the place where Hungary meets Slovakia

We will be driving when we go this summer, but if traffic allows I will stop in the middle. Thanks for this delightful post!

my world of melancholly

One of the places where you can “officially” leave Hungary, is the Erzsébet-bridge between Komárom in Hungary and Komárno in Slovakia. It was built in 1892 an is named after Romy Schneider Empress Elisabeth of Austria, because we Hungarians have always loved our Sisi, even during her lifetime, which is a rare phenomenon and is not very characteristic for the Hungarian collective spirit. Usually we first appreciate people after their death (if at all, haha). While it’ s definitely not the most charming spot on Earth or even in Hungary, it’s still a border, and I love borders. So here is a guide on how to cross them.

1. Walk up to the bridge.

Komárno Erzsébet-híd 1

2. Keep walking.

Komárno Erzsébet-híd 4

3. Look back at Hungary (yes, I did shop at that Tesco. I was that hungry).

Komárom Tesco

4. Admire the Danube (not a particularly breathtaking sight for somebody who is such a mountain person like…

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Grandmother’s Photos

Taking a closer look at the photos in the old family albums.

Édes-Orbán Family

Since our retirement my husband and I have been doing a lot of road trips mixing sightseeing and family visits because all of our family is at least two days drive in one direction or another.

When we got to Cousin Barb’s house Tuesday evening, she brought out a fantastic photo album that had been our Grandmother’s.1961 Erzsebet Borbala in SzK A

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The American Story

The ‎American Story has long been written by immigrants.

On July 4, 1776…
“Fifty-six founders put their names on a piece of paper. Up until that moment, none of them were American. Even those who had spent their entire lives in one of the thirteen colonies had grown up in another country.” —Cecilia Muñoz, White House Domestic Policy Council

July 4, 1776
July 4, 1776

This quote has me thinking about the immigrants who sacrificed and risked so much to create this new country. Continue reading

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.

wolf darling zoom

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  ?

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.

hungary-easter-2010-3-26-6-52-12

from sulekha.com

Continue reading

The Early Magyars, from The Gin Chronicles (http://allajohn.wordpress.com)

The Early Magyars

I have been reading or at least skimming through a pile of books on Hungarian history to get a bit of context on the lives of my ancestors. Then I came upon this illustration which I think does a marvelous job of explaining where the Magyars came from.

The Gin Chronicles

John and I have been really dragging our feet talking about Budapest because not only is there an absurd amount of history, but it’s also our favorite city of the trip.  I mean, can you blame us? Look at it.

Alright, lets start with a little bit of history.

Who are the Hungarians?  Were they originally Huns?  Slavs? Really hungry people that ate their way through Eastern Europe?  Not quite…

Hungarians are the Magyar people; nomads who were known for their equestrian and archery skills.  If riding a horse isn’t hard enough, they perfected shooting arrows while bouncing up and down.  It is debated whether or not Hungarians descended from Asians or Caucasians (DNA evidence and previous features point to Asian).  Does it matter? Not really.  Asian or not, they made their way from the Ural Mountains to what is currently Hungary (more or less) around the 5th century. Here is…

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