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All posts from Hungary

Red, white and green

Debrecen, HU (View on map)
Posted 2 Apr 2008:

I already got to meet some Hungarians in Romania, but since my arrival in Debrecen yesterday ? it`s now Hungary for real. A country of 10 million people that, just like its neighbours, has been overrun by foreign invaders several times during its history. Celts, Romans, Ottomans, Habsburgs, Austrians and most recently, Soviets. Here`s a brief description of current day Hungary, starting off by briefly comparing it to Romania.... Read more

Low on energy

Debrecen, HU (View on map)
Posted 3 Apr 2008:

As I learnt yesterday, enjoying is not something that comes natural to Hungarians. Smiling without an obvious reason risks to be seen as something suspect, while openly displaying happiness is likely to cause confusion. Few events can spark a feeling of community and belonging. Still, I refuse to believe that all Hungarians are depressed all of the time. I am tracing down some English-speaking Hungarians today to ask what they do to cheer themselves up from everyday sorrow.... Read more

Language cross road

Miskolc, HU (View on map)
Posted 4 Apr 2008:

Multilingualism is a major topic on the European agenda. In general, it is an asset that is reserved for smaller countries, with `odd` languages. Large countries like the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and France can afford the arrogance of not caring about foreign languages. Smaller countries cannot. Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Malta, Cyprus and all of Scandinavia depend on their language skills to maintain their positions in the global market. Such need to learn foreign languages could also be expected of Hungary. Located right in the middle of the European Union, bordering all major language groups existent in the EU, it could form an ideal European linguistic cross road. But only the capital Budapest seems to take advantage of that situation. ... Read more


Budapest, HU (View on map)
Posted 5 Apr 2008:

Only 15 years ago, internet was still a new phenomenon. People were not familiar with even the expression `on-line`, let alone the drastic consequences the internet would have on their daily lives only a decade later. Internet was introduced to the big public well after the 1989 revolution in Eastern Europe, which means that it could develop simultaneously all over Europe. Differences in the quality of infrastructure have put Eastern Europe behind on Western Europe, but countries like Estonia show that initial delay can also serve as an advantage. And what about Hungary?... Read more

Attending school

Budapest, HU (View on map)
Posted 6 Apr 2008:

Theoretical knowledge is important in Hungary and the education system is organised accordingly. Facts are highly valued, history is more popular than in most other European countries and so is literature. What else is there to know about the time Hungarians spend preparing for professional life?... Read more

Six months abroad

Budapest, HU (View on map)
Posted 7 Apr 2008:

Since the integration in the European Union, Hungarians have not flooded Western Europe in the way the Poles and the Romanians have. As I found out during previous day, the delayed interest in foreign languages forms an important barrier. Added to that, Hungarians seem to be very fond of their own country and region. Moving from one city to another can already represent quite a challenge. Still, many young citizens are tempted to visit the outside world. Temporarily moving abroad used to be luxury, but for Budapestian students and graduates, it`s already becoming business as usual. Today`s question: which European destination would you choose if you were to study or work abroad for 6 months?... Read more

Hungarians and change

Szeged, HU (View on map)
Posted 8 Apr 2008:

As I wrote in earlier articles, Hungarians are not very happy about the situation their country is in. The economy is declining, politicians are unable to change the tide and the people have little hope for improvement. All of that is leading toward`s today`s question: what changes does Hungary need?... Read more

Food philosophy

Szeged, HU (View on map)
Posted 9 Apr 2008:

I am happy and proud to announce that I have found the one thing that unites Hungarians in a positive way. Something that enlightens their hearts and gives them a sense of belonging. It`s called `T?r? Rudi` and its uniting power reaches well beyond what it physically represents: a chocolate bar filled with cottage cheese, packed in a white piece of plastic with red dots. To be kept in a fridge to prevent it from turning sour.... Read more

Presents and parties

P?cs, HU (View on map)
Posted 10 Apr 2008:

Getting to a birthday party without a present would not be very polite in many European countries. In Hungary, it`s the raising of the glasses that counts more than anything else. Presents are preferably liquid and alcoholic, but they may also they represent something home-made; edible or artistic.... Read more

Inspired Hungarians

P?cs, HU (View on map)
Posted 11 Apr 2008:

Asking Hungarians about who or what inspires them is quite a challenging project. It may well be a question that is impossible for them to answer, especially for those Hungarians who have no connections with anybody outside Hungary, do not speak foreign languages, and live outside the major cities. They may simply be lacking a source of inspiration, or, more probably, they do not tend to think in terms like inspiration. A combination of `obligation` and `dedication` would seem more of an accurate description of their motives.... Read more

Beyond the borders

P?cs, HU (View on map)
Posted 12 Apr 2008:

No country likes to see its territory distributed among its neighbours. Still, this happened to Hungary a number of times. The most drastic reduction took place in 1920, when the infamous Trianon Treaty was signed. The treaty allocated more than 70% of the territory to neighbouring countries and cut the size of the population of the country down from 21 million to only 7 million. Inhabitants of the seized areas were incorporated into the population of their new home countries and lost Hungarian citizenship. Despite no longer being Hungarians, they held on to their traditions and still form distinct ethnic groups in particularly Romania and Slovakia, but also in Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia.... Read more

Hungarian Ang?la

Sz?kesfeh?rv?r, HU (View on map)
Posted 13 Apr 2008:

Upon completion of `Us Europeans`, scheduled for 1 August 2008, I will have spoken to several thousands of young people living in the European Union. About their daily lives, their countries, their traditions and ambitions, their frustrations and hopes. Up until now, most of the articles have been related to a subject rather than a person. Starting from today, I will dedicate one article per country to just one single person ? as was by the way the original plan for the entire project. Today, I am presenting the first victim of this new practice: Ang?la from Sz?kesfeh?rv?r in Hungary.... Read more

Watching `Joboratok`

Sz?kesfeh?rv?r, HU (View on map)
Posted 14 Apr 2008:

Of all the different people I have met on this trip so far, Hungarians seem to be the least attached to their TV. Greeks seemed to have one for every few square meters in the house, with the one in the kitchen preferably switched on all day. Some Portuguese housewives ? so I was told - could easily spend entire days watching Brazilian soap operas. Hungary is a little more moderate in its TV consumption. The local way of setting priorities does not leave Hungarians much time to stare at the black box.... Read more

Destination unknown

Budapest, HU (View on map)
Posted 15 Apr 2008:

Hungarians are fed up with domestic politics. Recent years have shown staggering growth in the Hungarian economy, politicians have fallen over each other and over themselves and none of the political parties has been able to drag Hungary out of the crisis it is currently going through. Prices are up, unemployment is up, the government has fallen apart on several occasions. New elections are on the way, or maybe they are not. And maybe people do no longer really care. Here`s a quick glance at the political news in Hungary:... Read more

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