Hungarian Days in Thionville, 1987

Hungarian Days in Thionville

A series of spring events titled Hungarian Days took place in the city of Thionville in eastern France. The cultural and gastronomic events organized by the local organization of the Association France-Hongrie (French-Hungarian Society) have been an undivided success among the French public. The focus of the events was the exhibition of the creative camp of the Hajdú-Bihar County Catering Company in Hortobágy, which was held in the city casino. The French have been working among the foreign artists of the creative camp for years. One of them, a photographer called Pierre Marcel Siest, presented himself to the people of Debrecen at the Hungária restaurant at an exhibition in March last year, accompanied by a spectacular French dinner and performance. This successful event gave the idea that the Hungarians would also present themselves in France. The Hungarian members of the Hortobágy Creative Camp, together with foreigners, featured more than 60 works during the exhibition, in the preparation of which the Art Fund and Artex aided.
The paintings and photographs on display were exceedingly popular, as evidenced by the fact that, at the request of the directors, the works will be on view in other cities during the year. More so, an invitation for an exhibition in the Netherlands, scheduled for May 1988, was also given to painter Imre Égerházi, leader of the Creative Camp.

The gastronomic experience was present in Thionville also. László Boros, the master chef of the Hungária restaurant, took care of this. At a dinner for more than two hundred people in the beautifully decorated ballroom of the city casino, meaty pancakes from Hortobágy, national turkey rolls and walnut-poppy seed roll were placed on the tables in red-white-green colors. It was a touching kindness on the part of the local organizers that during the reception of the guests, the melodies of Bánk Bán by Ferenc Erkel were played through speakers.
The folk music ensemble Düvő and two Hungarian dancers from Salgótarján contributed greatly to the success of the evening and the good atmosphere: Mária Kolárovszky and Pál Mlinár, also known from TV’s ‘Who knows what?’ show, performed a colorfully selected parade dance show.
Painter László Bod also provided a surprise to the casino guests. He made a pastel drawing of a person selected by lot from the participants on the spot, which he also given as a gift to the happy winner.
During our stay we could also get a glimpse into French everyday life, of course. We had many, many experiences and we would like to thank our hosts, especially Jean-Paul Merler, president of the Association France-Hongrie and his wife, painter Gilbert Lupfer, who was immensely helpful in the practical implementation of the exhibition.

Károly Kiripolszky