Hungarian culture abounds in Shanghai this weekend

Ong Jing Yi
This weekend may be another reason for many to pop by the vicinity of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, where the inaugural BudapestFEST is underway.
Ong Jing Yi
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

BudapestFEST is running throughout the day until Sunday at the vicinity of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower.

This weekend may be another reason for many to pop by the vicinity of the spectacular Oriental Pearl TV Tower in the Pudong New Area, where the inaugural BudapestFEST kicked off last night.

Although the festival, named after Hungary’s capital, runs for just a few days from March 22 to 25, it’s already got locals and tourists alike swarming to the area.

Rows of booths have been set up, along with a central stage and an open space at the plaza to showcase the opulent Hungarian culture. Each booth, simply adorned with the tri-colored flags of red, white and green, displays a unique artifact of the European country.

As a yummy example, the affectionately renowned gingerbread can be found in a combination of different shapes, but with icing of only the patriotic choice of colors, spawned across the table. 

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A craftswoman (right) teaches a Chinese visitor how to make a piece of artifact.

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

A man makes cute gingerbread on the site.

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

An artist paints on Easter eggs.

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Along with the help of a student translator, the owner of Manni Mezes explained that the iconic treat is sold all year round as a local snack. Partnering with his wife, they run a local brand which was one of many selected for the BudapestFEST in celebration of Hungarian traditions.

Visitors can get an interactive experience, not just in the verbal exchanges with some of the representatives, but hands-on activities such as creating prints on Easter eggs using melted wax.

“Each print has a symbolic meaning of the Christian religion,” said Nora Lazar Berecz, an award-winning folk artist. 

They include illustrations of the star, sky and roses, which are inspired by nature. “These are traditional ways of decorating... Black and red signify the death of Jesus Christ, (and) green signifies spring.” 

Traditionally, the egg is gifted by girls as a confession of love. 

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Extreme bikers perform during the BudapestFEST.

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Other than art, Hungarian sports will also be featured in the festival. Visitors can watch a 10-minute extreme bike showcase that runs three times throughout the day. 

“We really loved the performance,” said one of the bikers, Laszlo Hegedus, who is an experienced performer back home. “The environment is beautiful and the audience is great!”

Apart from the biking show, another highlight of the festival is the exotic dance performance. And Hungarian musicians will also be performing throughout the festival. 

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Young musicians will take to the stage, including a pair of violinist sisters, Amira and Mariam, as well as 13-year-old pianist Boros Misi, who has held concerts internationally.

To immerse further into Hungarian culture, one can visit the Revolving Oriental Tower. In conjunction with BudapestFEST, the Hungarian Gastronomy Festival is being held here, which features an array of Hungarian delicacies specially prepared by renowned chef Prohászka Béla. 

Visitors will literally get the best of both worlds: enjoying the tastes of Hungary together with the phenomenal bird’s-eye view of Shanghai. 

Whether you’re into art, music, gorgeous food or extreme sports, Hungarian culture abounds in Shanghai this weekend. Don't miss out.

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Food lovers will be delighted to find Hungarian delicacies at the Revolving Oriental Tower.

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

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