Good News: Let’s talk about Croatia

Lately I have been thinking about Croatia for a number of reasons.

Plava Laguna Porec

Plava Laguna Porec

1)      In book club this week we discussed ‘The Tiger’s Wife’ which takes place in Croatia. Well sort of.  It’s in made-up towns in the Balkans but along the coast of what seems to be Croatia. Loved the book. The rest of the book club had mixed reviews but everyone liked the deathless man.

2)      This good news about Croatia in the EU.

Let’s Not Forget the Good News: Croatia Joins the EU.

3)      My cousin is visiting Croatia and raving about this wonderful resort on the Adriatic.

4)      I found this mouth-watering post about Croatian foodcroatian food

I’m ready to go. How about you?

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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.

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  ?

Legeslegmegengesztelhetetlenebbeknek

Fiume Harbor about 1900

Fiume Harbor about 1900

Hungarian has been described as the most difficult language to learn.  That might be an exaggeration, but, the agglutinative (little bits of words all stuck together) nature of the Magyar tongue can be daunting. For a while under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Adriatic port city of Fiume was a free state managed by a Hungarian governor. The Hungarians required anyone wanting a position in the government to learn Hungarian. Most of those interested were Italian speakers who found the requirement impossible.

They expressed their opinion in this word scribbled on the walls: ‘Legeslegmegengesztelhetetlenebbeknek’. It means ‘To the most unreasonable ones’. And, no. I’ve tried. I can’t pronounce it.