Articles by: Christopher Adam

Kathy Clark: The Choice. (Second Story Press, 2015).

Hungarian Canadian author launches children’s book on Holocaust

How does one broach the painful history of the Holocaust with children, especially when there is a family connection to this tragedy? Hungarian Canadian children’s author Kathy Clark’s book The Choice serves as one way to introduce teens and pre-teens to the Shoah. The Choice is Ms. Clark’s second children’s book that weaves her own family’s experiences during World War […]

by · April 15, 2015 · Antisemitism
Hungarian soldiers undergo training. Photo: honvedelem.hu / Sándor Galambos.

Hungary sends troops to fight ISIS

The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) joined Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz and the Christian Democratic Peoples’ Party (KDNP) in voting to send 150 soldiers into Iraq, in order to bolster the American-led campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS). While Fidesz, KDNP and DK supported the mission, the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), the Politics Can Be Different (LMP) green party, the […]

by · April 14, 2015 · Politics
Lajos Rig scoops up critical Tapolca riding for the far-right Jobbik party. Photo: Lajos Rig's Facebook page.

Far-right Jobbik set to win key Hungarian by-election

Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party put aside its usual antisemitic and anti-Roma rhetoric, campaigning instead on an anti-corruption platform. This strategy paid off, with the party’s candidate appearing to win in a critical by-election held in western Hungary’s Tapolca riding, long dominated by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party. With 98% of the votes counted (approximately 500 votes cast at embassies […]

by · April 12, 2015 · Politics
A flashback to 1990: A Russian customer at the first McDonald's in Moscow gives a thumbs up, standing alongside George Cohon, the chairman of McDonald's Canada. Photo: Rudi Blaha/Associated Press.

A great idea from Moscow: Russia to open state-funded fast food chain

Someone quickly phone Andy Vajna, aspiring Hungarian oligarch and pro-regime filmmaker. There’s a great idea coming out of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s inner circle and it is sure to resonate in Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Hungary as well. The Russian government has confirmed that it is pumping $13 million (or 680 million rubles) into launching a national and patriotic fast […]

by · April 12, 2015 · East
Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Péter Szijjártó, in Kazan, Tatarstan. Photo: Hungary's MFA.

Hungary’s foreign minister gets gushing reception in Tatarstan

The fact that Hungary’s pro-Moscow foreign policy has managed to alienate key partners like the United States, Germany and regional allies within the Visegrád Group isn’t much of a success story for Budapest. But at least Hungary’s 36 year old Minister of Foreign Affairs, Péter Szijjártó, got an admittedly warm reception in Tatarstan this week, where he inaugurated the Hungarian […]

by · April 11, 2015 · East
Musai/Muszáj demonstration in Kolozsvár/Cluj-Napoca, calling for greater trilingualism. Balloons represent the  colours of the Hungarian and Romanian flags. Photo: Tamás Bethlendi.

Multicultural Romania: Young Hungarians use creative protests to call for trilingual Cluj-Napoca

A group of local Hungarians and liberally-minded Romanian allies in the Transylvanian town of Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) are attracting some international attention, thanks to their flash mobs and a creative use of social media that call for the municipality to replace unilingual Romanian road signs with trilingual ones, featuring Romanian, Hungarian and German. The group calls itself Musai-Muszáj (the Romanian/Hungarian word […]

by · April 10, 2015 · Diaspora
Proportion of students in Hungarian public schools, by county, who are of Roma origin. Source: MNO's map, based on data obtained from HVG.

Hungary’s demographic revolution? Roma youth comprise a third of all students in eastern Hungarian counties

Attila Z. Papp, a researcher affiliated with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences’ Minority Studies Institute, presented research findings on significant demographic changes in Hungary that made headlines in the Hungarian media. The conservative Heti Válasz weekly magazine wrote about a “demographic revolution” and how there are now 298 schools in Hungary where Roma students form the majority of the pupil […]

by · April 9, 2015 · Focus
A rendering of the UK flag, referring to the rapidly growing number of Hungarians living in Britain. Hungarians now number over 300,000 in the British capital and are increasingly forming organized diaspora community associations, often through Facebook. Photo: Londoni Magyarok Közösség Facebook group.

Hungarian emigration almost doubles, as youth leave Hungary in droves

The number of Hungarians deciding to emigrate increased by 46% in 2014, compared to numbers compiled for the previous year by Hungary’s Central Statistical Office (KSH). A total of 31,500 Hungarians left Hungary for a minimum of one year, to find work elsewhere. The KSH notes that the ‘real’ number of emigrants is likely higher than this, as statisticians can […]

by · April 8, 2015 · Diaspora
Alternative Holocaust memorial in Freedom Square. Photo: Christopher Adam.

Remembering the dead in Hungary: An example of civic engagement

It’s impossible to detach public history and collective memory from contemporary politics. How a society portrays the past is determined by current realities, contemporary values or interests, as well as the dominant, “preferred” narratives of history. But the government and public institutions don’t have a monopoly over the past ; where civic engagement is strong, grassroots organizations and local activists […]

by · April 6, 2015 · Focus
László Lengyel. Photo: MTI / László Beliczay

Interfering in personal lives of Hungarians will lead to Orbán’s demise

Political scientist László Lengyel gave an excellent interview this weekend to Hungary’s left-centre Népszava daily. The chat, with Népszava’s Tamás Bihari, began with a comparison to Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book and to the king of the jungle, Shere Khan. Mr. Lengyel had previously referred to Viktor Orbán as a tiger, and as the merciless king of the jungle. “Between 2010 […]

by · April 4, 2015 · Politics