Culture

Keep Quiet

Keep Quiet — A review of a poignant documentary on Csanád Szegedi

This month, I was invited to watch a private preview screening of the documentary Keep Quiet, which will have its Toronto premiere at the Toronto Jewish Film Foundation Festival on May 8, 2017. The film, directed by Joseph Martin and Sam Blair, focuses on the political coming of age of Jobbik and Hungarian Guard co-founder Csanád Szegedi–a young man who represented […]

by · April 18, 2017 · Culture
Orhan Pamuk

Orhan Pamuk – Don’t be Orbán’s poster boy!

Viktor Orbán’s authoritarian government plans to turn the Budapest International Book Festival (April 20–23) into a political propaganda event. The festival is supposed to be for book lovers. It is an annual four-day extravaganza with panel discussions, book signings, readings where thousands of newly published and older books can be purchased. (Click here to see this year’s program of the […]

by · April 15, 2017 · Culture
Lukacs after

The Viktatorship strikes at dawn – the removal of the György (Georg) Lukács statue

It was still dark last Tuesday morning at Szent István Park, Budapest, when the trucks arrived. At dawn as the first light appeared workers dismantled the György (Georg) Lukács statue. They were quiet, fast and efficient and it seemed that they had lots of experience. In a short time the statue of the renowned Marxist philosopher was gone. There is […]

by · March 31, 2017 · Culture
Team space2place

Canada’s Victims of Communism memorial moves ahead

A Canadian national monument dedicated to the victims of dictatorial communist regimes moved forward in an important way this week, with the publication of proposals submitted by the five finalist design teams. The new monument differs in a number of ways from original plans submitted by the Tribute to Liberty group and approved by the previous Conservative government. The monument […]

by · March 4, 2017 · Culture
From left: Dorottya Hais (red dress), Dorka Gáspárfalvi and Zsófia Szamosi, with producer Anna Udvardy.  Director Kristóf Deák (with glasses) with music composer Ádám Balázs.

Hungarian short film Sing receives Oscar

I was in disbelief when my wife, who was watching the Oscars, told me that The American Academy of Motion Picture gave an Oscar to Hungarian short film Sing in the Live Action Short Film category. The 25-minute film was directed by 34-year old Kristóf Deák. It takes place in a Budapest school (Bakáts Téri Ének-Zenei Általános Iskola) in 1991 […]

by · February 27, 2017 · Culture
Coercion / Sergey Sidelev

The Canadian Red Cross and deplorable fundraising tactics

The Red Cross has been present in Hungary since 1881 and much like in Canada, it provides important educational programs on emergency care, as well as offers vaccines, organises blood drives and trains volunteer nurses. Yet after an encounter with the Canadian Red Cross last night, I left very disappointed with their deplorable fundraising and pressure tactics and wrote them […]

by · February 25, 2017 · Culture
Rianás – the cracking sound of ice at Lake Balaton

Rianás – the cracking sound of ice at Lake Balaton

It has been an unusually cold winter in Hungary and country’s largest lake, Lake Balaton, is frozen. Gábor Kardos came up with the idea to have a “Slide across the Ice of Balaton.” It took place a couple weeks ago between Badacsony and Fonyód, a narrow part of the lake. (The event was called in Hungarian – Balaton Átcsúszás 2017) […]

by · February 21, 2017 · Culture
The Lukács statue in Budapest – it will be removed

Hungary is removing statue of philosopher György (Georg) Lukács – He was Marxist and Jewish

Removing a statue of a philosopher? You may expect something like this to happen in Nazi Germany in the 1930s but not in Budapest in 2017. A couple of weeks ago the Budapest City Council decided that the statue of György Lukács will be removed from a Budapest park in the 13th district. The renowned philosopher’s statue is currently in […]

by · February 16, 2017 · Culture
An appetiser at Trófea Grill. Photo: Tripadvisor.

The Trófea Grill restaurant at Margaret Bridge and unethical business practices

The Trófea Grill restaurant, centrally located at the foot of Margaret Bridge in Budapest, is a popular, fairly upscale buffet, using the all-you-can-eat-and-drink business model. It seems to attract lots of tourists, expatriates and also Hungarians who often go there to celebrate special family occasions. Whenever I’m in Budapest, I’ll invariably visit Trófea on at least a couple of occasions–it […]

by · January 14, 2017 · Culture
Nemanja Nikolic. PHOTO PRZEMYSLAW SZYSZKA / SE / EAST NEWS POZNAN

Nemanja Nikolic Yugoslavia-born Hungarian soccer player signs with Chicago Fire

The Chicago Fire soccer team announced their acquisition of 28-year-old Hungarian international striker Nemanja Nikolic from the Polish club, Legia Warsaw. Nikolic is a super hot player. Chicago Fire beat out English Premier League club, Hull City, and several Chinese Super League teams to sign him. Nemanja Nikolic, a Hungarian soccer player? The 29 year-old has an interesting story. He […]

by · January 9, 2017 · Culture