Departing Hungarian Ambassador to China is Sandor Meszaros. He believes greater cultural exchange will soon follow the business boom that has driven a "golden age" of ties between the two countries.
In an exclusive interview with China Daily, Meszaros, who will return home on Sunday after serving as ambassador since 2004, said Hungary's famous classical and folk musicians were now inspiring Chinese.
"Hungary, among others, has got a very developed music culture," the ambassador said.
"In Hungary, there are many places where you can enjoy folk, classic, jazz, contemporary, and all sorts of music."
It is impossible to discuss Hungarian culture without music, he said.
Meszaros said three famous musicians - Liszt, Bartok and Kodaly - all hail from the central European nation. He singled out Kodaly as Hungary's best musical ambassador to China.
But cultural communication between the countries goes well beyond music, Meszaros said.
A few months ago, the governments jointly launched a series of cultural and business programs called the Hungarian Season in China. They will run until July.
"What we would like to see is for Chinese to know more about Hungary through cultural representation and business seminars during the Hungary Season activities," the ambassador said.
"We have already held a big gala evening in Beijing with the participation of many Hungarian musicians and we also participated in the Shanghai Art Festival in November," he said.
The ambassador described current bilateral ties as "extremely good." He emphasized that his country was among the earliest to recognize the People's Republic of China almost 60 years ago, when they established diplomatic ties on October 6, 1949.
Hungary also opened its first Hungarian-Chinese Bilingual Primary School in Budapest three years ago to assist residents.
"It is the only school of its kind in Europe outside of Hungary where you can learn (Hungary's) normal curriculum," Meszaros said.
Meszaros, who has spent 14 years in China during three postings, said a conference between sister provinces and cities in the two countries has been planned for February in Hungary.
The ambassador, who has visited all but two of China's provinces, lists Chinese literature and food as his favorite things.
"It's a privilege to be an ambassador and it's more than a privilege to be an ambassador to China and serve in this golden period," he said.
（英语点津 Celene 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Jonathan Stewart is a media and journalism expert from the United States with four years of experience as a writer and instructor. He accepted a foreign expert position with chinadaily.com.cn in June 2007 following the completion of his Master of Arts degree in International Relations and Comparative Politics.