Did you know ...?


... that the delicious and iconic Hungarian dobos torta finally became an official Hungarikum

What is Hungarikum? It is a collective term indicating a value worthy of distinction and highlighting, exhibiting typically Hungarian uniqueness and quality.

And what about the dobos torta? We can say that it is the best Hungarian cake. It is the perfect harmony of sponge, cocoa, and caramelized sugar, without any fuss. It was introduced to the public 134 years ago by József Dobos, a confectioner.

Have you tried it?

(see the March 2018 issue of Magyar News Online for a list of Hungarikums).

... that November 13th is Hungarian Language Day?   On that day in 1844, when Hungary was still under Austrian rule, Magyar was declared, by law, to be the official language of the State.  The date was made official by Parliament in 2011.

In his welcoming remarks opening the 4th Hungarian Heritage Festival at the Hungarian House in New York, H.E. István Pásztor, Consul General of Hungary,  emphasized that our language is the main part of our cultural heritage and also the foundation of our national identity. 

In this context, we  might want to recall the words of Reményik Sándor:

Vigyázzatok ma jól, mikor beszéltek,
És áhítattal ejtsétek a szót...

E drága nyelvet porrá ne törjétek,
Ne nyúljon hozzá avatatlanul
Senki: ne szaggassátok szirmait
A rózsafának, mely hóban virul.
Úgy beszéljen ma ki-ki magyarul,
Mintha imádkozna,
Mintha aranyat, tömjént, myrrhát hozna! ...

... that Hungary’s – but probably also the world’s – first woman archaeologist, Torma Zsófia, died 120 years ago?  Born in Csicsókeresztúr (Beszterce-Naszód County), Transylvania into a family of archaeologists in 1832, she was the first to excavate the Neolithic Tordos culture, calling attention to the similarity of the symbols she found on the objects with the Assyrian-Babilonian and Sumerian writings. 

At first, she was made fun of, but her finds in Hunyad County created a sensation in archaeological circles.  That did not mean that she was recognized by all her colleagues;  many, to whom she had generously given away samples of her finds, used them to write learned treatises, but ”forgot” to mention her as the source of their information. The Serbian archaeologist who, 30 years later did extensive excavations and publicized the Tordos-Vinca culture, did not so much as mention her name as the one who had drawn his attention to the site and in whose footsteps he followed. 

In 1876, she attended the 9th International Conference of Ancient Archaelogy in Berlin, the only woman to be invited to attend, and also attended archaeological congresses in Frankfurt/Main. 

She worked in Tordos, Hunyad County for 20 years, and published a  number of studies based on her findings.  She took part in the foundation of the Kolozsvár museum.

She was the first female to be awarded an honorary doctorate at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Ferencz József Tudomány Egyetem in Kolozsvár in the spring of 1899, a few months before her death.  Among her papers was found a draft of a reply to the letter advising her of this honor. In it, she wrote that she had been the object of so much harrassment and humiliation at that same university, and that she would not have any benefit from it now, since she was already dying, that she would really like to refuse the ”honor”.  As an afterthought, she added that on the other hand, it might be fitting revenge on her enemies and those who had made fun of her.  It is not known whether she ever mailed it ...

...that Gera Marina has just been awarded an International Emmy as Best Acrtress in the Hungarian production „Örök tél” – Eternal Winter?  The film had been declared Best Drama at the 33rd International Film Festival in Fort Lauderdale, FL in 2018, and previously had beem named Best European Film of the Year.