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Wishing you a very blessed Easter!

Áldásos húsvéti ünnepeket kívánunk!

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Declarations of War, World War I
Declarations of War, World War I

What started out as a local punitive action, the original declaration of war on Serbia by the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy soon mushroomed into a global conflagration.  This was due mostly to the intricate web of alliances woven across Europe which even  reached to the Far East.  

The Central Powers, or Triple Alliance, consisted of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, Germany and Italy.  They were faced by the Triple Entente, consisting of Great Britain, France and Russia.  These were the main participants.  But  numerous others also joined in.  I will try to untangle the various reasons why some of them entered what became World War I, and why such an array of countries was represented at the signing of the Treaty of Trianon at the end.

(Just a point of interest: the rulers of the three  main participants in the conflict were related by family ties!  German Kaiser Wilhelm II and King George V of England were first cousins; King George and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia were also first cousins; and Kaiser Wilhelm and Tsar Nicholas were third cousins!  Unfortunately, theirs exploded into much more than just a family squabble!)

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Erika Papp Faber

On the Way to the Trenches
On the Way to the Trenches

In this centennial year of the Treaty of Trianon, when we recall the outbreak of World War I, we might wonder what it was really like for the soldier on the battlefield. In a handwritten family publication which appeared in 1921, I have come across a description by a soldier who had been there. This piece is taken from the first and the last of a series of four about his military experience. He signed them only as “Paletta”.  It seems more than likely that this pseudonym was used by one of my Dad’s friends, Éliás Győző, who was also a talented painter.  The illustrations here are his own.

We had originally published this piece in 2014, when we commemorated the centennial of the outbreak of World War I.  

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Paletta (pseudonym for Éliás Győző)

Personal Memories of the Outbreak of World War I

Vajk Edit
Personal Memories of the Outbreak of World War I

In the early 1900s, my (EPF's) Grandfather, Vajk József, was Chief Engineer of the Vajdahunyad Iron Works in Transylvania, a position that was a government job.  My Aunt Edit Vajk, fourth of the five Vajk children, was 14 years old when World War I broke out.  Based on her diary, she had recorded in her memoirs how she and her family experienced that tumultuous event. 

Although we had published this article six years ago, on the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the war, it seems appropriate to revive it now, when we recall the events that led up to the Treaty of Trianon.

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Vajk Edit

Magyar Treasures: Aranybulla – the Golden Bull

Statue of King Endre II at Heroes' Square, Budapest
Magyar Treasures: Aranybulla – the Golden Bull

Signed seven years after the Magna Carta, the Aranybulla (Golden Bull, so named for the seals – called bulla in Latin – attached to it) was written in Latin, and was one of the first European documents constitutionally restricting the power of a monarch.  It became the basic charter of the country. 

N.B.  The King’s name can be interchangeably András or Endre. 

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Judit Vasmatics Paolini

American-Hungarian Community

67th Café Budapest

Ally, Beau (Ally's escort) and Livvy (Ally's sister)
67th Café Budapest

This traditional fund-raising event is the highlight of the annual Hungarian social season in the Bridgeport, CT area.  It is so uplifting to see the young students who are the recipients of the donors’ generosity. 

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Allyson Szabo

Letter from Claudia
Letter from Claudia
This letter from Claudia Balogh is a breath of fresh air in these troubled times. Referring to Psalm 91, she reminds us to rely  on Him  who is our "refuge", our "stronghold", the one Whom  we can trust in times of the "plague" and the "scourge". 
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Magyar News Classics

Március 15
Since the March 15th commemoration in Fairfield, CT had to be cancelled this year because of the Coronavirus, we recall an earlier such celebration, as reported in  the May 2005 issue of Magyar News.  See the full story...

Arts and Culture

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An Increasingly Rare Easter Custom

Guarding the sepulcher
An Increasingly Rare Easter Custom

Hajdúdorog, located in the northeastern part of the Great Plain, is known as ”the city most faithful to its Greek Catholic faith”. The Greek (Byzantine) Catholic cathedral has retained a characteristic way of celebrating the Resurrection of Christ at Easter.  In a tradition handed down from one generation to the next, young men in festal attire stand guard before the symbolic sepulcher of Christ (Krisztus-sír), from Good Friday until Easter Sunday.  (We had mentioned them briefly in the April 2017 issue of MNO).

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Erika Papp Faber

The Hungarian Operetta

Lehár Ferenc and Huszka Jenő
The Hungarian Operetta

In the long list of Hungaricums, in the company of Tokaji aszú and Goulash, is  Hungarian Operetta. Musicologically, the operetta occupies a hazy spot between opera, light opera, opera buffa and the musical.  At the head of the impressive line of Magyar operetta composers is Lehár Ferenc, best known to the world as Franz Lehar, whose 150th birthday we’ll celebrate this April.  Next in the line is Huszka Jenő, who would be 145 years old this April.  They were followed by a respectable number of other composers.  Here, however, we wish to throw a party for these two “birthday boys” only.

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Olga Vállay Szokolay

Kőbányai Víztároló / Water “Cathedral” Underground

Entrance to the cistern
Kőbányai Víztároló / Water “Cathedral” Underground

An acquaintance of mine shared a photo recently on Facebook, of a tiny elegant house that would be fitting for fairies.  But, as you go in and down the stairs, you are in another magical world.

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Karolina Tima Szabo

Öt óra, este / Five O'clock, Evening
Csanády György (1895-1952), author of the "Székely Anthem", was a soldier at the Russian front in World War I, an experience that left an indelible impression on him.  This poem captures a brief moment, a small episode after his return to civilian life, a moment that today we might call evidence of post-traumatic stress syndrome, as he is transported back from a warm social affair to a snowy Carpathian battle scene. See the full story...
Csanády György

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Asparagus is coming into season now.  This is a very delicious light soup for the spring.

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Hungary Past and Present

It Was Worse!

Lánchíd (Chain Bridge) blown up at end of WWII, photo by id. Takács István
It Was Worse!

Are you feeling helpless, hopeless, not seeing the end of the quarantines, the social distancing, the limitations, the shortages and other interruptions of your daily life? You are not alone, especially if you never lived through wars and other disasters. Here I wish to put it all in perspective, hoping that by comparison you’ll appreciate your present discomfort.  This too shall pass!

 

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Olga Vállay Szokolay

Hungarian Coronavirus Defense

A Hungarian invention that has been used there in mass transportation and in some country hospitals for a few years, may curtail the rapid spread of the Coronavirus.  Even other countries are interested in the special coating, while physicians relentlessly emphasize the utmost importance of frequent and thorough hand washing.

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Olga Vállay Szokolay

It's a Small World/Kicsi a Világ

Did you know ...

... that we have some rather unusual athletes to report on, as well as a little-known (and probably little appreciated) weatherman?

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