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Culture war around the National Theatre

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

A centre-right columnist welcomes the endorsement of the left-leaning director of the National Theater by a prominent right-leaning rock musician as a rare example of how to ease tensions between opposing camps. READ MORE

History paintings ignite culture war

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Left-wing commentators believe that the pictures commissioned by the government to illustrate the deluxe edition of the new Constitution promote a partisan political message. Some young conservative pundits also find the paintings kitschy, while an art historian defends their originality and artistic quality. READ MORE

A Hungarian tragedy: common property

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Twenty years after the regime change, Hungarians still do not care much for public property. A left-wing columnist blames the lack of public concern for public goods on the still prevailing heritage of “state socialism”. READ MORE

Radical right-wingers get their theatre

Monday, October 10th, 2011

A popular liberal blogger reacts ironically to the appointment of a radical right wing actor as director of a small Budapest theatre, describing it as a selfless decision in favour of the mentally deranged. A leading moderate conservative commentator cautions against possible negative consequences. READ MORE

Culture is short of money

Friday, October 7th, 2011

A pro-government commentator does not understand why left-wing newspapers which criticise the public service media are getting expensive advertisements from the Media Council, while cultural institutions are short of money. READ MORE

A land of egotistic paternalists?

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Recent public opinion surveys reveal a very low level of trust among Hungarians, both in one another and in public institutions. Sociologists blame the lack of trust on political elites, for failing to promote the basic norms of market capitalism and democracy after the fall of state socialism. Hungarians hate state intervention, but also expect support from the government. READ MORE

Excesses of desire

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Hungarians love to hate mendacious political elites, and blame them for the difficulties the country has to face. But the source of all our problems runs deeper, says Gábor Bruck, former adviser and PR-director of the liberal Free Democrats (SZDSZ). Lack of sincerity is in the DNA of the Hungarian public, he suggests. READ MORE

What about our dreams?

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Hungary finished 22nd in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest and the first comments blamed the deceiving result on the country’s poor international image.

János Sebők, a veteran expert on pop music who now regularly comments on public affairs in the liberal weekly HVG believes the Hungarian song, entitled „What about my dreams” in English, would have deserved more votes from the European TV viewers, and suspects that its poor ranking was due, among other things to „the decline of Hungary’s international prestige since the régime change 21 years ago”. READ MORE