Péter Esterházy

Get well, Péter Esterházy!

Recently Hungarian author Péter Esterházy announced in the literary weekly Élet és Irodalom that he is suffering from pancreatic cancer. The country’s literature loving public was shocked, although there had been speculations about his health after he cancelled his appearance at the Goteborg Book Fair in Sweden. The 65 years old writer’s works are well-known in Hungary and his books […]

by · December 11, 2015 · Culture
Storm over the Hortobágy National Park. Photo: Hungary Guide.

Proemcards from Hungary (Part 2)

Proemcards by Montreal author Endre Farkas – a combination of prose, poetry and reflections on a journey to Hungary after having fled decades ago – continues from Part 1. 4. Back at the Thermal and Wellness Hotel, I took to the Baths. The Baths were another turn-of-the-century luxury, a cure, a social activity for the wealthy. It also became a […]

by · December 6, 2015 · Culture
Streetcars in Debrecen. Illustration: György Ozsváth.

ProemCards from Hungary (Part 1)

The following pieces are based on my 2010 visit to Hungary and a journal that I kept while there. They are in a form I call “proemcards.” Proemcards are a hybrid creation of mine composed of prose and poems, thoughts, observations, impressions and experiences I had during my stay. This is the first part in a series to appear in […]

by · December 5, 2015 · Culture
Horthy with American soldier – he was arrested but avoided prosecution after Stalin intervened.

Remembering the veterans who fought against Hitler-Horthy fascism

Veterans Day is a United States holiday observed on November 11th. It honors military veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces among them those veterans who fought fascism in Europe. It is a special day for Hungarian-Americans since many Americans (among them Hungarian-Americans) gave their lives during World War II to fight Horthy’s pro-Hitler regime and Szálasi’s Arrow-Cross […]

by · November 12, 2015 · Culture
My new Crosley Cruiser record player...

Vinyl – Some thoughts on the music industry’s comeback kid

After weeks of misery trying to repair my old linear tracking record player, looking in vain for a new receiver and speakers that would both be compatible with it, and also fit into my living room, I took the plunge and did what will make most serious audiophiles cringe: I bought one of those Crosley all-in-one turntables. They’re simple, they […]

by · November 8, 2015 · Culture
Zsolt Varga, the chef at the Embassy of Hungary in Ottawa, serving up venison stuffed cabbage at the Embassy Chef Challenge. Photo: C. Adam

Hungary and Moldova represent Eastern Europe at Ottawa Embassy Chef Challenge

“Don’t just take pictures, actually try some of our food!”–said a smiling representative of the Embassy of Moldova at the Ottawa Embassy Chef Challenge on November 5th, 2015. The Moldovan chef, Nata Albot, offered a traditional take on a classic meal in the region, namely: stuffed peppers. The Embassy of Moldova’s table was adorned with local wines–this small Eastern European […]

by · November 6, 2015 · Culture
Mari Törőcsik

Actress Mari Törőcsik on racism and refugees

One of Hungary’s most celebrated actresses, Mari Törőcsik, is turning 80 this month. When she was approached by the conservative Mandiner website for an interview, she indicated that speaking about contemporary politics was not something with which she felt comfortable. “One side kicks me, while the other lifts me up onto a pedestal–that’s not something that I need,” said Ms. […]

by · November 2, 2015 · Culture
111 Sussex Drive, the venue for the 2015 Embassy Chef Challenge.

Embassy chefs compete in Ottawa competition

This is a lighter, although I think still meaningful, story for a Sunday. The Canadian capital is getting ready to hold its second Embassy Chef Challenge on November 5th, 2015 at Victoria Hall, where each year a handful of chefs employed by foreign missions in Ottawa compete and showcase their culinary art. All proceeds from the event go to the […]

by · November 1, 2015 · Culture
Máté Kocsis

Calling someone a homosexual is defamation in Hungary

In a landmark case, a Budapest court ruled that calling someone a homosexual in public can be seen as defamation of good character. The decision is astounding, even if the justice argued –somewhat strangely–that it has nothing to do with the court passing moral judgment on sexual attraction, as such. We have written before about the public polemics between Fidesz […]

by · October 30, 2015 · Culture
László Farkas, also known as gypsyROBOT.

Homophobia in Hungary’s Roma community

Dezső Máté is a Junior Research Fellow at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences’ Institute for Minority Studies whose work focuses on the fate of a minority within a minority: namely the treatment of Gay Roma in Hungary within their own ethno-cultural community. In the past, he has also explored the survival of Roma languages and the representation of minorities  within […]

by · October 29, 2015 · Culture