Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Why Isn't Everyone Hungarian on St. Stephen's Day?

I'm Hungarian. And German, with a little Scotch thrown in for good measure. But I grew up knowing more about my father's Hungarian roots, simply because he was first generation and my mother's family had been here much longer. My father's parents came over in the early 1900's as children and ended up in the Hungarian neighborhood of Trenton's Chambersburg section, which was mostly Italian. I grew up eating my grandmother's Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage, Chicken Paprikash and a curious version of bruscetta that in phonetic Hungarian is called "shutney sullan-ya," which translates as "Dirty Bread." It's delicious, but so bad for you. Diced onions, tomatoes and peppers on rye bread, covered in the drippings of slab bacon which has been cooked on a stick over an open wood fire. When the bacon is cooked, that gets sliced up and put on top. I haven't had it in years, but my mouth is watering describing it for you.

Anyway, today honors Saint Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, who supposedly drove all the snakes out of the country. Everyone is Irish on Saint Patrick's Day. We all wear green; get sloppy drunk on Guinness, Harp and Jameson; eat corned beef and cabbage and have green bagels for breakfast.

The Patron Saint of Hungary is Saint Stephen, the first Catholic King of Hungary. Saint Stephen's day is a big day of celebration in Hungary, but nowhere else. Americans don't spend the day eating goulash (a dish my grandmother hated and never made), dancing the Csardas and drinking pear brandy until they puke.

So, if I'm going to be Irish today, I'm going to do it in my own way. Via BoingBoing comes this rather amusing, silly Steampunk vid about catching a leprechaun from the League of S.T.E.A.M.:

And while this has nothing to do with Ireland or Steampunkery, I haven't talked about movies since Sunday, so... BoingBoing also recently posted this amazing trailer for the upcoming Ridley Scott-produced film Parallel Lines. Five different directors were given the same dialogue with no stage directions and asked to make a film out it. Each short is totally different in tone, style and genre. I think the whole concept is fascinating and can't wait to see it:

Oh, well. Back to being a boring old American tomorrow. Until then Saide Felte everyone.

More, anon.

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