large number of folk music and audiovisual recordings, and the library is readily available to any person interested. The publications of the Kallós Foundation are aimed at the widest possible diffusion of these extraordinary values.

Visitors can enjoy our ethnographic treasures on guided tours. Additionally, we also provide museum-pedagogical workshops for groups of children per request.


Opening hours of the collection: 

Tuesday – Sunday: 09:00 -16:00

Monday: closed

Holiday Schedule for 2019:

  • 24 January, Thursday (Unification Day): closed
  • 19 April (Good Friday): closed
  • 22 April (Easter Monday): closed
  • 30 November, Saturday (Saint Andrew’s Day): closed
  • 1 December, Sunday (National Day of Romania): closed
  • 24 December 2019 – 2 January 2020: closed

The museum is open for visitors on all other church and state holidays.

The ethnographic collection can be visited only on guided tours, the price of which is included in the entrance fee.

Please announce your intention to visit the collection using the contact details below.


Tickets:

Entrance adult: 9 RON

Adult groups (of at least 20 people): 7 RON

Child/student/pensioner: 5 RON

Flash photography is prohibited. You need to buy a photography ticket to take photos inside, which costs 10 RON.

The collection may be visited for free on Kallós Zoltán’s birthday of (26 March) as well as by:

– students of ethnography and anthropology

– children under 3 years old

– handicapped persons + 1 main assistant

– holders of professional entrance passes

– holders of valid journalist’s licenses bearing their photograph

Our payment policy is cash only.

In order to protect the exhibits, please do not consume food and drink in the museum and do not touch the exhibits.


Mogyorósi Ágnes
Email: muzeum@kallos.org.ro
Tel.: 0040 746 309 057

Camps

We upload our camp offer every year in early January, with short draft programs and descriptions.

The Kallós Zoltán Foundation organized its first Hungarian folk dance camp for adults in 1992 in Visa (in Romanian: Vișea), followed by regularly held camp meetings for folk dance enthusiasts ever since. The aim of these events is to pass on traditional Hungarian folk culture to the younger generations. Our camps are now organized at the Foundation’s seat. Thus, participants can also view the Kallós Zoltán Ethnographic Collection. The rooms of the Diaspora College and of the Crafts House provide comfortable conditions for the campers. The tent camp, equipped with its own water block, is also located on the property.

Our adult camp is aimed at promoting and teaching Hungarian folk music and traditional dance from the Mezőség (in Romanian: Câmpia Transilvaniei) region of Transylvania. Participants may choose from beginner, intermediate and advanced level courses in folk dance and instrumental music.

The educational offer includes dance and musical dialects, e.g. from Palatka (Pălatca), Buza, Bonchida (Bonțida), and Feketelak (Negrenii de Câmpie) (the curriculum offer changes every year). Our instrumental folk music course participants may choose the violin, the three-stringed viola, or the contrabass as their instrument.

All of our instructors are specially qualified and the dance classes have live accompaniment.

The educational programs of the adult camp are made even more varied by lectures, concerts, museum-pedagogical activities, and film screenings.

The participants of the adult camp should have at least 17 years old. There is no upper age limit.

 

Rules of the adult camp:

  • You do not need to show your national ID card or passport for on-site registration.
  • Three meals a day are provided for you as indicated in the schedule:

Breakfast: 07:45 – 08:45

Lunch: 13:00 – 14:30

Dinner: 19:00 – 20:00

  • Participants may exclusively use the dining room for eating.
  • The dining room will be closed after each meal.
  • Compliance with the rules of decorum is mandatory for all participants.
  • Participants under 18 are required to bring a parental declaration or a medical certificate attesting that they do not suffer from any contagious diseases.
  • The campers will be provided with tent numbers. The tent numbers must be visibly displayed on the camp site.
  • Visits from friends and relatives who are not campers is not permitted during the educational programs.

The organizers reserve the right to change the program.

Balázs-Bécsi Orsolya
Email: orsolya@kallos.org.ro
Tel.: 0040 754 071 237

Contact

Colleagues

Balázs-Bécsi Gyöngyi

President, Kallós Zoltán Foundation 0040 744 800 533
gyongyi@kallos.org.ro

Balla Ferenc

Managing Director, Kallós Zoltán Foundation 0040 744 803 863
ferenc@kallos.org.ro

Németh Ildikó

Economist, Kallós Zoltán Foundation 0040 748 111 238
ildi@kallos.org.ro

Mogyorósi Ágnes

Museologist, Kallós Zoltán Ethnographic Collection 0040 746 309 057
muzeum@kallos.org.ro

Bakó Diána

Contact Person, Kallós Zoltán Foundation 0040 743 319 520
kallosa.valaszut@gmail.com

Vajas Albert

Contact Person, Kallós Zoltán School of Folk Music 0040 741 677 615
kallosnepzenesuli@gmail.com

Pap Tímea

Contact Person, Camps 0040 758 037 808
kallosa.valaszut@gmail.com

Balázs-Bécsi Orsolya

Contact Person, International Folk Musisc and Folk Dance Camp 0040 754 071 237
orsolya@kallos.org.ro

Kallós Zoltán Alapítvány