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Let Them Eat Cake

“Let them eat cake” is the traditional translation of the French phrase (“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”) as supposedly Marie Antoinette said, in Hungarian ”EGYENEK KALÁCSOT”.

This weekend you are literally invited to eat cake, a very special type, called KÜRTŐSKALÁCS originating in Transylvania which has become very popular in Budapest and elsewhere in Europe […]

By |October 8th, 2016|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

LÁSZLÓ BÍRÓ, the inventor of the biro

Whenever I travel to less developed parts of the world, such as Cambodia, I always take hundreds of ballpoint pens with me for convenience. The reason is that hordes of children will nag you for a pen: “pen, Sir, gimme a pen”. If it were not for language difficulties I would tell them that this […]

By |October 5th, 2016|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

The Real Stories behind Hungary’s 1956 Revolution—those ‘sorrowful October events’

At major landmarks in Hungary’s capital city, one can see megaposters (see top photo) depicting heroes of the 1956 Revolution with the slogan of poet Sándor Márai: “A nation said: Enough!” (EGY NÉP MONDTA: ELÉG VOLT!)

Budapest is frenzied with the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the 1956 October events, sparked by a peaceful solidarity […]

By |September 18th, 2016|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

WHERE SHOULD YOU LEARN HUNGARIAN?

Definitely NOT in a traditional Hungarian classroom. As you can see in the attached photo, most Hungarian schools are still furnished with double-seat benches in two or three rows and the teacher confronts the children and force-feeds their heads with knowledge.

September 1st at 8:00 is a date schoolkids dread, but their parents are a bit […]

By |September 1st, 2016|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

“Happy as jam!” — the end of summer is the right time to make traditional, Hungarian preserves

Long before today’s organic, bio and artisanal fads, the average Hungarian housewife made artisanal-organic-bio preserves, unaware of the fact that her simple, natural products would one day be considered so prestigious.

The end of summer is the main BEFŐZÉSI SZEZON (the season to make preserves), because prices are low, and fruits and vegetables are properly ripened.

The […]

By |August 25th, 2016|Cultural Trivia, Hungarian Food|0 Comments

To celebrate Saint Stephen’s Day, here’s 1000 years of Hungarian Happenings in a handy infographic

“No history, please!” – begged a lovely visitor from a faraway country.

True, she escaped from a guided “umbrella” tour where in most cases you are bombarded with dates and unpronounceable names of local heroes, not to mention Hungary’s long list of battles.

It poses a real challenge for a tour guide, however, to explain why those […]

By |August 18th, 2016|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

The Budapest Animal Garden

No, no, this photo is not from India, it’s a decorative piece of the Elephant House in the Budapest Zoo, called ÁLLATKERT (lit. ÁLLAT=animal KERT=garden) in Hungarian. The Budapesti Állatkert is worthy of the name garden. As fans of the Budapest Zoo claim, it’s like a five-star hotel for the animals who live in Art […]

By |August 14th, 2016|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

Summer joys of Budapest, the ‘strand’

The city hides a lot of retreats from summer heat. Palatinus Strand on peaceful Margaret Island is one of the most enjoyable ones. One of the oldest of its kind, it opened in 1919 during the short-lived Communist regime of Béla Kun. Since 2013 it was extended by two thermal pools and thus it’s a […]

By |August 8th, 2016|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

Bubbly Water, another Hungarian invention

When you have FRÖCCS (Wine Spritzer) next time, make sure it’s made with SZÓDAVÍZ (carbonated water) and not plastic bottled SZÉNSAVAS ÁSVÁNYVÍZ (carbonated mineral water). While SZÓDAVÍZ, chilled and fresh, brings out the best in wine and makes it a light summer drink, the minerals in the latter spoil the inherent properties of wine.

The invention […]

By |August 3rd, 2016|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

CORVIN

Place names in Budapest may confuse not only foreigners but locals as well, just take CORVIN: We have CORVIN KÖZ (crescent) including CORVIN MOZI (cinema) and CORVIN PLAZA at the CORVIN NEGYED (quarter) metro station, CORVIN TÉR (square) in Buda near Fő utca and CORVIN ÁRUHÁZ (Department Store) in Blaha Lujza tér, not to mention […]

By |July 23rd, 2016|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments