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7 Quick Takes Friday Hungary Edition

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Once again, the idea is stolen from Ciska.

— 1 —

Every Hungarian is fed up with the
“Where are you from?”
“Hungary.”
“Oh, are you hungry?” joke. You are not original, and it’s old and plain not funny after the 123rd time.

— 2 —

Hungarians can carry a conversation for hours without using any international words, thus avoiding anyone having the slightest idea about what they are talking about. I’m dead serious, they have their own words for everything. An exception might be “rádió” and “tévé”. But then they can go around using those words. Seriously, there are Hungarian words for everything, and whatever they don’t have a word for, they conjugate it till foreigners can’t recognize it.

This was made possible by the very conscious language reform efforts of the late 18th to mid 19th centuries. Over ten thousand new words were created to replace Latin and German ones and several thousand words are still in use. It also set the precedent for today’s word coinage. And I love it. 🙂

— 3 —

The official name of Hungary is no longer “Republic of Hungary’, but simply “Hungary”. They still have the title President of the Republic. Mentioning that, they have a brand new president, because the previous one was forced to resign when it was found that the dissertation for his doctorate was palgiarized. The former president, however, didn’t plagiarize his Olympic golds.

— 4 —

Hungary hasn’t been on the winning side of a war since 1526. Ok, you can claim that the Turks were kicked out by 1699, but that was done mostly by the Habsburgs, resulting in another period of foreign rule. So yeah, never winning since 1526 is a thing that they try to forget and remember the days when Hungary had 4 seas. Yeah, whatever.

— 5 —

Hungary is nominally Catholic with a cca. 60% of responders saying they were Catholic in the last published census data. That means that the majority go to church twice a year during their lifetimes: to be baptized and to get married. They are possibly buried by a priest, too, but there is often no Mass associated with the fneral.  Protestants aren’t that much more active, either. Of course there are many church goers, but compared to the USA, that percentage is tiny. And i don’t think the new church law helps any.

— 6 —

When you are in Hungary and someone wnats to make you try Unicum, politely decline. It’s kinda sorta like Jägermesiter, and I think both are quite horrible. When it comes to booze, the good thing in Hungary is Pálinka. It’s a drink distilled from fruits. My favourite is William’s Pear with cherry a close second, but what I usually have is peach pálinka. Or it might be apricot. Both are called “barack” in Hungarian. Yes, America has a peach for a president as far as Hungarians are concerned. There are a gazillion kosher pálinka types as well, the most famous is plum.

— 7 —

Harel Skaat has plenty of fans in Hungary. They even made a video for his birthday a few years ago. I thought that was worth mentioning.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

8 Responses to “7 Quick Takes Friday Hungary Edition”

  1. Eszter says:

    Napsütéses szép napot kívánok! :o))))
    Szóval akkor, aki úgy gondolja éhesek vagyunk, azt küld el Törökországba! 😀

  2. Marica says:

    So what are the ‘church laws’ you mentioned?

    • Hevel says:

      The new law only recognizes cca. 30 churches as such in Hungary, ripping tax exempt status, the ability to receive the 1% tax offerings and state support from the others. In a way the choice of who get to keep their status seems somewhat random.

  3. jen says:

    #5: we refer to the twice a year people as “chriseasters”. (my husband is a lutheran pastor.) i’m also curious as to the new church laws.

    • Hevel says:

      That’s a cool word for them! But the Catholics (and Calvinists and Lutherans) tend to be even worse in Hungary: literally only setting foot in a church for baptisms and weddings. I wrote about the laws in the comment just above, as reply to Marica (who is also Lutheran).

  4. doesitevenmatter3 says:

    Wow, this is interesting! I like learning from you!

    I loved that about the words!

    And not being Hungarian, I laughed at the joke! I can see how it would make them fed up! 🙂

    You mentioning Mr. Skaat?! 🙂

    HUGS to you and your precious family! 🙂

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