Culture

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
Hungarian march in the party district with a banner that reads: "Enough. Silence." Photo: Népszava.

A referendum will decide the fate of Budapest’s party district

Inner city Budapest, specifically the area that during World War II served as the Budapest ghetto for as many as 70,000 Hungarian Jews, is today party central for scores of British men on stag weekends and other western European millennials who take discount flights to the Hungarian capital, in search of a cheap getaway. The area attracts some 150,000 to […]

by · January 2, 2018 · Culture
A peaceful Christmas

A peaceful Christmas

Hungarians often wish each other a peaceful Christmas (“békés Karácsonyt”) and in a country with a tragic history that is still within living memory, this is an apt greeting. This is especially true if we recognize that there can only be true peace where there is justice or, more precisely, in societies that strive to be just towards those who […]

by · December 25, 2017 · Culture
Mandoki (left) promoting Hungarian wine with Ms. Helga Gál, Wine Ambassador and Consul general Ferenc Kumin in New York.

Leslie Mandoki – Orbán’s friend and lobbyist at the Beacon Theatre in New York

Many of you may not have heard of the ManDoki Soulmates, a “concept group” led by 64-year-old Leslie Mandoki. Recently Mandoki announced the group’s ‘Wings of Freedom’ post-GRAMMY concert on January 29, 2018 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, saying “ManDoki Soulmates embody the creative spirit of the 1970’s, when artists were striving not only for individual virtuosity […]

by · December 18, 2017 · Culture
Béla Bunyik (in sunglasses) and Los Angeles Consul General of Hungary Mr. Tamás Széles.

The Post-Communist Mafia State at the Hungarian Film Festival in Los Angeles

Three years ago I wrote about a cherished Californian tradition; the Hungarian Film Festivals in Los Angeles and San Francisco. For many years these events were interesting and entertaining, and the organizers presented an array of films, features, documentaries and shorts. (Read here about past festivals.) The “father” of the Los Angeles Hungarian Film Festival is Béla Bunyik. He came […]

by · November 21, 2017 · Culture
Nikolic is giving an interview to a Serbian TV station

Nemanja Nikolic and Orbán’s attack on “mixed marriages”

This past October Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, listed these mortal dangers facing the Hungarian nation: “assimilation, the adoption of other languages and mixed marriages.” (Read here.) Almost a century ago Hungarian nationalists thundered that Hungary was a lonely island in the “Slav Ocean” and warned that its unique language and culture would be swallowed by its neighbors. Now Budapest […]

by · November 14, 2017 · Culture
Gáspár Orbán preaching. Photo: Felház.

A portrait of Viktor Orbán’s son as a healer and Pentecostal preacher

Gáspár Orbán, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s 25 year old son, used to be known most for mirroring his father’s deep affinity for football and for being a professional football player. Those days are over, but the young Mr. Orbán is making a new name for himself as the leader of a Pentecostal church community, where he speaks in tongue, asserts […]

by · November 6, 2017 · Culture
Rabbi Gábor Fináli. Photo: Szabolcs Oláh. Gyulai Hírlap.

Is there a Hungarian Jewish identity and does it have a future?

Gábor Fináli, a rabbi in Budapest, wrote a fascinating essay in Szombat, a weekly Jewish community magazine, about what he sees as both the lack of a clearly defined Hungarian Jewish identity and the decline in progressive thought within Hungary’s Jewish community. It’s an insightful piece, considering that often the starting point for any discussion of Hungarian Jews is their […]

by · November 5, 2017 · Culture
Flight to Freedom: The Canadian Refugee Experience Since 1957

Flight to Freedom: The Canadian Refugee Experience Since 1957

This three-day conference (October 21-23, 2017) explores Canada’s involvement in the central issue of our time: the global search by refugees for a safe home in light of this country’s history of immigration and nation-building. Recognizing Canada’s 150th celebrations and also the 60th anniversary of the arrival and settlement of 38,000 Hungarian refugees during 1957, this conference uses their example […]

by · October 16, 2017 · Culture
The proposed MOL Tower.

Budapest skyscraper sparks controversy

One of Budapest’s hallmarks is the Hungarian capital’s lack of skyscrapers, which has preserved the city’s unique and historic skyline. The same cannot be said for even some regional cities, like Bratislava, and of course most western European capitals. This, however, is about to change with a 120 meter high office tower set to puncture the capital’s skyline. The new […]

by · October 4, 2017 · Culture