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Arts and Culture

A Date in Hungarian History: April 30, 1901

Scene from the third version of the csárdás
A Date in Hungarian History: April 30, 1901

The first Hungarian film, “A táncz” (The Dance), a black-and-white silent film made in 1901, will have its 120th anniversary on April 30, 2021.  (In those days, the letter "c" was spelled "cz".)

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István Arato

Úr – Asszony – Katona

The so-called "Standard of Ur", in the British Museum
Úr – Asszony – Katona

Dr. Bobula Ida was one of the 20th century pioneers who devoted her life to researching Hungarian-Sumerian relations. She found that over 4,000 Hungarian words can be traced back to their Sumerian origins. This is the text of one of her articles. EPF

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Dr. Bobula Ida

Fedák Sári

Fedák Sári
Fedák Sári

Unlike the names of persons in science, literature and history, performers’ fame is not necessarily remembered from the pre-motion-picture world of drama.  Only the limited stratum of privileged ones had access and a chance to frequent theaters.  And only the most outstanding talents’ names survived oblivion.

For baby boomers and their successors, it is almost inconceivable that motion pictures were once only black-and-white, and silent.  Until 1927, a piano player provided sound for movies.  Color entered the screen only in the late 1930’s. 

The first Hungarian motion picture, “A táncz” (“The Dance”, see elsewhere in this issue) was made at the turn of the century and came out in 1901.  Our heroine, born in 1879, followed in the footsteps of two memorable giants, Jászai Mari and Blaha Lujza, nicknamed “the nation’s nightingale” by the writer Jókai Mór.  They all straddled the advent of the movies, but their fame was established by their live performances.

Yet, a name that echoes in the memory of most Hungarians who lived in the 20th century is indisputably that of Fedák Sári, known by a familial and familiar moniker, Zsazsa (obvious precursor of the similarly risqué Gábor variety a generation or two later).

 

 

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Olga Vállay Szokolay

Magyar Treasures: Written Embroidery/Írásos hímzés

Wall hanging with írásos embroidery
Magyar Treasures: Written Embroidery/Írásos hímzés

If you are a first-time visitor of a church in Transylvania, you will be amazed to see the embroidered cloths on the Lord’s Table, Christening fountain  and the pulpit.  Most of those are what we call irásos – “written” – embroidery, or zsinóros – “corded”, or kalotaszegi varrottas.

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Karolina Tima Szabó

French Salad / Francia saláta
French Salad / Francia saláta
This is a refreshing salad to go with the Easter ham.  Using fresh ingredients, it is popular in Hungary. See the full story...