Musings on history and politics on the eve of Hungary’s national holiday

Almost every year since 2007 I have devoted a post to Hungary’s most important national holiday, August 20, the day that, at least in Hungary, is devoted to the veneration of St. Stephen, the first crowned head of the country. I searched in vain for Stephen’s name under this date on the website catholic.org. I discovered that the Catholic Church celebrates the feast day of St. Stephen on August 16. Hungarians, however, chose August 20 because it was on that date that King István/Stephen I was canonized in 1083.

August 20 as a national holiday has gone through some interesting metamorphoses. After the communist takeover, it remained a national holiday but was named “the day of the new bread.” A few years later the government decided to publish the new Stalinist constitution on that day, and therefore between 1950 and 1989 it was called the Day of the Constitution. Somehow the idea of bread kneaded from newly milled flour appealed to Hungarians, and to this day a special loaf of bread is baked for the occasion, called “bread of the country.” As of last year, another loaf is being made in the city of Szolnok, called “bread of the Carpathian Basin.” Hungarians are expanding their horizons. The chief of the baking team in Szolnok will be from Sfântu Gheorghe/Sepsiszentgyörgy (Romania). He will be assisted by bakers from Senta/Zenta (Serbia), Berehove/Beregszász (Ukraine), Komárom (Hungary), and the Polish city of Tarnów. They will use water from Berehove, yeast from Senta, potatoes from Komárom, and salt from Praid/Parajd (Romania). The loaf will weigh 300 kg. and will be baked in the largest “Szekler oven” in Central Europe.

In the past I covered this day by telling readers about the paucity of contemporary sources we have for the first couple of centuries of Hungarian history after the settlement in the Carpathian Basin and the limitations this poses to historians of the period. Pál Engel (1938-2000), a historian of the Middle Ages, wrote that a Hungarian historian’s situation in this respect can be compared to a British historian who would have to tackle the history of England without the existence of the Public Record Office. One has to be very careful not to create an imagined or “untruthful history,” as Nóra Berend, professor of medieval history at the University of Cambridge, said in an interview she gave to Népszava today. Unfortunately, all nations are full of myths and dubious interpretations of historical sources, which from the eleventh century are meager indeed.

Népszava was the only publication that turned to a historian for information about the time of St. Stephen. Others reported on the government’s intentions to provide the “correct” interpretation of this holiday. Perhaps the most outrageous among these are the “instructions” that were given to the staff of Hungarian embassies for guidance about the proper way of informing their guests of the Hungarian government’s position on the migration issue. The text of “Communication messages for August 20” found its way to Magyar Nemzet.

It is customary for each embassy to give a reception on August 20, to which the ambassador invites members of the diplomatic corps and representatives of the host government. Unfortunately, many officials and diplomats are on holiday in August. But the few people who show up will be subjected to Hungarian government propaganda. The main point Hungarian diplomats are supposed to emphasize is that “Hungary has always had to fight hard for its existence” because there was always a real danger that certain people “want to place the country into foreign hands.” Until now no one has succeeded in doing so, but now that danger is real. The diplomats should point out that we are at a junction when “we will have to choose between the Hungary of St. Stephen and those who attack our culture.” The diplomats are also supposed to call attention to the fact that already in the age of St. Stephen Hungary had domestic enemies who “wanted to make the country part of other empires,” and the situation is not at all different now. At this point, the Hungarian diplomat is supposed to note that George Soros would like to see “foreigners invade our homeland.” People in the service of the American billionaire want to destroy the Hungary of St. Stephen. “They are ready” and therefore “we must be ready too.”

András Kósa, the author of the article, when he got to the point about the internal enemies in St. Stephen’s Hungary, jokingly added in parentheses: “Does Koppány know about this?” And now let’s return to Nóra Berend’s interview, in which she brought up the story of Koppány as an example of a story that may not be true.

If you go to the Wikipedia English-language entry on Koppány, you will be struck by all the question marks concerning this relative of Stephen, who in accordance with the traditional principle of seniority claimed the throne. Stephen’s father Géza, however, following the Christian law of primogeniture, designated his son as his successor. Koppány, who was ruling over the area of today’s Zala and Somogy counties, revolted against Stephen, who defeated him. On Stephen’s order, Koppány’s body was quartered and its parts hung over the walls of Esztergom, Veszprém, Győr, and Gyulafehérvár/Alba Iulia. In today’s interpretation, this was not just a battle between two members of the ruling house. It was a decisive struggle between Christianity and the old pagan ways. The outcome of this battle really made Hungary part of Europe. This was the interpretation proposed by György Győrffy in his 670-page book on King Stephen and his Creation (1977). As adviser to the Hungarian rock opera Stephen, the King, he further emphasized the point. Largely because of the popularity of the rock opera, this is the accepted popular interpretation of the encounter between Stephen and Koppány.

Kósa is right. By no stretch of the imagination can Koppány be called a “foreign agent.” Moreover, Nóra Berend has very serious doubts about many details of the story of Koppány’s encounter with Stephen. As she points out in the interview, the main source of information about the event comes from the fourteenth century, which is very late. This chronicle doesn’t mention Koppány’s religion at all. There were two or three pagan rebellions during Stephen’s reign, but they are not associated with Koppány. Moreover, the story of Koppány’s body’ being quartered by order of Stephen is suspicious since, according to Berend, quartering didn’t exist before the thirteenth century. All in all, the whole account is most likely the result of efforts to create a coherent story from extremely meager facts at the disposal of historians.

The question is whether it matters what today’s children learn about Koppány’s religion and his struggle with Stephen. I’m sure that a lot of people would say it matters not at all. But, unfortunately, this is not the case. A few years ago there were serious discussions in right-wing circles bemoaning the fact that Stephen won that battle and thus ruined the original ethnicity and purity of pagan Hungarians. And paganism is staging a comeback. Take, for example, the annual gathering called Kurultaj, a three-day affair organized by the Hungarian-Turanian Foundation, where, among other things, shamans perform marriage ceremonies pagan style. These gatherings attract larger and larger crowds every year. The modern pagan and native faith movement in Central and Eastern Europe has a sizable literature by now. So, what the struggle between Stephen and Koppány was all about does matter.

August 19, 2017
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tappanch
Guest

“paganism is staging a comeback”

The government plans to spend 3 billion forints to build a “spiritual retreat” in the Pilis mountain, but not for the Buddhists.

http://rtl.hu/rtlklub/hirek/elvonulasi-kozpont-3-milliardert

wrfree
Guest
Orban looks a modern Stephen taking a page from ‘The Book of Exhortations of St Stephen’ to his son written in 1015. ‘By preserving the shield of faith , you also don the helmet of salvation’. With these weapons you can overcomes your invisible and visible foes by legitimate means’. So the world to the leader is divided in two .. of pagans and those of the Faith. However, with Orban he still affirms that dip into the past which assuages the masses to indulge themselves in another mythic time and place where they can believe that there is found the genesis of a glorious ”Magyardom’ and Magyar identity. For a period of an ancient time perhaps it could be said Stephen had a land that could described from a Gibbonian passage from his esteemed ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’ as where ‘the frontiers of that monarchy were guarded by ancient renown and disciplined valor’. It would appear now from Magyarorszag the millenniums have not been kind to the small country as she prepares fitfully for modernity. Her frontiers are guarded now feverishly preparing for an invasion that presses hard and will come almost immediately and the populace… Read more »
Member

It is nice, that Hungarians return to the days of old and more of them become pagan voluntarily.
Let’s hope that the time will come soon when they will admit, that 2000 years was not enough and they have left no more wherewithal to become true Christians and assimilate with Western Europeans under the skillful leadership of their present chief, viktor I.

Observer
Guest

For Hungarian speakers , it’s worth reading the MN report linked above – historical lies apart, it’s primitive propaganda pushibg out of place messages and plain offensive to the European diplomats: e.g. “the countries west of us, which were naive and weak … are trembling in fear of terror … and are forsaking their own culture to please foreigners”.

Felcsút “wisdom” and level – disgrace for Hungary.

Observer
Guest

I mean “the MN report linked above about the Foreign Ministry instruction to the Hungarian diplomats…”

Guest

Hungarians fascination with “old” history always feels strange to me – they should think more about what happened in the last one hundred years instead of “warming up” these old fairy tales (says my wife).
Wasn’t Stephen also the nice guy who put liquid metal into the ears of his rivals – because if you couldn’t hear you weren’t allowed as kings or something similar?

PS and rather OT re bread:
Those bakers should try to get Hungarians to make good bread – even after 1000 years they can’t do it right it seems!
My wife always insists of bringing lots of dark bread (Pumpernickel is her favourite) from Germany and when this runs out she bakes herself because the Hungarian bread is so horrible!
Her father owned a small bakery btw until the Russians came and took it away from him …
And when we get guests from Germany we also ask them to bring lots of bread.

Aida
Guest

The Hungarian bread like most of their cooking is too salty. A friend brought me some from Hungary as a present.

Give me Sourdough or Le levain in France any time.

But the brioch (kalacs) is nice.

Guest

Now rather OT:
Kürtöskalacs is too sweet for me, but my wife likes it.

Lángos has too many calories – sometimes we share one.
One thing I really enjoy is the kenyérlángos or langalo – especially when made in a wood fired oven like our Flammkuchen.
My wife sometimes makes it at home and then I’m responsible for the toppings – I usually give it a mediterranean touch, so not only sour cream, garlic, kolbasz and bacon but also olives and whatever you like. Then in addition we serve guacamole – ain’t globalisation wonderful?

tappanch
Guest

“Mekitsa (Bulgarian, Macedonian: мекица, also transliterated as mekica; plural mekici) is a traditional Bulgarian dish made of kneaded dough made with yogurt that is deep fried. They are made with flour, eggs, yogurt, a leavening agent, water, salt, and oil. In Serbia they are called mekike (sing. mekika). They are similar to Hungarian lángos. Mekitsa is conventionally a breakfast dish.”

Wiki

мекица tastes like a good quality, not-so-greasy lángos.

:Bastiat2
Guest

I agree that Hungarian bread is bad. However, I would never choose German bread as an example: it is equally untasty. French traditional bread (pain au levain) is the best.
But funnily enough Hungarian pastry is one of the best, together with French pastries, especially that of Daubner.

Guest

As a German I only eat dark rye bread if possible – and my wife does the same. The white French is yukky!

And the pastry of course the Hungarians learned from the Austrians – my wife’s father (the baker) often told her about his fabulous years as a young “Lehrling” (apprentice) in Vienna.

Aida
Guest

French “baguette” varies in quality, but can only be eaten fresh or dried into “croutons”. Working hours restrictions in France have made it difficult to get properly made fresh baguette on your breakfast table. I recall in my youth walking back from the “boite” at 4am and noticing the bakers getting the bread ready. Not any more.

In France there are huge varieties of bread. My favourite is “levain” . Try it.

Since this is the festival to clebrate Hungarian bread I think it is perfectly reasonable to discuss the quality of the celebree. I do not think Bimbi’s strictures are justified.

bimbi
Guest

@wolfi7777, 3:25 a.m. and Bastiat2, 9:45 a.m.

Why, oh why, on a political blog are we treated to people whining about the quality of bread in Hungary?
The bread here is great. There is variety, you get it fresh and it is tasty. Jezus Maria! If you want Pumpernickel, then go back to Pumpernickelland. Did you really come here only for the quality of the bread?

There is plenty wrong in Hungary. But the bread ain’t included in the list! Irrelevant whingers!

Observer
Guest

Top on my list Aldi baguettes and rye bread.

tappanch
Guest

The new “félbarna” in Lidl, tastes like a good bread 50 years ago, and costs only 0.6 euros a kilogram.

az angol beteg
Guest

You’ve really got in for Hungarian bread. Perhaps because you aren’t English. I can assure you that once we venture across the channel we come across bountiful supplies of good bread all the way to Moscow. Our bread by comparison doesn’t deserve to be described as such.
And we’re also rather too familiar with our recent history. Standing alone against the fury of the 3rd Reich on our little island armed to the teeth with spam and a few spitfires. Sadly we’re less familiar with the previous 400 years when we enslaved half the world and made a few families disgustingly wealthy.

Ferenc
Guest

“This is the room, the start of it all
No portrait so fine, only sheets on the wall
I’ve seen the nights, filled with bloodsport and pain
And the bodies obtained, the bodies obtained

Where will it end? Where will it end?
Where will it end? Where will it end?”

from “Day of the Lords” – Joy Division (1979)

Thanks for the post, making the methods and intentions of the Hungarian government ever so clearer, very depressing…. BUT
Is there somewhere available an original of “communication instructions for Aug.20” (“Augusztus 20. kommunikációs üzenetek”). Searched for it, but not successful so far. If something turns up, recommended to make available to all people in Hungary and provide translations for others interested.
As follow up recorded speeches can be checked for wording as per instructions, and made again available to everybody interested.
Two interesting related items found:
-“Szent István vs. Soros György” – http://24.hu/belfold/2017/08/18/szent-istvan-vs-soros-gyorgy/
-“A Soros elleni küzdelem jegyében telik majd augusztus 20-a” (2018.Aug.18 newsreport incl.quotes by Fidis) – http://hirtv.hu/ahirtvhirei/a-soros-elleni-kuzdelem-jegyeben-telik-majd-augusztus-20-a-1401654

Gabor Toka
Guest
Very interesting and prudent thought! Indeed, the ill-supported aspects of the popular myth about the Koppany story may give a prestige and patriotic coloring to contemporary neo-paganist and anti-Western thought that it does not deserve. But I believe that you miss a few details about the 1970s that are quite interesting. It is a minor detail that Gyorffy and the rock opera were not responsible for the depiction of Koppany as the “pagan” political alternative to Stephen who, supposedly following his father’s policies – that, in this account, were motivated by the Lechfeld etc. military defeat and the realistic assessment that the ravaging of West European monasteries by Magyar bandits on the horseback must stop -, promoted a peaceful integration into Western Europe. This interpretation was all over the place before them, including the childrens literature that I was exposed to in the early 1970s. The bigger issue is that the (relatively) new twist in the 1970s was the idea that Koppany was a Christian himself – even if only nominally and out of political considerations -, it is just that he sought an alliance with Byzantine Empire rather than the Pope of Rome and the Germanic rulers that he… Read more »
Istvan
Guest
As a Catholic and a member of a founding family of St. Steven King of Hungry Church here in Chicago in 1934, it goes without saying I was immersed in mythology of Szent István as a child. Even more interesting was the fact that both my grandfather and uncle belonged to the first Hungarian Catholic Church in Chicago on the southeast side of the City which was founded in 1904 called Our Lady of Hungary. That church was closed in the 1980s and Hungarian language based school closed earlier. My grandfather and his brother bought property on the north side of the City along with other Hungarians and created their own Catholic Church in the 1930s. Most of the Hungarians who lived on the southeast side of Chicago were industrial workers or worked for the old Nickel Plate Railroad. A railroad that was founded by George Seney and apparently there was some recruitment down among Hungarian immigrants for their labor force. I have never fully researched this Hungarian Chicago labor force issue, but it always interested my father who knew many families from that southeast side parish. I knew very few of them. Eva’s secular veneration of István is missing… Read more »
wrfree
Guest

Re: ‘ The Catholic Church later backed off of that theological position, but it was what I was taught as a child and very explicitly so’.

You know it’s interesting that in looking back at my days at ‘St Stephen of Hungary’ school taught by the nuns and Franciscans I believe I never heard the word ‘zsido’ at all in the classroom. That’s my recollection. Don’t know. Maybe they just didn’t want to bring it up to the kids in my parts in NYC.

But I’ll say I heard it when I was an altar boy or lector when delivering passages to the congregation during Mass. Also those were the days of catechism. When things are done by rote well there’s not much time devoted to ‘digression’.

In any case I think if I’m called to do the ‘oreg’ Mass I can do it. One thing about a Catholic education is you never forget the Latin if you got it. 😎And anyway it’s great to have it since knowing a bit of it helps in defining certain words.

bimbi
Guest

@Istvan, 7:55 a.m.

“…St. Steven King of Hungry Church”

Ah yes, Istvan. In Chicago that’ll be the “Burger King of Hungry Church”, right?

tappanch
Guest

“Because Jews didn’t believe Jesus was the son of God”
– sure, the Jews’ novel idea was that God is unique,
so he cannot have father, mother and can never have a daughter or a son.

1 Corinthians ch 1, paragraph 23:

“We preach that Christ has been crucified,
which is σκάνδαλον [scandalous] to the Jews, and
μωρίαν [ridiculous] to the ἔθνεσιν [(Heathen) nations]”

Ovidiu
Guest
This fascination with the old history has emerged in Romania as well, and probably for the same reasons as in Hungary. In the last 10-15 years a part (slice) of the young generation has taken an a keen, almost obsessive, interest in the Dacian-Roman past and has produced a huge body of literature about that (largely foggy and mythologic) past. There are dozens of groups of reenactors who “replay” Dacian-Roman battles, hundreads of websites and FB pages dedicated to the subject. Like in Hungary, the devotees (called “dacopaths” and “dacomaniacs” by their critics) of this new cult have a critical, if not outright hostile, view of Christianity, of its universalim and its “love&peace” gospel. In my opinion, which is also the opinion of ma ny Romanian sociologists and psychologists, the young generation of Romanians is having an “identity crisis” because of globalization and EU integration. Modernity (or post-modernity ?) has little to offer except an eternal present, consumerism and gadgetry while people need to have meaning in their life in order to live. They need to feel that they are part of a historical chain of being stretching across history and projecting itself eternally into the future. Absent such a… Read more »
Istvan
Guest

You might find a paper in English by Hubbes László-Attila titled “A Comparative Investigation of Romanian and Hungarian Ethno-Pagan Blogs.” I have not read it but looked at the abstract, apparently there is a whole field of research of this area, of which I had no awareness at all. My guess is that Hungarian pagans are much more racially driven with the myth of the Huns and all, than Romanian pagans. Since both groups of pagans will burn in hell it makes little difference to a Catholic like myself- snark intended.

Ovidiu
Guest

Thanks for writing me about that paper. It can be downloaded form here :

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1984597

Its abstract reads almost as a carbon-copy of my previous post but I haven’t seen this paper until now, I wasn’t plagiarizing 🙂 , but, as I wrote, this is the view of many Romanian sociologist and psychologists.

exTor
Guest

comment image

https://www.youtube.com/embed/LjdO6wDELE4?start=180

We had discussed Sebastian Gorka’s height earlier, petőfi. Check out this video, which I’ve started midclip. Stop it at 03:15 and see how tall Gorka actually is. He’s considerably taller than the two with whom he is talking. The clip (and the entire 13-minute video) is actually about Steve Bannon, who here is shown walking around a White House gettogether.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Aida
Guest

Is Gorka secure in his job?

Ferenc
Guest

What’s officially his job?

Istvan
Guest

He is six feet five inches tall, Trump is six feet two inches tall. For a Hungarian man that is very tall, our average hight is 5 feet 9 and a half inches, I am five ten and a half pretty close to the average.

Guest

Maybe Gorka’s family is of German descent – like Trump’s?
Though I wouldn’t be proud about that …

Joe Simon
Guest

The national myths pertaining to Hungarian history are rather harmless. Now, Woodrow Wilson, a racist, intervening militarily in Mexico and Haiti, is still revered as an idealist saint. His a war to end all war was a supreme piece of dishonest propaganda, the most fraudulent statement of the century. My hat off to the Princeton students demanding to remove Wilson`s name from all university buildings.

Aida
Guest

The students are just being silly and I hope the teachers will explain to them why they are wrong.

A statue represent the collective appreciation of the erectors for the celebree. It is a statement in time. The opinion may change with time but at this time we are not expressing any admiration for an ancient celebree. We are not erecting further statues. By leaving the existing ones in place is no confirmation of the view taken by the original erectors. It is merely an acknowledgment that the celebree was at one time much admired. It is not as if any new, disreputable things were newly discovered, which might provide such removal with justification. The student hysteria is based on a fallacy in not appreciating that the remaining statue merely confirms that earlier times people held different opinions from what the students now hold.

wrfree
Guest

Re: Princeton students

Some of the best and brightest I will agree. You can’t be a ‘tok feje’ to get in there. On the other hand even they might sit down and measure themselves a bit in their assessments.

I was a student once and I can realize that the group can be dopey. I recall from my university days a protest during the Viet Nam war where all I heard from a few who were blocking entrances to classes was ‘Work, study, get ahead , kill’. These formulations sure didn’t jibe with me. I failed to ‘connect their connections’ and logic fir a number if reasons. It was there that I learned about the mob. A sense of it can be had reading the children’s series of books called ‘The Stupids Step Out’. I kept the copies that we read to my guys.
You can learn alot from kids books.😎

Observer
Guest

There is history of a nation, the historical myths are almost always nationalistic and therefor harmful. Particularly the greatly false ones, e.g. the Orban regime’s whitewashing of war criminals, denying Hungary’s responsibility in WW2 or the myths about Hun superiority over other peoples.

Myths go down better lower the social/intellectual pyramid, but they work, even the dumbest ones, e.g. the current Soros rules the world line.

:Bastiat2
Guest

It seems to me that secularism is the big danger nowadays, not paganism, which is at best extremely marginal.
I was staggered to see, on the facade of the Budapest Museum a huge poster for the 500th anniversary of the reform (Martin Luther posted his 95 thesis on the door of the church of Wittemberg on October 30, 1517), even though Budapest is mainly Roman Catholic. No way could that happen in London, Paris (imagine that on the Louvre!) or Berlin.

wrfree
Guest

And you know there is an irony though to the efficacy of instituting Christian moral power in the hands of St Stephen’s descendants. The Secular? The Religious ? One seemingly cannot argue that really any of these approaches submit ‘redeeming’ qualities into the society. Magyarorszag appears to be suffering a deficit all around. Their moral compass looks askew.

Guest

Secularism is humankind’s only hope!
Most religions (Christianity and Islam e g) have too many dark sides – high time to get rid of them!

Luckily in most civilised countries religion is irrelevant – less than a quarter of young people cling to it.

wrfree
Guest
Re: ‘Secularism is humankind’s hope!’ Perhaps. But it also has a track record too. Depends on who swirls out the incense and what kind. It can also be gruesome steward as well. I’m sure we can all fill in the blanks. As for ‘religiosity’, religion and modes of belief are undergoing a transformation here in the post-modern age. Magyarorszag of course goes back to the tried and true with its ‘collective’ approach to the ancient sect. They like to get everybody in the tent. It appears to be defiant in its ‘Christianess’ and at the same time against the rising Muslim tide. Not sure if its martyrdom they want but that is not considering the country’s demo situation a wise response. But I’m afraid in their hands it’s so far gone hypocritical that it makes a mockery of ‘devotion’ to a creed. I still regardless of ‘politics’ cannot understand the response of the ‘Holy See’ in some respects. It’s like the quip some historians have of the HRE… it wasn’t ‘holy, roman or an empire’. It was only done for the textbooks.😎 As for getting rid of religion I’m biased of course. I’d just have to think humanity has many… Read more »
Guest

It’s not a question of “doing it” – it just happens. As I wrote, many/most people aren’t interested in religion any more. Even in my generation: None of my friends and family (nor in my wife’s family!) is “into” any kind of belief and that’s nothing new. My grandmother used to say when asked about her beliefs:

I believe that a pound of meat makes a good soup for my family …

wrfree
Guest

Re: ‘it just happens’

But wolfi me boy you might be waiting until the tehens come home…😎 It’s a snowball’s chance in hell ‘religious’ belief will go away in our lifetimes. In my opinion, I’m not too sure belief is slipping away. I think it is more that it has morphed into something different. I don’t doubt atheism is on the rise but it by no means has captured the imagination if the world’s people. ‘God’ or a conception is still a religious smash hit.

I would agree though ‘belief’ in some respects has moved away from formalized religious entities. It’s more personalized now. Those are not so prone to want to be definitively tied up with specific sects since perhaps they have their own version of ‘God’ or creation or how the world works in spiritual matters. Indeed religiooys belief has changed. It will be fascnating to see how ‘secularism’ will have more effects on a extremely important behavior in civilization.

Guest

Again:
Among us “intellectuals” in Hungary and Germany there is no one who believes in any kind of god/goddess/higher power!
But of course we are (as we used to chant on the streets as students …) in a minority …
Wir sind eine kleine radikale Minderheit!
I was just remembering those days – a school friend of mine (he’s a biology prof, friend of Dawkins …) had his 75th birthday and we talked a lot about the good old times …
Actually those times at school were bad – lots of clerical fascists among the teachers in the Gymnasium in a largely Catholic town, but we learned a lot from/about them lunatics 60 years ago!

Observer
Guest

Wrfree
Pls check the stats re Christian Chritian practicing religions in Europe – minorities everywhere*, small minorities in Skandinavia, etc.
* exception Poland and also higher in Hun (and Greece) the two places going fascist. Catholicism in modern Europe was overlapping with corruption, backwardness and poverty.
Thanks, no!

Observer
Guest

Religion is bad, to various degrees in space and time, but on balance its bad, if only because it promotes credo and discourages (persecutes) critical thought and rational debate.
The blind faith and truth by authority approach in turn facilitates manipulation and eliminates the self correction mechanisms leading to excesses, etc etc.
See Richard Dawkins, Chris Hutchens, Laurence Krauss et al.

Sackhoes Contributor
Guest

I disagree. First of all, why would it be unusual in a country that not long after the Reformation was overwhelmingly Protestant, to inform and educate people of the important event. While there were reformers before him, like Jan Hus and John Wycliffe, Luther’s challenge to the Pope and to the Roman Catholic Church to stop their abusive practices and reform themselves, set in motion a major historical process that allowed a grassroots based religion to take hold, which greatly contributed to the political and economic growth of North-Western Europe. Just look at the difference in the growth of North America, versus South America, even though the latter was far more blessed with natural resources.

Ferenc
Guest

A detail about the “bread of the Carpathian Basin” doesn’t make any sense to me: what has (a baker of) the Polish city of Tarnów to do with this?
Another peculiar thing about the participating “határon túli” is that Slovakia isn’t present. Is Komárom supposed to count for ‘two’ or is there something else going on here (between Hungary and Slovakia)?

Sackhoes Contributor
Guest

Prior to Trianon, Komarom was mostly on the northern bank of the Danube, what is now Szlovakia. The current Hungarian city grew considerably the border change. Here is a map (in German) http://mapire.eu/hu/map/hkf_75e/?layers=osm%2C8&bbox=2003395.4020973982%2C6058771.49239596%2C2033970.2134114688%2C6072128.863088794

Guest

Komarno as it’s now called in Slovakia is still a nice city – we went there once. A story to show the friendlyness of the people there:
We went into a café and the waitress automatically addressed me in German …
When my wife asked for something in Hungarian she of course answered in Hungarian …
Later I asked her about the € which had just been introduced and whether they also had “welcome packages” at the banks containing a set of the new coins – she said these didm’t exist as far as she knew.
And later again she came back with one of each new Slovak € coin which she had searched for in her purse – so I got what a friend of ours had asked for …

Ferenc
Guest

A lot of rain last night and this morning in Budapest and Hungary…comment image
even the M3 metro couldn’t run for a while…
George was crying over his motherland, his tears went very far…
luckily in the evening no rain expected, so he’ll have a clear view…comment image
over the unfortunate air pollution…

Guest

Not too much OT:
An interview in the German SPIEGEL with Ivan Krastev on the reasons why Eastern Europe is so afraid of the refugees/migrants – partly because they have beeen refugees themselves:
http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/gesellschaft/fluechtlinge-politikwissenschaftler-im-interview-migration-ist-die-neue-revolution-a-1162957.html
It’s in German but Krastev also writes for the NYT – very sound reasoning from him imho.

Among other things he compares the importance of the refugee problem for Europeans to 9/11 for the USA …

Aida
Guest

I have just notice in Nepszava that two men received from Ader the Order of Saint Steven. One of these was outrageous the other deeply sad.

The former was an award to Cardinal Erdos, the head of the Roman Catholics in Hungary. A priest is a servant of God and or its Church and its congregation. Accepting a political honour is a disgrace. Back to Rakosi’s “peace priests”?

The latter is the award to Tamas Vasary. What kind of pressure did the poor man had to endure to submit to this humiliation. He is a great artist and a good man. So, so sad

Aida
Guest

Typo: Erdo for Erdos. Apologies

Observer
Guest

Card. Erdős well deserved this acknowledgment from the fascists – the Catholic Church has been quietly collaboration with the Orban regime while it destroyed democracy, usurped all power and has been robbing the nation blind. Of course Erdős and co got a big bowl of gulas (not just tàl lencse) for betraying ( again) the teaching of JC. No more starkly so than in the case of the Hun poor and the refugees.
So here we are again – religion is bad.

Aida
Guest

Religion is crap, of course. Diety might provide some cover for the so called teaching. The priest in England just talk trendy bollocks without any reference to basic principles. Well meaning, at its best, but off message.

The Catholic Church was doctrinally OK until our Jesuit Pope. He may not even be a Catholic.

The CofE says that love trumps all. Do not even bother to apply your mind to such rubbish. State church inspired propaganda, but Christian theology it is not. Love is nice, but it is not a discovery of century 21. Also it is only a part of what the church is about. Not one priest now says so. If he, or for that matter, she contradicted it, guess what.

I have never been a champion of religion. It’s relevance is pretty questionable now.

tappanch
Guest

Re: Gorka

“”I would not call him an expert on terrorism,” said Stephen Sloan, a retired professor of political science
[and an advisor of Gorka’s PhD dissertation] who spent much of his career at the University of Oklahoma.
Though he said Gorka is “knowledgeable” about terrorism matters,
“his level of expertise does not match the level where he stands in the White House.”
Sloan said Gorka “does a very good job being the bulldog, if you will, for the administration …
but as an adviser, I have some discomfort.”

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/18/politics/gorka-credentials/index.html

Matt_L
Guest

Re: St. Stephen’s Day. I was doing research on a different project in the National Museum when I came across some photographs of the day being celebrated before and after World War One. Before the war started, it was a religious procession, with priests carrying the reliquary, Bishops, and children carrying flowers like a Mayday celebration. After the war started, sometime in 1915 or 1916 they had soldiers carrying the reliquary and the kids were replaced by the top brass in their field uniforms and even a couple of bishops in army uniforms.

I later read in a reference work (The Budapest Encyclopedia? — cant remember the Hungarian title– it was almost sixteen years ago, sorry) that St. Stephen’s Day on August 20th was mainly a local feast day in Budapest and was not widely celebrated in other parts of the country before WWI.

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