Saturday, December 30, 2006

Pengő would be 80 years old today - the world's biggest hyperinflation

Pengő was introduced in Hungary as national currency on December 30, 1926 and was the part of the world's biggest hyperinflation ever.

After the end of the World War II the inflation in Hungary was 4.19x 1016percent per month. It meaned that the prices doubled every 15 hours. Before 1945, the highest denomination was 1,000 Pengő. By the end of 1945, it was 10,000,000 Pengő. But the highest denomination in mid-1946 was 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 (100 quintillion) Pengő. In addition, one sextillion (1021) Pengő was also printed but was never issued. The Hungarian economy could only be stabilized by the introduction of a new currency. So on August 1, 1946, the Forint which is still used (till 2012?) was introduced at a rate of 400,000,000,000,000,000 000,000,000,000 (400 octillion - 4x1029) Pengő.

Szomszédok - The First Hungarian Soap Opera

Szomszédok (The Neighbours) was the first Hungarian soap opera. It had more than 300 episodes between 1987 and 1999. Nothing can portray better the years of the system change in Hungary than this series. If you are interested in this world and the retro-communist feeling, take a search on youtube for "Szomszédok". In 2006 it's very funny to watch The Neighbours. For example, take a look at this professional action scene. The frightening music, the elaborated fight.. As if it had been directed by John Woo.

The visual and sound effects at this scene are also very good. Very interesting that the worker after falling down six floors from a building, easily can chat to the doctor.

Things NOT to See - Dunaújváros

Hungary is a beautiful country which beauty can be seen in the Things To See category (which is not ready yet..) However, Hungary, like any other country in the world, has ugly parts which tourists rarely visit, too. The first city showed here is Dunaújváros which is not as ugly and dirty as some other places which will be shown later. Instead, Dunaújváros simply has no any tourist sights. Nothing. Although if you are interested in industrial cities and factories, you can't miss visiting Dunaújváros. I am posting only two pictures of the city, but believe me, the whole city is the same. Block of flats and factories, factories and block of flats. The city was built in the 1950s during the industrialization of the country and was called Sztálinváros (Stalin City) till 1961. The city now has a population of 54,000.

Photos: tfejos: Templom messziről; tfejos: Vazsgyár

Important Words and Sentences

If you travel to Hungary you have to know some important words and sentences:

Szia! - Hello
Jó reggelt! - Good morning!
Követ követ követ. - A minister follows a stone.
megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért - for your things which can't be desecrated
megkülönböztethetetlen - undistinguishable
próbababa - mannequin
Meglehet, ezt nem lehet, de megtettem. Elmentem, mert szeretek, de ezt nem lehet e helyen eleget. - Maybe it can't be done but I did it. I went away, because I love but I can't love enough in this place.
Indul a görög aludni. (read backwards this sentence!). The Greek man starts to sleep.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Kistehén - One of The Most Succesful Hungarian Ads Ever

The commercial for the Hungarian Sziget Fesztivál, 2002 was based on a cartoon, The Little Cow. This is the original cartoon in English:

By clicking the links you can watch the Hungarian commercials based on this short movie.

Kistehén 1

Kistehén 2

2006: A Terrible Year for Hungarians

In 2006 there were often headlines on Hungary. Unlike past years, in this year there were even breaking news in CNN and BBC about this small country. At the same time, Hungarians were not delighted with it.

I am mentioning just some bad things of the many which Hungarians experienced in 2006.

Severe floods hit the Danube and Tisza rivers in Hungary in spring which damage was more than € 500 million. To be honest, Hungarians got used to floods, and the damage was not as severe as it was in Romania, but many people’s home destroyed in Hungary, too.

On August 20 about 2 million people were watching the fireworks display on the streets of Budapest which is performed every August 20 when Hungarians celebrate the founding of the Christian Hungarian Kingdom when a rainstorm broke. The wind toppled trees and triggered panic among the huge crowd. Five people died and more than 250 injured on that night.

In September and October anti-governmental protesters demanded the resignation of PM Ferenc Gyurcsány who had admitted lying about the economy to win the elections. The street protests lead to clashes with police. The far right-wing protesters, among others, set ablaze cars, stole a tank, and laid siege to state television headquarters. Here are some videos of the riots.

In the middle of October a Hungarian teacher was lynched by a group of gypsies in Olaszliszka after accidentally hitting a young girl with his car who didn't even injured. The young daughters of the teacher had to watch their father hit to death and were threatened to be raped. The gypsy question in Hungary is a deep-rooted problem which is unlikely to solve in the near future.

In November Ferenc Puskás, the legendary footballer, one of the best footballers of the history of the game, left us at the age of 79. Puskás was the striker of Hungary's golden team and won Olympic gold with Hungary and 3 European Cups with Real Madrid. He was the best-known Hungarian of the 20th Century.

Luckily, some good, happy things also happened in Hungary. For example, the Hungarian Formula-1 Grand Prix was so exciting that many newspapers said that it was the race of the decade. In addition, Zsolt Erdei, the unbeaten WBO world champion defended two times his title at light heavyweight.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Civil Unrest in Hungary - Videos

Some videos of the civil unrest which Hungary experienced this year.

Hungarian Idol - The Best and The Worst Singer Ever

There was a singer contest in Hungary, called Megasztár which had 3 series. I am just showing the best and the worst singers who participated in this contest.

The worst:

And the best: (the girl, called Magdolna Rúzsa, who won the third series)