Famous Hungarians

Katalin Karády

A Sex Symbol and a Legend
Most nations have a history, Hungarians have Fate. If you want first-hand experience of what this means, go to YouTube and listen to Katalin Karády’s melancholy chanson ‘Smouldering cigarette end’ (Hamvadó cigarettavég). A low decadent voice full of eroticism, a woman in her late twenties with a seductive appearance, who […]

By |March 24th, 2015|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Ferenc Puskás

Before some dimwit in the Ministry of Tourism invented the image of “goulash and the Great Plains” to advertise Hungary abroad, the person who helped foreigners put Hungary on the map was Ferenc Puskás. Even in faraway places like Mombasa, when I explained “Hungary and not hungry” to waiters, they said “ah, Puskas”.

His name became […]

By |March 24th, 2015|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Béla Lugosi

The Resurrection of Count Dracula
“Ah, Dracula land.” This was how my country was amiably located on the world map at a party in New York back in 1989, after I revealed my nationality. I was bemused but the association of Dracula with Hungarians by foreigners has haunted me ever since.

Though first my ethnic pride was […]

By |March 24th, 2015|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Ármin Vámbéry

The Dervish in Disguise
My Turkish friend in Istanbul insists that Hungarians are just another Turkish tribe; at least, that’s what they were taught at school. No wonder the ‘madjar’ tourist gets a most favourable treatment in the bazaar. However, Hungarian textbooks still teach that, until the defeat of the Hungarians by the Suleiman the Magnificent […]

By |March 23rd, 2015|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Ágoston Haraszty

The best lesson I had with my American students back at Rutgers University was the wine tasting class where I was supposed to teach them about Hungarian culture.  Blindfolded, they had to guess which wine was Californian and which was Hungarian; they kept guessing until the last drop and in the end everyone turned out […]

By |February 9th, 2015|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments