Articles by: György Lázár

Old Buena Vista Winery covered with ivy.

Firefighters saved California’s historic Haraszthy Winery in last year’s wildfire

Northern California is slowly rebuilding after last November’s deadly wildfires and according to experts it could take years to recover. The fires destroyed 9,000 structures and killed about 50 people. The fire hit the picturesque wine region of California where several dozen wineries were damaged or destroyed. I was relieved to learn that the oldest winery of the area, the […]

by · February 27, 2018 · Culture
The Liu brothers with their family at Budapest Airport.

Ethnic homogeneity and the Liu brothers

In the last few years Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary has talked about how Europe is being overrun by people from Asia and Africa and of the importance of “ethnic homogeneity.” Mr. Orbán says that Hungary is for Hungarians; the country doesn’t need foreigners or immigrants. According to him “Christianity is Europe’s last hope” and Hungary is the bastion […]

by · February 24, 2018 · Culture
Tarantino wearing the Cross with Hungarian film representative Béla Bunyik and his wife Bonnie.

Quentin Tarantino’s troubles and his Hungarian Knight’s Cross

The film director, Quentin Tarantino is in trouble. He is accused of negligence by actress Uma Thurman, who says that he bullied her into driving an unsafe car that crashed in the set of Bill Kill. She also says that he spit in her face and choked her with a chain. It is also alleged that he tried to strangle […]

by · February 20, 2018 · Culture
Vt. István Kun-Szabó wearing the Vitézi Rend insignia at the Embassy in Washington DC.

Pro-Hitler Horthy insignia has no place at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington DC

The Embassy of Hungary in Washington DC recently hosted a Gala Anniversary event of the American Hungarian Federation (AHF). The new Ambassador László Szabó greeted the organization and gave an uplifting speech. Managing to hit an optimistic tone Ambassador Szabó emphasized the “very positive” nature of the relations between Hungary and the US. Péter Szilágyi, Deputy State Secretary for Hungarian […]

by · February 15, 2018 · Politics
USA Gymnasts work out on the final of camp at the Karolyi Ranch, run by Bela and Marta Karolyi, January 20, 2012, near New Waverley, Texas.

The horrors of the Karolyi Ranch

Long-time USA Gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar has been sentenced to 60 years in prison on child pornography charges and 40 – 175 years for molesting three girls, and is awaiting sentencing on an additional three counts of criminal sexual conduct. One hundred and sixty of his victims testified at his sentencing, including several Olympic medalists. It is suspected that […]

by · February 8, 2018 · Diaspora
Luggage poaching at Budapest Airport

Luggage poaching at Budapest Airport

I had hoped that I wouldn’t need to write any more stories about the Budapest Airport but the latest news from Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport are disturbing. After arriving to the Budapest Airport a couple of years ago, I noticed a large muscled man grabbing our suitcases from the carousel. He packed them onto a cart and was quickly […]

by · February 6, 2018 · Focus
Scene from the all-white cast Porgy and Bess

Was Gershwin being racist when he insisted on an all-black cast for Porgy and Bess?

Hungarian State Opera director Szilveszter Ókovács thinks that George Gershwin’s all-black cast requirement today is racist. Porgy and Bess was first staged on Broadway in 1935; the music was composed by George Gershwin and the libretto was written by his brother Ira Gershwin in collaboration with DuBose Heyward, who wrote the original story. The authors prescribed an all-black cast for […]

by · February 1, 2018 · Culture
Hungary’s NY Consul Kumin fear mongering – “Terror returned to New York”

Hungary’s NY Consul Kumin fear mongering – “Terror returned to New York”

On December 31 on the Budapest ATV channel Ferenc Kumin, Hungary’s Consul General in New York did not mince words. He warned fellow Hungarians that they should think twice before traveling to the US, especially to New York City. They might consider staying home in safe Hungary where there are no migrants. “Terror returned to New York” – he thundered. […]

by · January 26, 2018 · Politics
Grzegorz Ekiert

Is authoritarian Hungary on the road to dictatorship?

According to Grzegorz Ekiert, the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Government at Harvard University, Hungary is not a democracy any more; yet he wouldn’t call it a dictatorship either. He says that it is best described as an authoritarian state…possibly on the road to dictatorship. On January 18 Prof. Ekiert gave a standing-room-only lecture entitled, Communism to Authoritarianism via Democracy: […]

by · January 24, 2018 · Politics
January 22 – National Day of Hungarian Culture

January 22 – National Day of Hungarian Culture

On 22 January 1823 the great poet Ferenc Kölcsey completed the text of the Hungarian National Anthem. Since 1989 this date is celebrated as the National Day of Hungarian Culture and the history of the National Anthem is an example of the country’s diversity. The official music for the anthem was composed by Ferenc Erkel as part of a competition […]

by · January 23, 2018 · Culture