Monday, 24 October 2011


You don't have to spend long in Hungary to learn that Trianon is a national obsession, together with the map of Hungary as it once was. Today, the anniversary of the start of the 1956 revolution, I came upon a Jobbik demonstration. Jobbik is an extreme rightwing party with all the usual unpleasant attributes.

To distinguish themselves from the hoy palloy they dress entirely in black, which is, to say the least, threatening.  A few of them go for frogged woolen jackets, high black boots and jodhpurs, while the rest content themselves with Doc Martins into which they tuck their trousers, teaming these with black jackets that bear slogans like 'For a more beautiful future', or maps of Hungary before Trianon:

 Few Jobbik members look like the sharpest pins in the box. On the other hand, they do like pins:

 Those little black crosses have 'Trianon' written on them.
 The shields up the top have 'Erdely' written on them, which is the Hungarian word for 'Transylvania'.

As well as pins, beer was also available. It was a kind I haven't seen before: it had the old map, coloured in with the Hungarian flag, on its label and it was selling very well indeed. It was a beer that was intended exclusively for Hungarians, so, of course, I didn't buy a bottle:
They were also flogging keyrings that I thought were rather pretty, but, sadly, I knew I couldn't have one. I may be conservative, but I'm not quite ready to go around carrying the insignia of the equivalent of the National Front.

(I should point out that Jobbik's was not the only demonstration in Budapest today. There was also a larger - although also far from enormous - anti-Orban demonstration on the Elizabeth Bridge, coming at things from the other end of politics. All in all, despite the szomoru vasarnap kind of weather, it was cheering to see what a far cry it was from 23 October, 1956, when it came to freedom of expression today.)


  1. the pins are fascinating

  2. It's all fascinating. Is that fish - which looks eerily like the current map of Romania back-to-front - the map of Old Hungary? It's a pity for the Hungarians, of course, that Old Hungary wasn't much filled with Hungarians - if only they'd bred more prolifically. Despite Romania's currently engorged size we also have black-clad folk on the streets here - demanding back bits of Ukraine. And you end it all with The Hungarian Suicide Song - ouch. Instead, ace Maghar folklorists Csik Zenekar are coming to Cluj/Kolszvar tomorrow and I'm hoping to see them.

  3. I think you should revive your blog and do a post on your trip to Cluj to see Csik Zenekar, Gadjo.

    I sort of wish I'd bought some of them yesterday, nurse. I was a bit intimidated, to be honest.