Lesson 9: Hungary

This week we embark on a tour of Hungary, a truly lovely land with a fascinating language full of words we can’t pronounce.

OVERVIEW: Hungary’s thousand-year history is an epic tale of Magyars, Hapsburgs, Turks, Soviets, and many adventures between.

MUSIC: Hungarian traditional music has always been an interplay between “East” and “West,” balancing European classical scales and sensibilities with Turkish “eastern” modes and rhythms.

LANGUAGE: Hungarians take tremendous pride in their “Magyar” language which is not Slavic like that of their neighbors, a fact that has both unified, and isolated, the Hungarian nation.

WHEN YOU GO THERE: Hungary is a country that has become a hotspot for international visitors, with Budapest’s combination of ancient history and post-War revitalization beckoning, as well as out-of-the-city grasslands, thermal spas and friendly folks.

THE CSÁRDÁS: A Hungarian dance of epic proportions, said to embody the spirit of Hungary’s people (which apparently includes a lot of hopping and spinning).

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