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WHAT’S THIS MAGPIE DOING?

Can you guess the meaning of this Hungarian proverb:

The magpie wants too much but its tail is too weak to carry it away. In Hungarian:

SOKAT AKAR A SZARKA, DE NEM BÍRJA A FARKA.

Meaning in Hungarian cultural context:

Someone who undertakes a task that exceeds her/his capacity. Someone wants to do too many things but fails in […]

By |December 18th, 2016|Language Matters|0 Comments

Great Grandma’s Hungarian Kitchen

 

”One and a half million of our people staggered out to America” – lamented Attila József* in his great poem Hazám (My Homeland). The great wave of emigration he refers to was in the first decade of the 20th century and now the grandchildren are coming back to discover their cultural roots.

In the small village […]

By |November 21st, 2016|Memorable Classes|0 Comments

THE CITY OF ELIZABETH

Elizabeth, in Hungarian Erzsébet, Erzsi, Erzsike is a prestigious name-day in the Hungarian calendar, November 19. You may come across the name a lot when rambling in the city. In Hungarian history there were two exceptional women called Erzsébet: Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, after whom the beautiful church at Rózsák tere is named, and Queen […]

By |November 19th, 2016|Special Days|0 Comments

THE COLUMBO HOAX

Both foreigners and locals wonder how Peter Falk’s legendary Lieutenant Columbo and his pet basset hound landed right at the foot of the Pest side of Margaret Bridge.

The bronze statue was commissioned in 2008 by the District 5 Local Government under the false assumption that Peter Falk’s ancestor was Miksa Falk after whom the street […]

By |November 14th, 2016|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Martin’s Day Goose Fiesta

Goose dishes are considered as delicacies in Hungarian cuisine. The main season for goose dishes is autumn, especially around November 11, St Martin’s day. Here is a list of the most typical St. Martin’s Day dishes
THE MENU
RÁKÓCZI TAVERNA – FAMILY RESTAURANT IN DISTRICT 8
St. Martin’s Day Geese Treats
Starter:
Foie gras cold platter with cracklings, tomato slices, […]

By |November 3rd, 2016|Hungarian Food|0 Comments

WHY IS HALLOWEEN STRANGE FOR HUNGARIANS?

November 1st is national holiday. According to the Catholic calendar, it’s All Saints’ Day – but Hungarians call it Day of the Dead (Halottak napja), when traditionally it’s a family obligation to tend the graves of their closest relatives.
Lit by thousands of candles, the cemeteries are a melancholic and beautiful sight on this day. […]

By |October 28th, 2016|Special Days|0 Comments

MUST IS A MUST

Read the first word in the Hungarian way (moosht), note that it means ‘freshly pressed grape juice,’ and then the headline will make sense.

MUST is a very healthy soft drink, it contains the skins, seeds, and stems of the grapes. The word MUST is of Latin origin (vinum mustum, “young wine”) and it’s the […]

By |October 11th, 2016|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

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