September cultural celebrations in Hungary
THE DAY OF HUNGARIAN FOLK STORIES | SEPTEMBER 30TH
In Hungarian culture folk stories are a staple, they are a cultural fabric that resonates, providing values, manners, traditions stretch the imagination. Our folk stories can be witty, fairy stories, teaching stories (fabulas) weaving in sayings-proverbs or can talk about heros. Beyond the stories, the children build emotional connections to the story teller usually the parent while sitting in their lap or being comforted before sleep laying in bed. This is critical in today's electronic world to slow down, develop empathy and find solutions to daily problems likely happened to others before. They are unlike the Greek or other mythologies. The Hungarian folk stories are nearly not as complex and perhaps never as dramatic or scary and much shorter but likewise centuries old. The folk stories were told at the fire during the winter activities in the villages while working such as spinning yarn. (To the contrary of popular believes the Dracula stories are not traditional Hungarian Folk stories). Today, children are still being read frequently, therefore they develop a wide vocabulary in preschool already. TV stations also offer bed time stories. In Hungary there are folk story telling competitions among adults and children as it is widely held that stories are best when they are told by heart.
Here are some Hungarian folk stories which were broadcasted on PBS but the vocal tonalities are much more lively in Hungarian. This series became Hungaricum, (much like the world heritage for preservation but identifies Hungarian products)
Here are some notable motives of Hungarian folk tales:
- Bad and good | jó és rossz: Lessons learned, good and bad behaviors are contrasted; typically doing good for OTHERS not just for self, is emphasized and there is a judication for the bad behavior - "the good receives his reward and the bad his punishment".("a jó elnyeri jutalmát, a rossz a büntetést") Good decisions have good outcomes or for bad ones the opposite is true.
- Beyond the Sea | Óperenciás tengeren túl: This motif refers to a far-off, mysterious fictive land. The origin of the term is coming from the far away Enns river in Austria, during the era of Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy of 400 years.
- Curtailed Pig | Kurta farkú kismalac: The pig is a common animal in Hungarian village culture as it provided a vital source of food thus appears as a lovable character.
- Number Seven | hetes szám: It is often associated with magical properties and mystical occurrences. It is a symbol of luck and enchantment such as seven headed dragon. The origin of the number 7 is thought to have been compiled from the classical perhaps Greek mythology where 4 represented women, 3 represented men and together they express completeness.
- Number Three | hármas szám: 3 can be three siblings, princesses, princes, wishes or three trials to overcome.
- Luck of the Youngest | A legkisebb szerencséje:The youngest sibling is often the most beautiful and luckiest. Despite predictable outcomes, these tales always contain exciting twists. The closest in English the term " third is the charm" we use for third children today posessing easy going, smart qualities.
- Witch | boszorkány: Witches are common antagonists in Hungarian folk tales. They represent evil and often appear in eerie or frightening contexts.
- Gold | arany: The golden apple or golden fleece are magical objects that bestow wisdom or eternal life upon those who possess them. Folk stories often depict trials of the poor whose wise decision, acts and luck get ahead in life.
- Receiving Help by Chance | véletlen segítség: In Hungarian folk tales, heroes often stumble upon objects or individuals by chance, leading them to overcome challenges and adversity.
- Magical Powers | varázserő: Magical powers are a constant presence in Hungarian folk tales. These powers, unique and exceptional, assist the heroes in confronting foes or difficulties.
Hungarian folk stories still come alive in our scout camps, here in the US as a language and cultural teaching tool.
THE DAY OF HUNGARIAN DRAMA | SEPTEMBER 21
A celebration of Hungarian drama literature in Hungary and abroad.
On September 21, 1883, Imre Madách's dramatic poem The Tragedy of Man was premiered at the National Theater, directed by Ede Paulay. In 1984, the Association of Hungarian Writers initiated the celebration of the Day of Hungarian Drama where the values of Hungarian theater art is transpired to acquaint audiences and to encourage writers to create new works. On this day, Hungarian theaters organize special programs, events and performances to promote Hungarian drama.
This is the page of Csokonai Theater in Debrecen, planned activities that day (via Google translate) other theaters may have different plays.
Synopsis of The Tragedy of Man - The piece is complex, interestingly deals with present values, explores space and the distant future of 6000 AD.
EUROPEAN DAY OF LANGUAGES | SEPTEMBER 26.
European Language Day is a celebrated festivity in schools, an annual event, worth noting for those who are interested in bi-lingual education. The purpose is to call attention to the linguistic diversity of the EU, and the importance to learn languages. Contests and language exams are popular on this day.
2023 European Day of Languages holds its annual conference on this day on teaching language skills at the heart of the European Education Area.
September 26, 2023
Online event, 12.00 - 14.00 CEST, 6 AM EST, Watch streaming
In the EU there are 24 official languages and 200 are spoken. 60 are considered minority languages.
In the US, 422 languages were identified.
Tidbits | Coincidentally, this is George Gerswin's American composer's 125th birthday;
Some stats and graphs on world languages