Sussex Hungarian Society
The Society was formed in 2006 (starting as the Lewes Hungarian Society), providing a focus for Hungarians who are now living in Sussex and for English people with an interest in Hungary. Reflecting a now wider membership, the new Constitution adopted at the AGM in December 2007 names us the Sussex Hungarian Society.
The first event organised by the society in 2006 was a Hungarian food and music evening held in early June, followed by an exciting demonstration of traditional Hungarian dancing. Another successful social evening was on 18 November, with a mixed programme of short talks, folk-songs, and after a buffet meal an opportunity to join in some authentic Hungarian dancing. On 17 January 2007 members met to plan the next event, and to discuss a short talk on the 1956 Uprising. On 20 April the Hungarian Folk Dance Group of London joined in a Spring entertainment, and guest speakers talked about two contrasting eras in history – Hungary in the time of Elizabeth I and Hungary during the Cold War. There was a get-together on Sunday 24 June at the King’s Head, attended by about 30 members and friends, despite the poor weather. The dull summer remained dry for the open-air Summer Festival on 2 September, featuring bogrács cooking, an “international” stool-ball match and lots of Hungarian food for sale.
Preceded by the Annual General Meeting, we held a lively Christmas celebration evening on 8 December at the South Portslade Community Centre, with Christmas food, music and dancers visiting from London. The end of winter was welcomed on 1 March 2008 with a Farsang fancy-dress party held in Christchurch hall, Lewes, where members who came were joined by a travelling gypsy band with a lively mixture of traditional and popular music.
On 24 July 2008 we welcomed author Jessica Duchen at the launch of the paperback version of her novel Hungarian Dances, partly set in Lewes. We gathered for the occasion with snacks and drinks at The Old Needlemakers in Lewes. Jessica talked about the themes in the book and read some key passages.
Hungarian Dances – read about the CD of the novel by Jessica Duchen
Moving into the autumn of 2008, on 4 September Péter Fejes from the Cuisine of Hungary, based in Golders Green London, gave a talk on Hungarian wines and the famous Tokaji in particular. Péter is an expert and dealer in Hungarian wine. Music by Imre Varga added to the evening, held at the Old Needlemakers in Lewes.
On 6 December the Annual General Meeting was held at the Subud Centre in Station Street, Lewes, followed by a party to celebrate St Nicholas Day. We were happy to welcome back the very popular Hungarian Folk Dance Group of London who were fantastic entertainment as always. St Mikulás appeared with presents for the children who had been good. We welcomed many ‘new’ Hungarians to our membership as well.
The AGM decided that we would once again make a small annual charge for membership at the rate of £2 for an adult and £3 for a family membership. The subscriptions will help to keep the cost of our events low. Membership can be payable by post or at our next event. Details to follow. We welcome to the committee a new member: Viktoria Vajas. The chairman was also able to report that in 2009 we will organise some informal gatherings at various locations around the county to encourage some of the new members to come and get to know each other.