There are somewhere between one and two million Roma in Romania. Ratys estimates that there are around 300 Roma in elected office at a local level. But it's difficult to calculate how underrepresented Roma are at the local level.
An ethnic map of Romania explains a great deal about the relations between the majority and the minorities in Romania. Ethnic Hungarians have an absolute majority in two counties -- Harghita and Covasna -- in the very heart of the country.
The first war of nationalist extremism in East-Central Europe in the post-1989 era could easily have been in Romania, not Yugoslavia. Before conflicts between Serbs and Croats escalated into violence, ethnic Hungarians and ethnic Romanians squared off against each other.
Earlier this year, the first mind-to-mind communication took place. Hooked up to brain wave headsets, a researcher in India projected a thought to a colleague in France, and they understood each other. Telepathy went from the pages of science fiction to reality.
It's no coincidence that most of the best-known Hungarian composers loved folk music; the country has unusually rich and deep folk traditions, and many modern Hungarians are fully aware of the treasures of their heritage.
When I heard rumors about Jay-Z and Beyonce heading to Cuba, I was feeling pretty confident about my trendy choice to go that way. But then I bagged Cuba, and booked a flight to Vienna, Austria, home of the Lipizzaner stallions and Wienerschnitzel.
Márai's novel Embers is so touching that it should be widely known, and I, who pride myself on being familiar with such obscure gems as Zeno's Conscience and Wide Sargasso Sea, am puzzled and shaken by my failure to have previously unearthed it.