A café in central Budapest, Hungary, surprised guests with a new Welsh name, Welsh pop music and a bilingual drinks menu on Friday.
“Három Holló” (’The Three Ravens’ in English) adopted a Welsh-language name “Y Tair Cigfran” and a Welsh music playlist to celebrate.
The special night marked the fifth annual Dydd Miwsig Cymru (Welsh Language Music Day), which honours all forms of Welsh language music – indie, rock, punk, funk, folk, electronica, hip hop and everything in between.
“Három Holló” had celebrated Welsh Language Music Day with live bands in previous years. On Friday, they included a bilingual drinks menu, with Hungarian and Welsh appearing side-by-side. Customers could also order in Welsh at the counter.
The venue also featured Welsh-language hits throughout the night, with a range of songs from the likes of Super Furry Animals, Cate Le Bon and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci playing in the background.
The rebrand was arranged by Welshophile music fan and record collector László Záhonyi, in partnership with Három Holló café and Balint Brunner, Editor of Magyar Cymru.
László Záhonyi, who has been organising Welsh Language Music Day events in his native Hungary for several years, said: “I fondly remember the moment I came across the Welsh language for the first time.
“I was reading ‘The Pendragon Legend’, a novel by Hungarian writer Antal Szerb, and he claimed the Welsh language had a wonderful sound, like something from another world. Before I knew it, I’d fallen in love with Welsh culture and boasted the biggest Welsh-language record collection in Hungary.
“I don’t understand much of the lyrics, but that doesn’t stop me. I just listen to the tune and let the words stay a mystery – a story from another world, just like Szerb said it!”
Ágnes Seregély, Head of Marketing at Három Holló said: “We’re extremely proud to have brought this amazing culture alive in our café, with captivating Welsh music and bilingual signage all across the venue.
“We particularly enjoyed calling ourselves ‘Y Tair Cigfran’ for a day, despite the tough pronunciation, and hope to see many Welsh visitors at Három Holló over the years to come!”
Throughout the year, Welsh-Hungarian events take place across both countries. Last Christmas, residents from Hungary’s “Welshest village” held a special concert to build bridges between the two cultures.
Next month, Hungarian and Welsh families will come together in Cardiff for an annual celebration of their close cultural ties. Held in the Urdd Hall of the Wales Millennium Centre, the fourth Welsh-Hungarian Concert and Folk Dance Event is set to take place on 14th March 2020, to tie in with St. David’s Day and one of Hungary’s national holidays.
The concert series is organised by Hungarian-born classical singer Elizabeth Sillo and the Kodály Violin School of Carmarthenshire, directed by Dorothy Singh. Over the years, many acclaimed Welsh and Hungarian folk artists, the ‘1st Hungarian Hussar Banderium UK’ and members of the National Chorus of Wales have all joined the initiative, including a wide range of performances from both cultures.