The 23rd National Solo Folk Dance Competition was held on January 10th, 2017 in Békescsaba, Hungary. The jury gave 21 kinds of awards to outstanding dancers – including the coveted “golden pearl” and “golden spurs” awards for excellence as a folk solo dancer. Bacsó Lilla was named best all-around women’s dancer and Németh Antal as best all-round men’s dancer. See list in Hungarian for names of all winners.
Collecting folk song and music in Transylvania in the 1970s in a Trabant. This account tells of first going to Kallós Zoltán in Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) for guidance and advice on where to go and who to look for. Also touching on the political atmosphere of the time, we read about meeting traditional musicians and dancers in the villages and regions Kallós sent them to: Gyimes, Moldavia, Vajdakamarás/ Vaida-Cămăraș, Szék/Sic, where the narrator saw “traditional dance and costume in its natural environment for the first time – and realized that dance had its own strict order and system – even though [he’d] been ‘dancing’ in Szeged University’s Folk Dance Group for 2–3 years....” By Simoncsics János.
New Publication: Jávorszky Béla Szilárd: SEBŐ 70 (includes CD). Kossuth Kiadó, Budapest 2017. ISBN: 9789630987103. “Sebő 70” is a book celebrating Sebő Ferenc and his life’s work as a musician, instigator, key figure and moving force of the dance house movement, folk music researcher and university professor. Sebő stated at the beginning of the 1970s that... “we would like to learn the peasant folk culture that gave a framework and form of expression for village folks – so we can create a city folk music, that could become the basis for a city community and form of expression for young people...”.
The First Festival of Western European Hungarian Folk Dance Groups was held November 25–27, 2016 in Stuttgart, Germany. Seven Hungarian dance groups from Germany, Switzerland and France attended and performed. Live music was provided by Juhász Band and Kolompos Ensemble. There were performances, jury discussion, sessions for ensemble directors, dance houses. Szűcs Gábor and Urbán Mária directors of the Jászság Ensemble (Jászberény, Hungary) provided professional support, consultation and feedback for participating groups. Report by Hortobágyi Ivett.
Interviews with members of Barozda Ensemble: Barozda formed in the 1970s in Transylvania. They were active there until the ensemble members under pressure from the Romanian authorities left Romania in the late 1980s to relocate in Hungary and Western Europe. Barozda stayed together, playing when they could, both abroad and after 1989 in Tranyslvania. They gave a 40th anniversary concert in October of 2016 in Kolozsvár/Cluj-Napoca, Romania. The band was more than instrumental in starting the dance house movement in Transylvania in the second half of the 1970s. By Péterbencze Anikó.
Bartók, Kodály and 2 Szokolays. This is a music review which starts out from a concert of “contemporary folk music” that was performed at the Academy of Music in Budapest on April 12, 2016 featuring Rost Andrea (voice), Csík János (voice), Szokolay Balázs (piano), Szokolay Dongó Balázs (flute, bagpipe), Havasréti Pál (hurdy-gurdy, hit cello), and the Szent Efrém Men’s Choir (Dir: Bubnó Tamás). Includes commentary on recent work of Szokolay Dongó Balázs (saxophonist, flute and bagpipe player) who comes from folk music, but is experimenting with other formations and concerts pairing Hungarian folk music artists with classical artists and forms. By Kiss Ferenc.
Count Batthyány Gyula (1887–1959)’s drawings from Márianosztra Prison. Batthyány was a Hungarian painter and graphic artist. His works are in the collections of the Hungarian National Gallery and other museums around the world. Amongst the chaos of the communist regime following WWII, Batthyány was imprisoned for 3 years, but was permitted to draw and paint while there. Only recently an album of his drawings from that time came to light and was exhibited at the Kieselbach Gallery in Budapest in 2015. By Molnos Péter.
In December 2016, the Páll family, active traditional potters of the Transylvanian village of Korond / Corund received the Hungarian Heritage Award. In 2011 Páll Agoston of the same family received the Intangible Cultural Heritage award also in recognition of his work as a traditional Transylvanian potter. Several generations of the Páll family have been well-known both locally and abroad for their beautiful pottery. Printed here is the laudation by Szatmári Ferenc, given at the December 2016 award ceremony.
Novák Ferenc Tata discusses Hungary’s pension for professional dancers. Since 2012 only professional ballet dancers from 4 professional ensembles receive the Hungarian state pension after 25 years of performing on stage. There is presently action to change the law to include dancers from 3 professional folk dance ensembles and Budapest’s Operetta Theatre who have performed for 25 years. Novák also mentions the need for dance critics that can write intelligently about folk dance. By Szentei Anna (first published in: Magyar Demokrata, 2016 December 7.)
Epiphany in Kalofer, Bulgaria. Today Bulgarians in Kalofer celebrate the Epiphany (aka: 12th day, January 6th). The custom involves bagpipe and tapan (drum) and a line of men dressed in local traditional costume in the early morning. The men are singing. A cross is dropped into the icy water of the Tundzsa River by the local priest. It is retrieved and given to a young boy. Then the men dance the horo in the water. This event is well attended by the local media and population and has a large festival atmosphere. This year Hungarian ethnographer Juhász Katalin attended and reports on the festival.
2017 is the year of Saint László (1040–1095) – marking the 940th anniversary of the coronation of Hungary’s King László I. (aka: Ladislaus I, etc.) and the 825th anniversary of his sainthood. By Kóka Rozália.
Farewells to Antal Zoltán – traditional fiddler, singer of Gyimesközéplok/Lunca de Jos, Transylvania, Romania. He died on February 28, 2017, was buried on March 2nd, he was 81 years old. He was known locally by the nicknames “Vak Zolti”, “Finánc Zolti” and was probably the last of the old generation of Gyimes fiddlers. In 2008 he was named Master of Folk Arts. He lost his sight as a child but fortunately had the ear and talent for music and an amazing memory, as well as the capacity also for doing all kinds of farm work despite his handicap. His music was documented by the most prominent traditional music researchers. By Halász Péter and Simoncsics János.
A summary of folk festivals in Slovakia 1952–2016 – festivals, sponsoring organizations (mainly CSEMADOK), dance ensembles and leading personalities are discussed and/or mentioned. Main venues for festivals over the years have been: Gombaszög/Gombasek, Zselíz/Želiezovce, Losonc/Lučenec, Strážnice, etc. Some festivals discussed were for Hungarian and other minority groups in Slovakia; some only for Hungarian folk culture of the region; some international. A presentation given by Takács András in Zselíz on June 10, 2016.
Record Review: Kiss Ferenc: Leánydicsérő [In Praise of Young Women] (Etnofon 2016). “Beautiful – a valuable record” This production presents the important moments of a women’s life, her fate – from birth to death through universal themes of search, friends, love, motherhood. The music speaks through folk music – sometimes archaic, other times recent past or the present. Kiss Ferenc’s production, first realized on stage (in 2015), is now a record with the Etnofon Music Consort and singers: Bognár Szilvia, Herczku Ágnes, Paár Julianna, Szalóki Ágnes. By Móser Ádám.
Finding Losonci János and Prekup Anna – traditional dancers of Bonchida/Bonțida (Transylvania). In 1993 Redő Júlia and György Károly were teaching dances of Bonchida at a summer camp in the nearby village of Visa. Towards the end of the camp, they went to Bonchida to see if they could find someone who would dance for them, so they could see the dance they’d been teaching all week – live. First person they found to dance was a disappointment. Drowning their sorrows in the Bonchida pub, by chance the man, Losonci János, who was in the film they’d been watching and learning from, was there in the pub. He went next door to get the woman dancer in the film, Prekup Anna; and then they danced. By Redő Júlia.
An imagined interview with Bartók Béla. The answers are based on Bartók’s writings, his works. The spirit of the thing is: ‘Wouldn’t it have been great to ask Bartók for his opinion on the role of folk music in today’s life?” The author, though never had the opportunity of meeting Bartók personally, means for this writing to be a mark of her deep respect for him and his legacy. By Fehér Anikó.
“Bukovina, Bukovina” – Excerpts from Kóka Rozália’s book in progress. Rozália remembers back to her childhood and first years of primary school. The teachers and other children called her and other children like her, “Csángó trash” to insult them. They were given thrashings in school by the teachers. Actually Rozália was Bukovina Székely and not Csángó. The Bukovina Székely people were newcomers in the village at the time (having been relocated there into the homes of the Swabian Germans that had been deported to Germany in the wake of WWII). Obviously there was animosity between the two ethnic groups in the Hungarian village.
New Publication: Virágvölgyi Márta: [Folk Music of the Kapus Region, the tunes of Viski Rudolf, fiddler from Gyalu/Gilău, Romania.] Published by Hungarian Heritage House. Budapest, 2017. The traditional music of the Kapus/Câpuşul creek area of Transylvania’s Kalotaszeg region bears marks of an older period with use of the small bass, three stringed viola and major accompaniment. Fiddler Viski Rudolf was born in 1912. The volume includes the transcribed tunes, information on the fiddler’s life, his playing technique, the mode of accompaniment and an accompanying CD.
The Dűvő Band launched their new CD “Hátra van még a java” (The Best is Yet to Come) with a concert in Solti Hall at Budapest’s Liszt Academy of Music on March 28, 2017. Band members are: Hrúz Dénes, Hrúz Szabolcs (violin); Mohácsy Albert (double bass); Nagy Zsolt (viola); Kubinyi Júlia (voice) ) – with Ürmös Sándor (cymbalom). Detailed, enthusiastic review by Szász József Árpád / Üsztürü.
New Recording – Dsupin Pál: Túl a vízen – Folk Music from the Gyergyó Region of Transylvania (the region surrounding the town of Gheorgheni, Harghita County, Romania). Following records released in 2011 (Berecz András) and in 2015 (Mrs. Erőss Sándor Judit) of traditional music from this region; the new 2016 recording presents local traditional musicians (playing with Dsupin Pál, Kádár Ignác, Szabó Dániel) and 26 local melodies. By 2011 the local traditional music had nearly been forgotten. The 2016 recording appears to be the latest step in encouraging a revival of the music of the region, in the region. Review by Juhász Erika.
Congratulations to recipients of the 2017 Martin György Award (a new state award) for outstanding work in the folk arts: Borbély Jolán, dr. Diószegi László, Héra Éva, Vavrinecz András!
Page 39 Traditional Hungarian Foods: “Szalonna” – pork fat is a staple of the traditional Hungarian kitchen. Bread and pork fat are basic foods eaten for breakfast, lunch, or supper. This article goes into some detail about customs surrounding which part of the slaughtered pig’s fat is used for what, the ways it is cut up and preserved, how it’s eaten and so on. Also described are the method for making pork cracklings, and the popular custom of roasting pig fat on the open fire. By Juhász Katalin.
1717 – The last Tartar invasion of Hungary: in August 1717 the Turkish Sultan ordered the Tartar army to invade Hungary from Moldavia. During the invasion the Tartars burned more than 200 villages, killed thousands of people, robbed, pillaged, took hundreds of hostages, caused panic and fear in Transylvania, Maramures and Northeastern Hungary. For example on August 24th the Tartars completely destroyed the village and killed three quarters of the population of Szék/Sic – famous at the time for its salt mine in Transylvania’s Mezőség region. However, due to the heroism of peasant and “kuruc” troops, the mountain guards and regional armies, within a few months the Tatars were defeated and driven out. By Nagy Ádám from October 31, 2015 at: magyar-historia.blogspot.hu.
The memory of the last Tatar invasion of 1717 is preserved in folk song, folk tales, folk literature: printed here are Szász Rozália’s story A “Fekete város” [The Black City] and Kovács István’s “Széki ének” [Song of Szék] – in memory of the last Tartar invasion.
Tribute to Halmos Béla (1946–2013) central figure of Hungary’s dance house movement; and memories of the early days of the dance house movement in Szeged. By Simoncsics János director of the Szeged International Folk Dance Festival and 2017 recipient of the Halmos Béla Commemorative Medal. The Friends of Hungarian Heritage House Association established the Halmos Béla Commemorative Medal to recognize superior professional and/or community activity within the dance house movement.
Another Fonó release, Cserepes Károly’s album “Blacklake” made the World Music Charts Europe toplist. The prestigious list is generated from votes of 50 world music radio experts from 24 countries. Every month the list is published at www.wmce.de. This is the only Hungarian album on the list for July - and the first Hungarian release to make the list over the last few months. Cserepes Károly’s album invites the listener on an imagined walk through the traditional regional market in Transylvania’s Feketetó/Negreni. He embeds traditional music in an unusual musical environment. Without changing them, folk music field recordings are woven into a new musical fabric. Blacklake (Fonó 2016) “…Cserepes Károly takes a different kind of approach to combining the modern and folk cultures, and not just on his new album, because he has already been successful at blending the electronic musical environment with folk music and folk song…” For this recording he used old recordings of music from the Feketetó/Negreni market held in Transylvania every fall for the last century or so. “…not only do the various ethnic groups’ music and songs find each other, but the modern electronic “soundpictures” sound as if a live DJ and the musicians were sensitively reacting to every vibration…” Rácz Mihály’s review from the blog: langologitarok.hu
Memoir: Mrs. Vágó József, Grozdits Olga (1932–2016) wrote down her own story of growing up in the village of Semse/Šemša near Kassa/Košice, today in eastern Slovakia, where her family worked for the local noble family and lived at the Semsey Estate. After primary school she went to a Hungarian Catholic school in the nearby city of Košice, later when the Hungarian school was closed, she attended Slovak Catholic school. This is a personal account of what it was like growing up in an ethnically mixed village and how the family lived through the years of WWII. After the war her family moved to Révfülöp on the northern shore of Hungary’s Lake Balaton and she continued her secondary schooling in Veszprém, then Szombathely in Hungary.
The Kallós Zoltán Museum and Folk Arts Center in the village of Válaszút/Răscruci, Romania held opening ceremonies on June 2nd, 2017. Válaszút, Kallós’s home village, has been the center of the work of the Kallós Foundation and summer folk music and dance camps for years, but thanks to funding from both Romania and Hungary they have been able to expand and build an additonal 300 square meters to house the museum, Kallós’s extensive collection and host activities towards preserving local folk arts. Opening speech by Pozsony Ferenc.
Remembering the work and personality of Maácz László (1929–1998) – ethnographer, museologist, dance ethnographer, dance historian, journalist, dance critic, editor of the periodical Táncművészet. Fuchs Lívia remembers working with Maácz (excerpt from Fügedi, Szélpál-Bajtai: Maácz). Kővágó Zsuzsa highlights a collection of Maácz’s autobiographical/dance history writings entitled "Találkozások a tánccal” [Meetings With Dance] as excellent examples of Maácz’s wit and unbelievably rich knowledge, scholarship and literary skill.
Allegro Barbaro – a concert with pianist Jandó Jenő and the Muzsikás Ensemble was held in Pécs, Hungary on May 30th, 2017, with guest artists: singer Petrás Mária and dancers: Farkas Zoltán, Tóth Ildikó. Allegro barbaro, BB 63 (Sz. 49), composed in 1911, is one of Bartók Béla's most famous solo piano pieces. Jandó played Bartók’s piece, Muzsikás played the original folk melodies the piece was based on. “The concert was ritual, magical, uplifting, transforming…” Review by Szávai József.
Hungary’s Saint László – Historical legend about Saint László’s deeds, the Kun invasion of Hungary, making peace afterwards, the coronation of King Géza and the coronation of King László. Selected and assembled by Kóka Rozália.
Bukovina, Bukovina – Looking back… – Part III: Excerpts from Kóka Rozália’s memoires. Rozália (born 1943, Bajmok, Serbia) tells about falling in love with the theatre as a child, about finally getting permission to visit her mother’s family in Bajmok, Serbia in 1956 (12 years after her parents had fled to Hungary), about the animosity her mother’s family felt towards her father (a “foreigner” from Bukovina), and about how her family experienced the time of Hungary’s 1956 Revolution.
A study of folk music training in Hungary, recommendations for renewal in the profession and harmonization of the levels of training. More than three decades have passed since Hungarian folk music training became institutionalized in public education. This study examines the system and curriculum and makes recommendations for designing a new program for the three levels (basic, middle and university). By Bolya Mátyás ethnomusicologist, and Fügedi János PhD, dance ethnologist (colleagues at the Hungarian Institute of Musicology).
New CD: Ördöngölő – Traditional Hungarian and Romanian Music from Ördöngösfüzes / Fizeșu Gherlii – Featuring singers Hideg Anna, Havay Viktória, Jékely Gáspár "Pikó" (violin), Horsa Banda (Double CD) – ISBN 978-615-80744-0-7 This new release features selected repertoire of traditional singer Hideg Anna of the village of Ördöngösfüzes in Transylvania’s Mezőség Region. She is accompanied by musicians from Hungary’s dance house movement. Hideg Anna has a vast repertoire of over 500 songs. Introduction to the recording by Horsa István.
Series of Gregorian and folk song masses and religious events dedicated to the memory of Halmos Béla (1946-2013). The events were held in 2017 on May 30th (St.Stephen’s Basilica, Budapest), August 14th (Basilica in Székesfehérvár) and August 20th (at the grave of Saint Stephen). The series was organized by Hungarian Heritage House, Folk and Religious Music Departments of the Liszt Academy of Music, the Gregorian Singing School of Budapest’s Saint Stephen's Basilika. More than 3000 people attended. Amongst participating groups were: Szent
Angéla School’s Budai Ferences Singing School; Biatorbágy Singing School; Búzaszem (Göd), Ward Mária Gimnázium, Újbuda Babszem and Cédrus dance ensembles; Hévízgyörk Women’s
Chorus; pilgrimage groups from Dunaföldvár, Bölcske and Angyalföld; Friends of Hungarian Heritage House. Report by Juhász Katalin.
When two wild boars were shot with one bullet… – a tale told by Kalló Marci in Kisperjés, next to Inaktelke / Inucu in Transylvania’s Kalotaszeg region at the end of the 1980s – ...that was Romania with its secret police and Ceaușescu’s dictatorship; but to young Hungarians from the dance house movement – Transylvania was nevertheless heaven on earth... By Szávai József.
The last issue of folkMAGazin published criticism by Karácsony Zoltán (researcher at Folk Dance and Folk Music Department of the Hungarian Institute of Musicology) on the 20th International Legényes Competition and International Couple Dance Competition held in Budapest in April, 2017. Zoltán’s commentary centered on technical issues with the exact choice of compulsory
legényes material danced by competitors in competition. For such competitions, clips from archive material of the dancing of a selected traditional dancer (in this case Kalló Ferenc Sr. of Inaktelke / Inucu in Transylvania’s Kalotaszeg region) is chosen, then distributed to competitors. Karácsony Zoltán was a member of the jury at the competition. This issue publishes response by Sánta Gergő – main organizer of the event, professional solo folk dancer, and director of the Bartók Ensemble. Professional and logistical aspects involved in holding these competitions, and respect for the dance material, are issues argued.
In Moldavia: An account of doing ethnographic collection work in the villages of Lészped / Lespezi and Klézse / Cleja in Romanian Moldavia with two traditional Csángó Hungarian singers: Mrs. Demeter Antal Jánó Anna and Mrs. Lőrinc György Hodorog Luca. The trip was made "thirty years before the Papal visit to Romania...” By Simoncsics János.
Interview with Sipos János – Hungarian ethnomusicologist, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences specializing in traditional music of Turkey and Turkic peoples. A main vein of his research concentrates on examining links between Hungarian and Turkic peoples through traditional music. “...The Hungarians that conquered and settled in the Carpathian Basin spoke Hungarian as well as a Bulgarian-Turkic language. This is no surprise, since beforehand, and after, they lived amongst and mixed with various Turkic peoples….we shouldn’t forget that our country is only a few hundred years old, it’s a new idea; in the times before arrival to the Carpathian Basin, tribes, ethnic groups came and went, they joined together, broke away, melded together…the development and ethnogenesis of a people is an extremely complex process, which is rarely seen clearly...” Sipos’ new website provides access to the wealth of information from his research work and his publications: [http://zti.hu/sipos_gyujtesek/]. By Grozdits Károly.
Dance house list for the 2017/2018 season.
New publication: Kóka Rozália: "Szent László Gyimesben" [Saint László in Gyimes] – tales, myths and legends from Transylvania’s Gyimes/ Ghimeș Valley selected from the collection work of ethnographers Salamon Anikó, Magyar Zoltán, Bosnyák Sándor. Illustrations by Főcze Alpár. Fekete Sas Kiadó, Budapest, 2017 [in Hungarian ]. Review by Halász Péter.
"Bukovina, Bukovina" – Excerpts from Kóka Rozália’s book in progress. Despite her family’s financial limitations, and family and rural stigmas of the times against allowing girls to study beyond the elementary level, Rozália was finally allowed to go to secondary school in the town of Szekszárd in Tolna County. This is the story of her years there and how her world opened up as she came in contact with folk dance and ethnographers such as Andrásfalvy Bertalan, Pesovár Ernő, Pesovár Ferenc – experiences that shaped and inspired her future, work and career.
A visit with the Udmurts – an ethnic group related by language to the Hungarians. In July of 2017 Juhász Katalin went to Udmurtia in Russia’s Volga Federal District to attend the 7th Congress of Russian Ethnographers and Anthropologists held in the Udmurt capital city of Izhevsk. This travel report includes historical and cultural information on the Udmurts, descriptions of a national movement and resurrecting traditions there, their national center for crafts and industrial arts, the Udmurt dance house movement, modern national culture based on tradition, and “Mademoiselle Oudmourt” or Udmurt ethnic fashion. By Juhász Katalin.
Traditional Cuisine of Udmurtia in Russia’s Volga Federal District. The Udmurt people are a Tatar speaking Uralic ethnic group. Descriptions of Udmurt foods and recipes are for: a homemade non-alchoholic fruit beverage; perserving chanterelle mushrooms; the Udmurt variant of ajvar; a tortilla-like flat bread with millet or potato stuffings; savory baked buns with cabbage, potato, mushroom or black radish fillings; savory baked "mini buns” with carrot, beet or fish stuffings. By Juhász Katalin.
Conversation with fiddler from Köln, Germany Herbert Schneider “Kaktusz”. Born in Transylvania in 1954, educated in Bucharest, Kaktusz emigrated to Germany in 1970. In 1976 he, Kása Béla and others founded Cinege Band. The band was instrumental in establishing and playing for regular Hungarian dance houses in Germany and was active until 1989. Over the years Kaktusz also played with the Rácz family in Strasburg and in Switzerland and Brussels. In 2011 he played with a band they called BKF during a series of events organized by European Parliament. Interview by Karakas Zoltán.
The last 2 issues of folkMAGazin (2017/3, 2017/4) have published controversy surrounding the 20th Martin György International Legényes Competition and Couple Dance Competition held in Budapest in April, 2017. This issue includes more commentary on professional and logistical aspects involved in holding these competitions, respect for the authentic dance material, and issues of choosing, copying and mode of distributing the compulsory dance material to the competitors. “...what are the professional and ethical positions necessary for publishing folk art creations [or materials] – in today’s changing digital world?” A symposium for further discussion of issues at stake is recommended. By Richter Pál director of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Musicology on behalf of the institute’s folk dance researchers.
Korniss Péter – Photography exhibition at Hungarian National Gallery 2017 Sept. – 2018 Jan. 7. Korniss Péter began to photograph traditional life in the Transylvanian village of Szék/Sic in 1967. This exhibit presents his photos of a disappearing world and change over time. The exhibit also includes striking portraits of an employee of Budapest’s public gas works. Korniss celebrates his 80th birthday this year with this exhibition. Interview by V. Nagy Viktória – first published in Heti Válasz on October 5th, 2017.
The Legend of Saint László amongst the Hungarian Csángó Peoples of Moldavia. Myths of Saint László are found in every corner of the Hungarian language region – many of which actually fall outside the borders of present day Hungary. This article concentrates on variants found amongst the Csángó Hungarians in Romanian Moldavia. The Hungarian King László, Ladislav I (1046–1095) – Ladislaus – was canonized on June 27, 1192 by Pope Celestine III. Legends depict King László as a knight-king, the incarnation of the late-medieval Hungarian ideal of chivalry. Legends of Saint László are usually related to his heroism fighting the Tatar invasions of the period. By Tampu Krisztián.
New publication: Belle Orsolya: A Nótafa. Méry-Ratio, Somorja/Šamorín, Slovakia. 2017. In Hungarian. ISBN: 9788081600562. Original folk tales by Belle Orsolya telling stories of how the folk costume of particular regions was born.
Ötvös Györgyi: October 1957–October 2017. Interview with Ötvös Györgyi who spent the last 31 years organizing folk events, especially dance house events. She worked first at the iconic Molnár utca dance house, then when that center closed, at Aranytíz, both in Budapest’s 5th district. She worked closely with the bands, the dance teachers and participants to make these events interesting, fun and successful. Györgyi was trained as a “népművelő” – a cultivator of the people – or recreational/cultural organizer. Both of the above-mentioned venues were/are public recreational/cultural centers. Until about 2009 the host band playing for and hosting the dance houses at both these venues was Kalamajka. Presently several bands rotate the task of hosting and playing for the ongoing Saturday night dance houses at Aranytíz. In the spring of 2015 Györgyi was awarded the Halmos Béla Memorial Medal – recognizing her dedication and years of work. By Kulcsár Tímea Ágnes – appeared first on July 12, 2015 at www.fidelio.hu.
Tradition, semiotics, shamans – interview with Hoppál Mihály. Hoppál was born in 1942 in Kassa/Košice (Slovakia), where he lived until he was 3 years old. He then spent the rest of his childhood in places like Borsodnádasd and Sárospatak in Hungary’s Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County. His father was a doctor, but in the political atmosphere of the times, rather than go straight to university, he was obliged to first work with the railroad construction brigades. Having thus earned “points” with the authorities, he was allowed to enroll in the university in Debrecen, where
his life as a researcher and ethnographer began. His research and writings have focused mainly on shamanism and folk healing of Hungarians and related ethnic groups. He is a firm believer in the value of semiotics. He worked at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Ethnographical Research from 1967 until 2009. He founded the Institute of European folklore in 1998 and was its director until 2010. In this interview he speaks out on democracy and the importance of family. His list of publications is extensive. By Grozdits Károly.
Folk dancer, choreographer, sculptor/wood carver, Erdélyi Tibor celebrates his 85th birthday. Born in 1932, Erdélyi Tibor grew up in Uszka – a village in Hungary’s far northeastern corner, a few kilometers from the Ukranian border. He came to Budapest in 1948, where first he completed training in carpentry and furniture restauration at the Museum of Applied Arts, then went on to study aesthetics, library sciences, recreation and dramaturgy. In 1952 he auditioned for Rábai Miklós at the Hungarian State Folk Dance Ensemble. He was a dancer and soloist with the State Ensemble until 1978. He has also been director of the Duna Ensemble, and the Tisza and Vadrózsa ensembles and has been to Japan to teach folk dance 30 times. "All my life I have been able to do what I love, thus I became the best folk dancer amongst the wood carvers, and the best wood carver amongst the dancers”. Short autobiography by Erdélyi Tibor.
New recording: Lovász Irén – Gyógyító hangok/Healing voices III. Női hangok /Female voices 2017 CD Siren Voices, 2017. EAN 5999882756066 A. The third record of a series: Gyógyító hangok – Healing voices. Compositions by Lovász Irén and Hortobágyi László. Recommendation by Fehér Anikó.
A Transylvanian Travel Log – a rambling account of a road trip through Transylvania’s Kalotaszeg region and beyond. Communities visited were Kalotaszentkirály/Sâncraiu, Magyarbikal/Bicălatu, Sztána/ Stana, Kispetri/Petrinzel, Türe/Turea (to visit the family that makes the famous “bujka” – ornate jackets that are part of the local traditional costume), then on to Szék/Sic, Bonchida/Bonțida, Magyargyerőmonostor/Mănăstireni, Koloszvár/Cluj-Napoca, Magyarvalkó/Văleni …This sojourn takes in local village clergymen, cemeteries, the old churches and the people. Even for Hungarians from today’s Hungary, each visit to Transylvania is fueled by the mystery, romance, adventure, tradition and history of this unique region. By Bödők Gergely – first appeared in Kommentár. 2017/3. pp. 3-8.
"Bukovina, Bukovina" Part V. – Excerpts from Kóka Rozália’s autobiographical book. Rozália tells about her years studying at the teachers college in the town of Kaposvár, where she took extra courses on ethnographic research processes. She did her first fieldwork collecting traditional songs and tales from the Bukovinian people she grew up amongst in Hungary’s Tolna County.
Traditional Cuisine of Hungary. This issue tells us about pálinka – Hungary’s favorite fire water – the beloved fruit brandy. We get a short history of pálinka, information on amounts of pálinka consumed by the average Hungarian, pálinka’s medicinal uses, distilling pálinka, pálinka folklore and a few pálinka rhymes. In general it is customary to drink a shot of pálinka before a meal, ostensibly to boost the appetite; though some people drink a shot of pálinka every morning. Home-made plum pálinka is a highly prized commodity, but there are great pálinkas made from other fruits as well (i.e. pear, apricot, grape, etc). “Home-made” refers these days usually to pálinka made at a local pálinka distillery from one’s own fruit. By Juhász Katalin.
An exhibition of art works by Petrás Mária opened on September 8th, 2017 at the Józsefvárosi Galéria (Budapest). Petrás Mária was born in the village of Diószén/Gioseni, Romania in 1957. She has been living in Hungary since 1990. Her ceramic works are inspired by a deep faith in the Roman Catholic religion. Printed here is Dávid Katalin’s address opening the exhibition.
The Department of Folk Music at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest held a concert on December 5th, 2017 celebrating successful completion of the department’s first ten years. The Folk Music Department “has established a great balance between theory and practice where scientific folk music collection based on the Kodály and Bartók tradition works in perfect harmony with the practical music training that has grown out of the dance house movement.” Congratulations to Richter Pál Head of the Folk Music Department. From the address by Rector, Dr. Vigh Andrea at the Dec. 5th concert.
Kodály: folk song, folk music collector. Speech given in Budapest on October 27th, 2017 at the Vass Lajos Association’s folk music gala program commemorating Kodály Zoltán. Born in Kecskemét, Hungary in 1882, Kodály died in Budapest in 1967. His classical compositions based on folk music are wellknown, as is the Kodály Method (approach to music education). It was Vikár Béla who introduced Kodály to the phonograph and it’s use for collecting folk song and music in the field. In 1905, on his first trip collecting folk music, he collected 150 melodies in 14 villages in the Csallóköz region of today’s Slovakia. By dr. Alföldy-Boruss István.
Sebestyén Márta and guests gave a concert honoring Kodály Zoltán at the Kodály Center in Pécs, Hungary on October 23, 2017. Folk, classical, old music; cymbalom, harpsichord, qanun, tárogató, strings, flutes, children and Márta: music and song that warmed the heart. Review by Szávai József.
Memory of Saint László amongst the Hungarian Csángós of Moldavia. One of the legends cited here was collected by Bosnyák Sándor in the village of Klézse/Cleja. "There is a tree on the banks of the Szeret/Siret River. They say Saint László planted the tree. He planted it celebrating that he’d thrown the [invading] foreigners out of the country, but when the Tatars invaded, the tree began to dry out. Then when he chased them out, it turned green again. When Rákóczi beat the Germans it turned nice and green...when Kossuth’s soldiers came in 48, it turned green, but then it dried out and it has remained that way to this day and who knows if it’ll ever turn green again.” By Halász Péter.
New Recording: Csizmadia Anna: Dänótäm én... FA 402-2 Fonó 2017. "[Csizmadia Anna] is pure song. Song flows from her as naturally as water flows from the spring into a mountain stream...Her ringing voice is like no other....” Born and raised in the village of Kupusina, in Northern Serbia – Voivodina – Anna grew up singing alongside her mother, who also sings on one cut of the album. She is accompanied by Fokos Band with Balogh Kálmán, Brasnyó Antal and Juhász Zoltán. Announcement by the Fonó.
Conversation with Hortobágyi Gyöngyvér – Harangozó Award winning dancer/Director of the Folk Dance Department at the Hungarian Academy of Dance. The Dance Academy trains young dancers to be professional folk dancers with a well-rounded education in several dance forms in parallel with academic studies on the secondary school and college level. Students that complete the program get a BA degree (Bologna System) as a professional folk dance performer. The Hungarian Academy of Dance announces auditions for Professional Folk Dance training to begin the 2018-2019 school year. Auditions and examination to be held on Saturday, January 6th, 2018. By Kővágó Zsuzsa.
Henics Tamás and his camera took a trip in Transylvania with Tötszegi Sándor and Böske (of Méra in the Kalotaszeg region) in the first days of November when candles are lit in the cemeteries, honoring and remembering family members. This is also a time when people travel to visit family and old friends. In Magyarpalatka/Pălatca they payed tribute to Palatka musicians that have passed on and visited with those still with us. Then they visited Kallós Zoltán (now in his 92nd year!) in Válaszút/Răscruci. By Henics Tamás.
Táncháztalálkozó/Hungarian Dance House Festival. An in-depth interview with Berán István covering all aspects of the Dance House Festival. Berán is the official representative of the Dance House Association – the main organizing body of the festival held every spring in Budapest. A direction committee of the Dance House Association works with at least four other Hungarian folk music/dance and folk arts associations to bring about the Dance House Festival every year. Berán has participated in all 36 dance house festivals: first as a musician, then as musician and organizer, for the last 25 years as a leading member of the festival directorship. By Török Ferenc /ritmuseshang.blog.hu
Bukovina, Bukovina – Part VI. Excerpts from Kóka Rozália’s new book. This is the story of why in 1962 Rozália’s family moved from Tolna County to the town of Érd (just south of Budapest), and her first years working as a school teacher. In 1967 she was able to attend the Meeting of Volunteer Ethnographic and Dialect Researchers, where Dr. Morvay Péter head of documentation at the Ethnographic Museum and researcher Halász Péter encouraged her to pursue collection work amongst her people, the Bukovina Székelys. Halász recommended she research the Bukovina Székely custom of “kiböjtölés” – praying and fasting towards seeking revenge for something. This work became one of her important in-depth research projects, but the article she wrote on it did not get published at the time (1968). One of the tales about this custom is a tragic one involving a mother and a daughter.
New Publication: Kóka, Rozália: Bukovina, Bukovina… Fekete Sas Kiadó, Budapest, 2017. 343 pages. In Hungarian. Kóka Rozália “convincingly and artistically blends her personal life story with the history of the Bukovina Székely people. The book is both autobiography and biography of an ethnic group.” It falls into three sections: Rozália’s life story (excerpts of which have been printed this year in folkMAGazin); statements/memories of prominent figures of the Bukovina Székely community; documentation on the Bukovina Székely people. Review by Halász Péter.
Farewell to Hájas Tibor 1965–2017 – dancer, folk dance educator. From the age of nine Hájas Tibor danced in Jászberény’s Galagonya Ensemble; when he came of age, he danced in the Jászság Folk Dance Ensemble. In 1996 he completed the program for dance teaching at the Hungarian Academy of Dance. He was leader of, and choreographed for, the Barkóca, Nógrád, Palóc and Forrás folk dance ensembles. Later he taught dance in several communities for Szolnok’s Laurus School of the Arts and danced in Jászberény’s Tradition Preserving Ensemble. Sadly, at the age of 52 he died on November 6th. He was buried November 17th in Jászberény. Obituary by Hortiné dr. Bathó Edit.
Traditional Hungarian Cuisine: Variations on pálinka. More on pálinka – Hungary’s beloved firewater – continued from the previous issue (2017/5). The term "kisüsti" (literally: small cauldron) refers only to pálinkas made from real grape skins or real fruit in a maximum quantity of 1000 liters, distilled twice using copper cooking equipment. "There are good pálinkas and not as successful pálinkas. The latter can be improved by another distillation, barrel ageing, ageing with a ’bed’ of fruit in the container, or made into liqueur." More information is provided on kinds of wooden barrels, and preparation of liqueurs from myrtle (huckle?) berries, sour cherries, rose petals, juniper berries, sage, honey and walnut, lemon balm, onion; and their medicinal uses. By Juhász Katalin.