The Passionate Quest

Serendipity – I first heard of artist Amrita Sher-Gill this week in a reference in Tarquin Halls’s Vish Puri mystery, The Case of the Missing Servant. I was intrigued to learn about another accomplished Hungarian woman artist. Okay, half-Hungarian. What a fascinating cultural blend in her family!
Check out this great post including some lovely examples of Sher-Gill’s works.

Potpourri

I have always been in awe of Amrita Sher-Gill ever since I happened to see some of her paintings in a leading Indian glossy. Those were the pre-Internet days when we had to rely on the library, books and media to update our knowledge. Apart from some tidbits I couldn’t get to know much about her.

Image One of the artist’s self-portraits.
My sincere apologies for the bad quality of the photograph and also of the ones that follow.

Ever since it started in 2009, the National Gallery of Modern Art has been a boon for art-enthusiasts in Bangalore. There have been cultural events galore in its green campus as well as exhibitions of the works of big names in the contemporary Indian art scene. In mid-2012, the gallery held a mammoth exhibition of the paintings and installations of Ram Kinkar Baij and in mid-2013 the paintings of Rabindranath Tagore were…

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My Darling is a Girl Raised by Wolves

Although Celine Dion and ABBA got their big break on this show, I doubt most Americans are aware of Eurovision, the huge song contest in Europe and parts of the Middle East.  According to Dr Karen Fricker, co-director of the Eurovision Research Network, the contest was set up in 1956 not to promote international unity, but for the practical purpose of testing the scope of new broadcast technology in the 1950s. Every year it gathers a larger more devoted following, 125 million last year.

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That’s where Wolf Darling comes in. ByeAlex (born Alex Márta on 6 June 1984) is a Hungarian indie-pop singer who will represent Hungary in the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmö, Sweden.

Márta, a 29 year old editor at Tattoo Magazine holds a masters degree in philosophy. His gentle love song Kedvesem with whimsical lyrics is about his darling who was raised by wolves. It is currently #2 on the Hungarian Top 10.  Despite pressure to sing in English, out of respect for his fans he will be performing in Hungarian on May 16th in the Semi-Final 2 group. Those Hungarians are fiercely proud of their language. This version has English  subtitles. And here’s another version;  Translate Kedvesem to your language!

Here’s the lyrics.

Will you be rooting for ByeAlex with me on May 16th  ?

Loved this view into Hungarian life at the time of my father’s youth. From the delightful blog; ADiligentObserver.

the Diligent Observer

Many thanks to the National Geographic which, in its pursuit of conserving World Cultures, took it upon themselves to document life in Rural Hungary in the June, 1932 issue.

Lusty Magyar youths couldn’t just share a shake at the malt shop, or go necking at a drive-in movie in order to share some quality time with their honey.  For them, flirting took place 10 feet apart, separated by a wall and surrounded by friends and siblings (and most likely with a mother lurking close by).

Who is courting whom, one wonders.  The girl on the far right looks none too pleased with the amount of attention she is receiving.

Who knew that dancing the Csárdás was no different than slow dancing to *NSYNC at a middle school dance?

It looks like the male/female ratio in this rural enclave is slightly skewed to the latter.

dancing the Csardas.jpg

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Kellemes Húsvéti Ünnepeket !

Easter Monday sprinkling is an old Hungarian custom. Young men would sprinkle cologne or water on the ladies of their fancy, often extended to all the women in the house. Mother told of a Canadian boyfriend who upon hearing of the tradition showed up at their house and woke the family at the crack of dawn on Easter Monday with a bottle of perfume to be the first to sprinkle her. A sweet gesture not much appreciated by her tired parents. 

Apparently some communities take it quite a bit further, drenching the girls with buckets of water.

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from sulekha.com

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