Memorial statue honors Chinese translator of Hungarian poet

Xinhua, 06 14, 2024

A statue was unveiled on Tuesday to honor Bai Mang, the Chinese translator of Hungary's most renowned poet: Sandor Petofi.

"This event today is another bridge built between a very important country of the world, China, and Hungary, as Sandor Petofi's poems are well known there thanks to Bai Mang," Joseph Csanyi, mayor of Petofi's hometown Kiskunfelegyhaza, said in an interview with Xinhua.

Csanyi emphasized the significance of the memorial, which completes a series of monuments dedicated to the first translators of Petofi into various languages.

Jozsef Tarjanyi, a member of the National Petofi Society, told Xinhua: "Petofi introduced the term 'world freedom' in literature ... Bai Mang, who sacrificed his life for the freedom of the Chinese people, is the most worthy individual to be honored with this memorial."

Tarjanyi recalled an anecdote about the influence of Petofi's poetry in China. "In 2016, during a visit to China, I asked a tour guide if she knew Petofi. She wrote his poem 'Liberty and Love' on a paper napkin, demonstrating its resonance in Chinese education."

Wu Jiawei, deputy director of the Local Chronicles Office of Bai Mang's birthplace Xiangshan County, underlined the significance of the ceremony, saying that Tuesday marks Bai's 114th birthday.

Bai Mang is the pseudonym of Xu Xiaojie, the revolutionary writer and poet also known as Yin Fu in China.

Mayor Csanyi said at the end of the ceremony: "We trust that this bridge between Kiskunfelegyhaza and Bai Mang's birthplace will become an economic friendship too."