Having raced into Liverpool to meet fellow cultural champions for a quiet coffee and a bite, I found myself wandering around Robots and Avatars at FACT. However, that was not the mission of the evening. The true adventure had only just begun as I was to meet The Baron!
Baron Andrew V Zsigmand de Lemheny; Honorary Consul of Hungary, to be precise. Why? Well the 15th of March was National Independence Day for Hungary and we were going all out to celebrate! We did, in grand style under the patronage of Merseyside Polonia who organised the event and setting, not to mention the food and wine – National dish Goulash! Visitors were aplenty in the lounge and the smell of food intoxicating but that didn’t detract us from pleasant conversation and serious networking. Hungary must have produced so many fine art students who seemed to have ended up in Liverpool. Anyway, I was here to meet the Baron and discover the culture of Hungary.
Questions still arose in my head as I thought I knew all the Consuls in Liverpool. We have 13 considered by myself to be Maritime, but not the case with land locked Hungary! Hungary doesn’t have a navy, maybe a few kayaks and dingys on the Danube, but the most important reason was the Baron. He loves Liverpool, the people, the buildings and the culture. He was a fantastic, charismatic figure and statesman of baronial stature. We spoke at length about the EEC, the number of Hungarians in Liverpool and future events all amidst a backdrop of Hungarian dance with whistles and shouts, a powerpoint of the 1848 Independence day beginnings and a volley of slides showing present day Hungary. Oh! The smell of Goulash and gerkins kicked in. Visitors mingled, Hungarian red and white wine flowed and it certainly became an entertaining cultural evening where the community and I truly learnt a great deal about a little known country that was surrounded by Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and Romania, Ukraine and the Slovak Republic.
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