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Cry God for England, Harry and St. George!

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The English community in Hungary, including British Ambassador Paul Fox, will come together at a special St. George’s Day event at the Corinthia Hotel Budapest on April 30 that will also mark the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Other nations are invited to join in with the fun, the organizers say.

Notably, the event will also raise funds to help Ukrainian children and their families. A raffle and auction will be hosted by UNICEF Champion Ivett Angyal and presented by TV star Zsuzsa Demcsák. All the proceeds will go to the Hungarian National Committee of UNICEF.

Guests of honor at the event, being organized by XpatLoop.com, which is also behind the annual November fireworks party and includes British Ambassador Fox and his peers, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Hungary Lyubov Nepop, and the Irish Ambassador to Hungary, Kosovo and Montenegro Ronan Gargan, as well as Antónia Mészáros, executive director of UNICEF Hungary. Tickets cost from HUF 14,000 and are available via the ticket site funcode.hu. The cover price includes many complimentary drinks including English whisky and gin tasting, St George’s English Beer, and a 007 Vodka Martini Bar

St. George (Szent György in Hungarian) has been the patron saint of England since at least the 14th century, according to Wikipedia, although the English have to share him with Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Georgia, Portugal and Romania, as well as several Spanish communities. Supposedly a Roman soldier, he was sentenced to death in 303 C.E. for refusing to give up his Christian faith, though he is best known in popular folklore for slaying a dragon.

The program for the evening includes cheese and wine tasting accompanied by classical English music by Purcell, Handel, and others, a “funny poetry” speech about Shakespeare by British performer, artistic director, and founder of the Scallabouche Theater Company Alexis Latham, and a chance to discuss what is possibly the quintessentially English sport with members of the Hungarian Cricket Association.

Musical highlights include a rendition of “Jerusalem,” a rousing hymn beloved by English cricket and rugby fans, with words from a William Blake poem put to music by Hubert Parry. Expat covers Band The Vibe will play popular English indie and pop songs from 9 p.m., while DJ (Andrew) Woods will spin English pop, rock, and dance hits from the last 60 years from 11 p.m. until midnight.

Much more information can be found on the xpatloop.com website.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of April 8, 2022.

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