Accessibility links

Name 'Sarkozy' Popular Among Roma In Eastern Europe


Amid all the furor stirred by the French government’s decision to repatriate hundreds of Romanian and Bulgarian Roma, many would be surprised to learn that Sarkozy is a pretty popular name among the Romany communities in Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania. No, not French President Nicolas Sarkozy, but the name Sarkozy -- or rather Sárközy.

The official biography of the French president portrays him as the scion of a small noble family from eastern Hungary, so it is quite intriguing and ironic that it is mostly Roma who bear the name Sárközy -- meaning in Hungarian “from the mud” -- in countries where there are Hungarian-speaking Romany communities -- not only Hungary, but Slovakia, Austria and Romania, too.

Furthermore, the three best-known Sárközys in the region are all Roma. One of them is Rudolf Sárközy, the leader of Austria’s Romany community. The second one is Sárközy Jozsef, a popular singer from Hungary. And probably the best-known of all -- aside, of course, from the French president -- is, simply, Sárközy, the archetypal Gypsy man in Hungarian literature as portrayed in Geza Gardonyi’s early 20th-century best-seller, “The Stars Of Eger.”

It is absolutely clear, however, from Nicolas Sarkozy’s official biography that there is no connection between him and the Roma -- other than the one just being established these days.

-- Eugen Tomiuc

Your opinion

Show comments

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

XS
SM
MD
LG