Articles by: Christopher Adam

Conference participants listen to presentations on Day 2.  Photo: C.A.

The Hungarian Studies Association of Canada’s 2015 Conference (Photo report)

The Hungarian Studies Association of Canada (HSAC) celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, at a conference held at the University of Ottawa from May 30th to June 1st, 2015. A member of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the 2015 HSAC conference was especially dynamic, with 29 presenters coming from across Canada, the United States, Hungary, Romania, […]

by · June 11, 2015 · Culture
Prime Minister Orbán speaking at the summit organized by the Union of Arab Banks, at the Budapest Hilton. Photo: Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI.

Hungary is an open and friendly country, says Orbán to Arabic bankers

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s capacity to tell an audience one thing with seemingly deep conviction and dramatic rhetorical skill, and then tell another audience the polar opposite, with a straight face and without batting an eye, is singular, surreal and disturbing all at once. The Fidesz government has just launched a rabidly racist campaign with hundreds of billboards, suggesting that […]

by · June 9, 2015 · Politics
In this racist government billboard, the regime tells immigrants that if they come to Hungary, they  have to respect Hungarian laws.

Activists arrested–Orbán’s police guard racist billboards using surveillance

Six opposition activists who defaced the Orbán government’s rabidly xenophobic billboards were arrested at dawn, two of whom were kept at the Zugló police station for several hours. The three men and three women are all in their twenties and thirties. According to the activists who have since been released, police officers are being used to keep the growing number […]

by · June 7, 2015 · Politics
"If you come to Hungary, you have to respect our culture!" Photo: 444.hu

Hungarians deface government’s openly racist billboards

It’s reassuring to see that there are some residents in Budapest who will take a bucket of paint and a brush to erase the words on the Orbán government’s virulently racist and populist new billboards, which tell immigrants (in Hungarian), and in no uncertain words, that they are not welcome. Two such billboards went up yesterday in Budapest’s 13th District, […]

by · June 6, 2015 · Politics
The forint is here to stay...

Orbán: Hungary will not adopt the euro for many decades to come

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has declared that his government will no longer entertain the idea of replacing the forint with the euro in 2020, as was previously suggested, and instead expects Hungary’s national currency to remain “stable and strong for the next several decades.” Mr. Orbán made these comments in an interview with the pro-government daily Napi Gazdaság, which is […]

by · June 3, 2015 · Politics
Gábor Vona at a kindergarten in the town of Ózd. This is just one o more than a  dozen photos that Mr. Vona posted to Facebook of him playing, talking, eating and telling stories to small children.

Hungary’s Jobbik leader spends a day in kindergarten, exploiting children

When Gábor Vona, leader of the far-right Jobbik party, visited a kindergarten in the Jobbik-controlled town of Ózd, and posted over a dozen photos on Facebook of him mingling, smiling and playing with young children, he was accused by the opposition of “political pedophilia.” According to Mr. Vona’s explanation, he had asked the school’s principal, whether he could spend the […]

by · June 3, 2015 · Politics
Ibi Gábori at the Hungarian Studies Association of Canada (HSAC) conference, held at the University of Ottawa on June 1st, 2015. Photo: Christopher Adam

The testimony of a Hungarian Canadian Auschwitz survivor (video)

Ibi Gábori is an 87 year old Hungarian Canadian survivor of Auschwitz, who shared her experiences of the Holocaust at the 2015 conference of the Hungarian Studies Association of Canada (HSAC), held at the University of Ottawa from May 30th to June 1st, 2015. Ms. Gábori’s talk formed part of a special panel on the Holocaust. She spoke about growing […]

by · June 2, 2015 · Antisemitism
The drawings depicting a proposed mega mosque and Islamic Centre in Budapest.

Will Budapest get its first “mega” mosque?

For the past several weeks, the story of a somewhat mysterious video produced by a Turkish foundation called Türkiye Diyanet surfaced on and off in the Hungarian press, suggesting that there were plans to erect a mega mosque, with four minarets, a restaurant and a hotel in the Kőbánya suburb of Budapest. Based on the released drawings and the video, the […]

by · May 30, 2015 · Culture
Viktor Orbán. Source: Koszticsák Szilárd / MTI

Viktor Orbán celebrates five years in power with message of “peace”

On Friday, a tight group of prominent Fidesz personalities, government advisers, intellectuals and policymakers met in an even tighter courtyard in Budapest to hear Prim Minister Viktor Orbán give a speech that represented a 180 degrees rhetorical turn from his last “State of the Nation” speech in February. He spoke of the dawn of an era of apolitical prosperity: the […]

by · May 29, 2015 · Politics
Magyar Nemzet. Photo: Hír24.

Right-wing Hungarian newspaper’s readership falls dramatically

The Magyar Nemzet daily newspaper was long the jewel in the crown of the pro-Orbán media empire, but ever since the paper’s owner, Lajos Simicska, found himself in a singularly nasty and foulmouthed dispute with the prime minister (who was his college roommate decades ago and long-time friend), government officials and ministers have been boycotting the media magnate, and there […]

by · May 28, 2015 · Politics