Attila Pataky’s concerts on the west coast of Canada

Canadian-Hungarians in EDDA T-shirts, unforgettable parties, meetups with a rockstar and lost voice for days for those who were singing loud all the hits… Attila Pataky, the leader and main singer of the famous Hungarian band, EDDA Művek continued his Canadian tour on the west coast, giving a great opportunity for Hungarians to have a party they will never forget.


The concert was held at the Hungarian House of Edmonton on the 6th of April. The audience were excited to see the Hungarian singer, they arrived early and the crowd continued to grow until the start of the concert. Attila greeted the audience one by one, he said he is truly happy to have them. He is such an attentive and empathic singer.

He started the night with a short lecture, where he shared his greatest memories with the audience from the last 43 years. It was a pleasure to listen his enthusiastic stories about his carrier and his family. While Attila was prepared for the concert, DJ Gary entertained the audience with retro disco. Attila enchanted the crowd with his professionalism and vocal. Evergreen EDDA hits were danced and sang aloud by the audience. He created such an amazing atmosphere as if he was singing in a fifteen thousand arena. A family told me, that after the day of the concert the kids were singing loud the EDDA hits while they were brushing their teeth. Since the concert they always ask for some EDDA music…


It was not the first time Attila Pataky has visited the city of Calgary, but now he did lot more than just one concert. The night started with meet and greet, where he signed, and took pictures with the fans. By the time the meet and greet ended the Culture House was full. Then Attila told stories from his new book for the audience, about family, rock and faith. The concert started after the reading, and it was absolutely amazing to see everyone started to dance and sing loud, regardless of age and gender. We heard all the hits, we sang along, and had an unforgettable night. After the concert the party did not end, thanks to DJ Gary we were in a Hungarian retro disco until dawn.


On the 8th of April, the tour had its final stop in Canada. An enthusiastic and large number of fans gathered at the event, which started with a public gathering. Among other things, we heard stories about EDDA, and Attila gave us insight into the life of the legendary band. During the evening, sausages and hot dogs alleviated the hunger of the people, the food was provided by the kitchen of the Hungarian House. The concert was fantastic. Some fans wore EDDA T-shirts, and almost everyone sang along the old hits. The show was a great Hungarian experience for the locals, and after that they could dance in the retro disco. This night had been known for days in Vancouver. This year the Canadian Attila Pataky tour has ended, but we got so such memorable experiences.

Thanks to the helpers and the NAHC (National Alliance of Hungarians in Canada) for the organization of the Canadian Pataky tour. Without them this tour could not have been created. Gábor Vaski, the President of the Alliance, helped not only to organize the event, but also to ensure that every tour is prepared for the shows. Attila and Gary were welcomed everywhere by enthusiastic Canadian-Hungarian crowds. The result of the careful preparation and collaboration between Hungarian organizations were six great show. If everything goes well the Canadian audience soon will be able to hear live EDDA hits again. NAHC is working to bring the entire EDDA band to Canada in the fall of 2018 to two large-scale concerts on the east and west coast.

The concert photos are posted here.

Celebrating the Hungarian Way

“Kör közepén állok, Körbevesznek jó barátok, Körbevesznek jó barátok és rosszak…” (“I’m standing in the middle of the circle surrounded by good friends and bad ones, too. . .”) These are some lyrics that all Hungarians start humming as they read them. If you are Hungarian, you know what to do when you hear the “Limbó-hintó” (Limbo coach) is coming, or the “A vonat nem vár” (”The train won’t wait”)… Every nation celebrates in different ways. There are songs, movies, tales, culinary specialties that everybody knows. Somehow the song lyrics get stuck in your head, and even if you have the worst memory, you can easily remember the words of those songs forever. You didn’t learn them in school, or memorized at the university, you just know them.

Songs, such as Hűtlen, Éjjel érkezem, Mi vagyunk a rock, Kölyköd voltam, Gyere őrült, Elhagyom a várost… to name a few of the many songs by EDDA Művek (EDDA Works) that everybody can recall within seconds of hearing them. This was not the first time Attila Pataky, the leader and lead singer of the band, has visited the country. In 2013, he had a seven-stop tour across Canada. This year the band have had concerts in Toronto, Hamilton, Cambridge with three more stops to go in Edmonton (April, 6), Calgary (April, 7), and Vancouver (April, 8).The concert starts with Attila reading out loud from his new book, titled “Mi vagyunk a rock” (We are the rock). He takes questions from the audience, and gives honest answers, about the band, his family, or his spirituality. The concert creates a great atmosphere. The audience enjoys the show so much that they sing together with Attila. After the concert DJ Gary spins retro tunes, with all the Hungarian classics from the ’70’s and ’80’s. Even the members of the older generation dance like youngsters for a few hours.

The Canadian Pataky tour is organized by National Alliance of Hungarians in Canada (NAHC). Mr. Gábor Vaski, the president of the NAHC, greeted the audience in the three cities and opened the shows. One of the main goals of NAHC is to promote and distribute the Hungarian language, cultural heritage, history, folklore and traditions among the Hungarian communities in Canada.

Concerts like these, make a great opportunity for Hungarians to celebrate together. The shows were enjoyed by performers and audience alike, and hopefully it is not the last time Pataky will visit Canada.

Photos about the event are posted here.
Sára Lehoczki, KCSP, Toronto

An Irregular Lesson about Literature: Forr-A- Dal-Már

Do you wonder what an irregular lesson about literature is like?

How can you explain the meaning of the revolution to 10-year-old kids who were born outside of Hungary and never visited their old country?

The topic of 1956 is still contradictory in many views.

The older generation, who took part in the revolution, has a certain view about it, which is different form the opinions of the Generation-X who were not even supposed to talk about it for decades except whispering about it quietly at home. And then, the Millennials who have yet another meaning of the revolution; for them ’56 is only a subject that is remembered by the obligatory memorials in every school year.

Is it possible to explain the kids the suffocating atmosphere of communism, in which Hungary was stuck during the ’50s.

Can they imagine themselves back in those times and feel, understand what the young people were protesting against, so that the events of 1956 will not remain for them some boring data from history about a country, which is complicated, chaotic, and where they have never been.

This was the challenging task for Lóránt Tóth Péter, who calls himself as the travelling poet. We met him in his irregular class of Literature in Montréal. Having a degree in teaching history, he claims his mission is to make the youth of the Hungarian diaspora know and love poems. He presented his performance called Forr-A- Dal-Már (Hung. Singing of the Revolution) that projects the revolution of ’56 in a different light.

The audience gathered in the community hall of the protestant church of Montréal showed a really composite picture, all the three generations mentioned above were present: survivors of the bloody revolution, the generation who were silenced and had to live through consequences of the revolution, and the children born in Canada for whom the subject is dim and distant.

But the travelling poet was not perplexed by neither the inhomogenous public nor the inconveniences caused by jet lag.

To bring the forced expropriations of communism closer to the kids, he confiscated the valueables of the audience at the beginning of the show, which caused a stormy dejection.

Then he brought up very basic and simple examples to show how the communist regime intruded into the every day life of the people crating suspicion and mistrust in relationships at all levels. He expressed through poems the frustration and despair of the people in a world where a privileged few had everything, and the rest had nothing; where there were no rights, and people were afraid not only of spies, but often of themselves knowing that everyone can be tortured so cruelly that they will sign any paper put in front of them. He described this hopeless period in such a realistic way that the news that the revolution had broken out was an actual relief, and the crowds willingly went protest to the Bem square… He emphazied the role of people under 18 in the fights going into such detailds as the jokes that were passed around after the toppling of Stalin’s statue, so that kids can have an idea about atmosphere of those two glorious weeks. The performance was supported by a rich collection of archive pictures and videos.

He presenting the sad aftermath, the opression and retribution of the revolution, the overall message of the show was still positive saying we should appreciate our freedom, so that those youngsters didn’t shed their blood in vein. Let’s do everything we can to use our talents to make the world a better place.

Because life prevails over death.

Photos about the event are posted here.
Dorka Kornélia Takácsy, KCSP, Montréal

Annual Report, NAHC, 2016

NAHC has been following global issues in relations with Hungarian national interests worldwide and tries to help whenever it can. On the occasion of March 10th, the Szekler Independence Day, NAHC sent a letter, written in Hungarian and English, to the president of Szekler National Council, the European Parliament, and the president of the European Union expressing its solidarity with the cause of the Szekler autonomy, and also, took part in demonstrations to support the autonomy.

NAHC has also been organizing its events with the concept that these events reach the communities in Canada nationwide. One example is the program series titled A Bit of Transylvania by László Bálint, which featured book shows, video presentations depicting landscapes and arts of Transylvania to raise funds for the school at the village of Varság. The students of the KCSP program and members of performing arts have been performing in live shows featuring pieces of literature and poetry, which were presented at Hungarian organizations in Montréal, Calgary, Edmonton, Windsor, and Cambridge.

Our memorable event was the book show and presentation titled Comrade Baron by Jaap Scholten, a Dutch author who is researching the Hungarian history, also.

NAHC started a series of theatre shows aimed to improve the programs at the Ottawa Hungarian Community Centre, and this initiative is now working well, and builds a bridge between the theatre life in the Carpathian basin and the Hungarians in diaspora.

The first show was György Derzsi’s My Love Sárdy by the members of the Lovas Theatre of Komárom, in October, 2015, followed by the show titled Lehár, in February 2016. Ferenc Karinthy’s Gellért Hill Dreams had its début in March 2016, featuring Lilla Tóth Szilvia, Örs Hunor Bálint, and Attila Létmányi, students of performing arts school at Marosvásárhely. Örs Hunor Bálint took this opportunity to have his photo exhibition. The latest show was Shirley Valentine directed by Cserje Zsuzsa featuring Éva Vándor in the main role.

NAHC sent an open letter to the Hungarian community in Canada calling them to participate in the referendum in Hungary, on October 2nd. This letter was also sent to members of the Hungarian government and the European Union.

All member organizations marked the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution with appropriate celebrations. The Kalejdoszkóp magazine started its series of commemorative events with interviews and song lyrics of 1956 by Nóra Némethy, followed by the interview book by Rózsa Dancs titled Pass on the flame – lives of those who were forced into exile. Extra Hungariam, one of our affiliate organizations, produced a show called Spirit of Hungary by the Home Defence Folk Dance Ensemble, in Toronto. The concert tour by the band New Bojtorján in Ontario was our very successful program. In remembrance of 1956 and homage to Canada, the Hungarian Volunteer Artists in Canada (Huvac) organization held in exhibition at the consulate in Toronto. As a sign of cooperation and belonging, several representatives of NAHC took part in the 3-day-long conference in Edmonton organized by the Hungarian Cultural Council in Canada (HCCC) for the commemoration of 1956. The Montréal Week organized by the Hungarian Embassy was a big success. Part of this show featured a tour by the dance group Csillagszemű, which had performances in Toronto, at the Ottawa Hungarian Cultural Centre, at the Ottawa Museum of History, Edmonton as part of the HCCC’ program series. NAHC is grateful to HCCC for these memorable events and the support.

With our campaign of Flag of 56, we again wanted to mark the anniversary of 1956 as we felt that when the Canadian people can see the flags mounted on cars they will be reminded of the importance of the past 60 years. Our activity can be followed on our newsletter Hungarian Reporter available online.

NAHC responded to the statements by the Romanian ex-president Traian Bășescu addressed to the Orbán government, which he made unofficially but stirred a great controversy. NAHC sent the response, written in English and Hungarian, to the national governing organizations of Romania and Hungary, and the representatives of the Hungarian organizations in Transylvania. In its response, NAHC used historical evidence to make its claim that the Hungarian community have nothing to celebrate on the anniversary of the Romanian assembly at Gyulafehervár, on December 1, 1918. NAHC’ response was also published by MTI.NAHC also makes sure that it includes the students of the Körösi Csoma Sándor program (KCSP) in its events. This gives NAHC the opportunity to express its appreciation to the Hungarian government for the KCSP, which successfully re-engages the Hungarian community in diaspora. The KCSP embraces the Hungarian culture everywhere in the world; hence, this program is with great value of national heritage.

In an effort to make personal connections with the Hungarian organizations and their members in Canada, the president of NAHC toured the country last year, and met the representatives and members of the Hungarian communities. In the spring, he visited Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, and Edmonton, met the leaders of the local Hungarian centres and discussed the challenges the community face to make further progress in their future endeavours. In September, he continued his tour in Winnipeg and Montréal. He made his reports available about these meetings during NAHC’s monthly meetings. We feel that this tour reinforced our aims outlined at the Diaspora Council Meeting last year to increase the feeling of community and belonging among our communities and to preserve the identity of the Hungarian people living in diaspora.