Culture

Professor Maryam Mirzakhani

Maryam Mirzakhani 1977-2017

Viktor Orbán thinks that Muslim immigrants are a threat to Europe because they are unable “to integrate into Western societies.” He has said that Muslim immigration is “the Trojan horse of terrorism” and has issued a stark warning that Western civilization and “Christian identity” is in danger. Hungary won’t let in Muslim immigrants at all. *** I heard the shocking […]

by · July 17, 2017 · Culture
The Dagály Complex in Budapest, purpose-built for the FINA Championships

Are Muslim, gay, black and Jewish swimmers safe at the FINA World Championship in Budapest?

As an American of Hungarian origin I hope that the USA Swim team will succeed in Budapest at the upcoming 2017 FINA World Aquatics Championships. The competition will start this weekend and lasts two weeks. I also wish good luck to the Hungarian team. To be honest I would have been happier if Hungarian-born Katinka Hosszú would compete in US […]

by · July 15, 2017 · Culture
Water at Ferihegy for Euro

Budapest annoyances – tourists beware

My wife and I just returned from a wonderful vacation in Budapest. The city was sizzling hot, but the view of the river was gorgeous as always. Ferihegy airport is busy, the new building is already overcrowded and the season has just started. Taxi Our Frankfurt flight leaves early and we have to be at Ferihegy well before 5:00AM. How […]

by · July 2, 2017 · Culture
Imre Molnár of Cintányéros. Photo: C. Adam

Cintányéros — A Canadian Hungarian’s wine tavern in Budapest’s 8th District

Here’s the story behind one of the most endearing wine taverns in Budapest. Imre Balázs Molnár is a Hungarian Canadian, born in Montreal, lived in the same Laval suburb that I grew up in, and ended up in Ottawa much like me. As it happens, he was born at Montreal’s St. Mary’s Hospital, and probably around the same year as […]

by · June 20, 2017 · Culture
Zsuzsa Koncz-. Photo: Balogh Zoltán / MTI.

Zsuzsa Koncz, Hungary’s iconic singer speaks out on not being subservient

Zsuzsa Koncz knows from personal experience what it’s like to be a performer, singer and artist in a dictatorial regime. In 1973, even though Hungary’s Kádár regime was more liberal than any other Eastern bloc country when it came to cultural and artistic expression, Zsuzsa Koncz’s album entitled Jelbeszéd (Sign Language) was suddenly pulled from the shelves of record stores and […]

by · June 7, 2017 · Culture
Team Raff design

Canada’s Victims of Communism memorial proceeds with new design

The Victims of Communism memorial, a monument initially spearheaded by Canada’s previous conservative government and a community group of Canadians of Eastern European and Asian origins called Tribute to Liberty, will proceed after the selection of a design by architect Paul Raff. The Toronto-based architect’s central design element is a massive arch, running from east to west, and comprised of […]

by · May 17, 2017 · Culture
March of Science in San Francisco

March of Science in San Francisco

Tens of thousands hit Market Street in San Francisco on Saturday to march for science. My wife and I attended the lively event which was part of a nationwide call to celebrate Earth Day 2017. Clever, sometimes funny posters criticized Donald Trump and raised alarms over his budget plan which would cut federal funds from research. The Department of Health […]

by · April 24, 2017 · 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