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József Szántai

Village Local Authority of Kunadacs

Project manager

“I grew up in a small village, surrounded by nature. I believe that it is vital to protect the countryside and preserve the local traditions which have been central to village communities for centuries”.

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József has a simple philosophy of life: “Live and Learn”. Working with the “Traditional and Wild” project is a perfect opportunity to do that! He is representing the Village Local Authority of Kunadacs in southern Hungary and sees this project as a great way to build his own knowledge and share it with the local community.

“I grew up in a small village, surrounded by nature. I believe that it is vital to protect the countryside and preserve the local traditions which have been central to village communities for centuries”, he says.

It is these local traditions which enabled József to learn from his grandfather, a shepherd, about the many uses of wild plants.

“I remember, for example, how he used to make a poultice from chamomile to soothe sore eyes. I am lucky that my grandfather passed on his knowledge through the family but sadly so many other families have not had that benefit. Through the “Traditional and Wild” project, we are able to share that knowledge again and re-establish the traditions in the local community”.

József is learning more himself too. The project has shown him many more ways to recognise wild plants and how to use them medicinally.

“It’s a pleasure and a privilege to work with such a great team on a transnational project like this. I am learning every day while the project is helping hundreds of people improve their own lives by learning the old ways and adapting them to the modern world”.