B bábi, Tibor

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Bolivia, Hungarians in – In the 1920s a few hundred Hungarians settled in the city of La Paz and its environs. They sent a delegation to the World Congress of Hungarians held in Budapest in 1938. According to the 1961 estimate, about 150 Hungarians lived in Bolivia. Around the turn of the millennium their number barely changed. – B: 1104, 1020, T: 3240.

Bologna, Runic Staff Calendar – One of the most important, authentic and largest relic of a medieval Szekler calendar containing more than 200 words. It is a valuable cultural treasure of the first order. Count Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli of Bologna, a military engineer in Austrian service, found the wooden staff or stick while working in Transylvania (Erdély, now in Romania) in 1690. He made an exact copy of it. In his opinion the calendar originated at the time when the Szeklers were converted to Christianity. It shows the celebratory days of baptismal names, personal and geographical names connected with the life of Jesus, and simple Biblical notes in an abbreviated system that follows the rules of the Hungarian language that are still the rules of Hungarian stenography. The first Hungarian to study it was ethnographer Gyula (Julius) Sebestyén. Judging by its language, he dated it to the time of the Árpád Dynasty (11th to 14th centuries). Later, Dezső (Desider) Csallány and Sándor (Alexander) Forrai examined the calendar. Forrai concluded that the stick could have been 150 cm long and 2 cm thick with runes on all four sides. He succeeded in preparing a copy of the stick. Forrai kept the copy; however, the original was lost. Transliterating the text of the calendar reveals 914 runic symbols in all. Of these, the number of larger symbols representing written characters number 671, while the balance of 243 appears to represent numbers. There are 46 ligatures or abbreviations with 103 vocal sounds amounting to a space-saving of some 38%. The stick would have been about half a meter longer had the runic writer not applied abbreviations. The first and the third sides of the stick record the popular holidays of the year to New Year’s Eve (Kiskarácsony). The second side exhibits personal and geographical names connected with the life of Jesus, while on the fourth side are miscellaneous Biblical notes and the alphabet. The word Ten, the ancient root of the Hungarian word Isten (God) appears on the fourth side. This runic relic represents in written form antique vocal collocations that have no equivalent in Latin contemporary writings in the Latin alphabet system. – B: 1174, 1020, T: 7669.→Hungarian Runic Script; Sebestyén, Gyula; Csallány, Dezső; Forrai, Sándor.

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