Tuesday, July 7, 2015

MythOff Budapest II: Myth like salt

Not even a 38 Celsius heat wave could break the MythOff momentum: We had our second event today, in a new venue (a ruin pub called Fogas Ház), but with the same enthusiasm. Apparently we did something right the last time: Once again we had full house and then some, counting upwards of 60 people! The setting had mood lighting, comfy chairs, and a wonky sound system, but all in all, the event ran smoothly, and the stories were great.
Here is what went down:

Round 1: Life and Death from the Sea
Celtic (Scottish/Irish) corner: Yours truly, with the legend of the Fianna and the Muileartach. I have wanted to tell this story for a long time. It is strange, and powerful, and all-around awesome.
Karelian (Finno-Ugric) corner: Our new storyteller, Rozka Sőrés, who told us a myth about God creating the world, and the Devil helping him in the form of a duck that dives into the ocean for earth.
The Question: "Who would make a better supervisor at a wave pool, the Muileartach or the Devil?"
The Prize: A small pouch containing a vial with a pinch of salt in it (for the saltiness of the sea)
Winner: The Devil

Round 2: Family feud among the gods
Hindu corner: Maja Bumberák, with the story of the birth of Ganesha, and how he got his elephant head. Maja is a very lyrical teller, and her story was eloquent and elegant.
Assyrian corner: Enikő Nagy, telling the haunting myth of Ishtar's descent into the Underworld. This, in my opinion, was the high point of the evening, perfectly told, and full of emotion.
The Question: "If these conflicts happened in average families, which one do you think would make up sooner?"
The Prize: A small pouch containing a vial with a pinch of salt in it (for the superstition that spilled salt means quarrels)
Winner: The Hindu pantheon

Round 3: Masters of Wanting More
Maori corner: Szilvia Varga-Fogarasi, telling the story of how Maui brought fire to the world. She made us all instantly like the guy, even as he went looking for trouble.
Chinese corner: László Gregus, who masterfully summed up several opening chapters of Journey to the West into 12 minutes, and introduced us to the Monkey King's adventures towards immortality.
The Question: "If you were the CEO of a company, looking for a new creative employee with diverse skills, which one of the two tricksters would you hire?"
The Prize: A small pouch containing a vial with a pinch of salt in it (for the tricksters as the salt of the world)
Winner: The Monkey King

MythOff has definitely taken Budapest by storm. Can't wait to see where it will take us next!

To celebrate the fact that we didn't forget to take one this time, here is a group photo of all the tellers! From left to right: Szilvia, Enikő, moi, Maja, Rozka, and László. 


  1. Glad you got a picture this time. That's quite a group of storytellers. And your stories were very intriguing. Wish I could have heard them.