Budapest Local Customs

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Most Recent Local Customs in Budapest

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    Wine, tomato, pepper, langosh

    by Raimix Updated Mar 4, 2011

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    River Danube

    What food and drinks I liked in Hungary? :)

    Of course, it was wine – the wine in Hungary, as it seems, is very cheap, especially in big bottles. The more expensive wine is Tokaji. What is more, there was an offer to try some nice ketchups and peppers in Hungary and some kind of national food - langosh (it is like big pancake, but actually I didn’t like this one).

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    Hot Hungarian Baumkuche

    by mvtouring Written Apr 15, 2009

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    To use the words of Tina Turner ...... you are simply the best! I discoved them a few years ago in Romania. You can have them sprinkled with nuts/chocolate/coconut or cinnamon sugar. You eat them nice and hot directly from the friendly baker on the street corner.

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    Manners

    by antistar Written Mar 9, 2009

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    The Hungarians are extremely polite people, although you might find it hard to get them to admit to it. They share a number of manners with the Germans, especially the greeting of people in small spaces; expect to have people say "hello" and "hello" to you in elevators as they enter and leave.

    One custom that the Hungarians seem to be crazier on than most is to say "Bon Appetite!", which in Hungarian is "jó étvágyat" (yo ate-vod-yot). If I make the mistake of eating a quick snack in the kitchen at work near leaving time, a stream of Hungarians will walk past, with each one stopping to say "jó étvágyat!" and waiting for a reply.

    Another custom is to let people go ahead of you through doors. Hungarians are so keen on this, that they will stand by a door, right hand extended, in a protracted battle of wills. You may as well give up, as the Hungarian will almost certainly win, and you will have to go through the door first, but it doesn't hurt to show that you understand the rule too.

    Despite all the politeness, the Hungarians are just as bad as other Europeans at queuing, so the British can rest assured that they can enjoy a good tut-tut when they see Hungarians commit all manner of queuing sins. One favourite is to have a friend stand in line with a single loaf of bread, while the other shops, and then returns later to the front of the queue with an overflowing cart full of groceries.

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    Most Famous Hungarians...

    by cobrioc Updated Mar 8, 2009

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    Most Famous Hungarians

    Intro: Hungarians are the strangest people, Hungary is most intriguing nation on planet Earth and some very credible scientist believe Hungarians are actually Martians, yes originally from the Red Planet Mars!

    This list is not meant to be complete nevertheless it is quite impressive. It is more than a country suffering from a small nation syndrome trying to overcompensate.
    Some people might find the contents controversial due to the fact that some of these famous Hungarians are half Hungarian or that they were “just” born in Hungary and left as infants.

    As the wise sage said: get a life people (and double check it in Wikipedia if you wish) so without further delay let’s marvel at this most famous Hungarians list:

    Please try to make an attempt to take in the significance of this tiny nation in Human history.
    Absolute geometry, torsion balance, the carburetor, transformer, electric bulbs with tungsten filaments and krypton charge, radioactive tracing, the nuclear power plant, thermonuclear fusion, the cooling tower, the electric engine, supersonic flight, radar astronomy, the new metric standard based on light, the ball-point pen, holography, radio, television, electronic computer, the first computer language: Basic, unleaded petrol, Vitamin C, the theory of games assisting in making rational decisions and conduct; these are all outstanding creations of universal culture.
    Instrumental in discovering or developing these major achievements were contributions by people to whom Hungary was their homeland, who took their basic knowledge and humanity from Hungarian schools, or to whom this country provided shelter and room for their creations. Equal respect and gratitude are due to the magnificent Red Planet Mars!

    Retrospective on the contributions of the most famous Hungarians:

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    The Hungarian Language

    by cobrioc Updated Mar 8, 2009

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    Csontvary: Lonely Cedrus

    Hungarian a very special language, originating from the Finnougric tribe of languages.

    Major problem with direct descent from the Finn-Ugor people is that the Hungarian people are not genetically closely tied to their Finnic linguistic relative, least of all to the eastern Ugrians who are Mongoloids and are unlike most of the other Finn-Ugors of Eastern Europe.The uniqueness of the Hungarian language is one thing that cannot be denied and must be explained properly as an integral part of the history of the people who use it.

    Due to the years of Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and Austria as a neighbour, lots of German word were imported and melted into Hungarian but they are alien and considered undesirable to use. The same applies to the "American" language nowadays. (And if you hear a word you think you've recognized, just watch out! For example "(autó)szervíz" (coming from "service") means garage, while "garázs" (coming from "e;garage") means parking place.

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    Hungarian Tradition

    by cobrioc Updated Mar 8, 2009

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    Hungarians tend to differentiate between those who are familiar to them (i.e., family and friends) and those who have yet to enter this realm. So when you are first introduced to someone make sure to call them by their appropriate title (e.g., Dr., Mr., Mrs.) followed by their last name. When in doubt in Hungary, opt for formality.
    On business cards and the like, the last name precedes the first name.
    Handshakes are the common gesture of greeting, no matter how well you know someone.
    Expect to be offered both food and drink—and lots of it—when you enter someone's home. Always accept at least a modest serving of whatever is offered. If you're concerned about drinking too much, drink slowly and then politely decline the offer of another drink.

    Hungarians are a talkative and passionate people. They frequently state their opinions in very direct terms. Expect lively and sometimes heated discussions.
    When in doubt, tip, much like you would in North America. Ten percent and upwards is a good, general rule for wait-people, bartenders, taxi drivers, hairdressers, etc.

    FOOD AND DRINK IN HUNGARY

    Goulash (called gulyas in Hungarian), fish soup, and various paprika-laden concoctions are staples in the Hungarian diet.

    If you stay in Budapest, there are plenty of different kinds of restaurants to choose from—Italian, Thai, vegetarian, etc. Cooking at home, on the other hand, will limit your choices because grocery stores, even in the big city, are not consistently well-stocked with different items from the various food groups.

    Teetotalers are a rare breed in Hungary. Liquor such as vodka and apricot brandy, beer, and red wine are consumed in great quantities. In fact, Hungary is famous the world over for both red wine and a sweet, dessert wine called Tokaji.

    "I couldn't believe it. Many of the pubs in Budapest already were busy by eight-thirty in the morning. Even some of the construction workers were chugging on big bottles of beer well before noon."

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    Einstein and Leo Szilard

    by cobrioc Updated Mar 8, 2009

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    Leo Szilard (Leo Szilárd; last name means “solid” in Hungarian) - the most famous Hungarian physicist: who conceived the nuclear chain reaction, Co-developed the Atomic Bomb and was directly responsible for the Manhattan Project. Szilard was the co-holder of the patent for the nuclear reactor alongside with Enrico Fermi who will reappear at the end of this post (yes that was a cliffhanger)
    in 1962 when Szilard was diagnosed with bladder cancer but when he designed his own radiation therapy the cancer went into remission and never returned!

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    Charles Simonyi

    by cobrioc Updated Mar 8, 2009

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    Charles Simonyi in the early days

    Hungarian computer software executive who, as head of Microsoft's application software group, oversaw the creation of Microsoft's flagship office applications. Dr. Simonyi will make history during his spaceflight by becoming the first private explorer to complete a second mission to space. He previously flew to the ISS in spring 2007 as Space Adventures' fifth orbital space client. The launch is scheduled for March 26, 2009.

    Leo Szilardleo szilard (Leo Szilárd; last name means “solid” in Hungarian) - the most famous Hungarian physicist: who conceived the nuclear chain reaction, Co-developed the Atomic Bomb and was directly responsible for the Manhattan Project. Szilard was the co-holder of the patent for the nuclear reactor alongside with Enrico Fermi who will reappear at the end of this post (yes that was a cliffhanger)
    in 1962 when Szilard was diagnosed with bladder cancer but when he designed his own radiation therapy the cancer went into remission and never returned!

    George Cukor (György Cukor) The Hungarian director of Gaslight and My Fair Lady
    “It is not enough to be Hungarian - you need talent, too!” and
    “Being a Hungarian does not necessarily make you a genius!”
    These quotations were posted on the walls of a Hollywood studio and above the entrance of MGM respectively.
    George Cukor was a key figure in the great generation of Hollywood film-makers.
    He received his first Oscar for Wizard of Oz and the second for My Fair Lady.

    William Fox - Hungarian founder of Fox Studios

    Paul Newman - Oscar Winning Actor and philanthropist R.I.P.

    Drew Barrymore - Actress

    Jamie Lee Curtis - Actor/Actress

    Goldie Hawn - Actress

    Johnny Weissmuller - Actor, his most famous role: Tarzan - most Hungarians do look that great in loin cloth!

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    Rebuilding the past and Reclaiming History

    by cjg1 Written Jan 12, 2009

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    Much of Budapest is being rebuilt or restored to it's pre-Communism glory. It's nice to see such grown and rebirth of a city. According to our new friend much of the resoration will take decades to complete.

    One facinating project was right by the Palace. They have discovered old wine cellers and are currently planning on making it a wine attraction featuring wines from each region of Hungary. I can't wait for that to be completed.

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    A New Friend

    by cjg1 Written Jan 12, 2009

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    Liz & Istvan
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    We made a new fiend in Budapest, Istvan. Liz actually first made contact with him through VT. Istvan met us at our hotel and spend all day into the late evening showing us his beautiful city. He was very knowlegable and proud of his wonderful city of Budapest. We were so happy to have met him and see Budapest through his eyes.

    **Our friend requested that his face not be shown in pics so we honored the request by blocking out his face. He is a very private person. **

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    Interesting Playgrounds

    by cjg1 Written Jan 3, 2009

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    Liz and her balancing act (it's not easy)
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    The playgrounds in Budapest have interesting discs to balance upon. We watched as children balanced on these large pivoting disc and spun around. Liz decided to try it out for herself as Istvan and I watched and laughed. It is not an easy thing to do as Liz soon learned but she had fun regardless.

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    Graffiti Everywhere

    by cjg1 Written Dec 31, 2008

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    Budapest is tied with Buenos Aires in my book for the most amount of Graffiti. It is a shame when buildings, monuments and walls are covered with such signs of disrespect. Hopefully as Budapest continues to be restored and renovated some of this graffiti will be eliminated. It is such a beautifyul city and should be kept that way.

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    The Maygar Language

    by cjg1 Written Dec 31, 2008

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    The Hungarian name for the language is Magyar. It is considered to be one of the most difficult languages for speakers of English to learn. I wasn't comfortable with trying to read or speak the language. Thank God we had our friend to translate for us.

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  • sorrow

    by blint Updated Dec 7, 2008

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    The Hungarians love to feel sorry for themselves as a nation. They love to dwell on failed heroes who they still celebrate as if they had succeeded in their quests. In fact one of their most important national holidays celebrates the unsuccessful revolution of 1956 against the Soviets.

    The street names celebrate those who have suffered most in Hungarian history instead of those who have conquered.

    They seem to feel wronged by history and disillusioned which their current political state. I am told that Hungarians love to talk politics and to complain.

    This patriotic sorrow spills over into everyday life. Coming from Spain I see that the Hungarians are more serious and laugh less, though this doesn't mean to say that they don't have fun. I suppose it is just less obvious IN GENERAL. The loudest people in a bar are always Italians, Spaniards and Americans.

    I am happy to find that although you see many very butch looking Hungarian men they don't seem to be looking for a fight. I have seen minor signs of aggression but normally directed towards inanimate objects rather than people.

    Hungarians get drunk, stagger and often end up walking in the middle of the road. They are therefore quiet drunks compared to Brits who get drunk and end up doing stupid dares or getting into fights.

    Supermarket shop assistants are the rudest breed of Hungarian working in the service industry. If you have a bad experience with them don't misjudge the Hungarians in general who are on the whole polite people who will always say sorry to you if they bump into you by accident or the such like. Remember, if you are paid badly then why smile about it?

    Are Hungarians friendly? They are but they are also difficult to get to know in general. However they seem to be the type that once you get to know them they will be a true friend. That is to say they seem pretty genuine.

    They are very interested in foreigners and to know what their language sounds like to those who can't speak it.

    They are known to be homophobic and a little racist especially towards gypsies. AGAIN I AM GENERALISING.

    They like hearing Hungarian spoken by foreigners.
    '
    They don't use their hands to speak, so if you do you will stand out!

    How to spot a Hungarian. You can't. They all look very different from each other due to their mixed cultural background.

    They hate it when you tell them Hungarian sounds like Russian or Polish. Furthermore, it doesn't.

    They love to put paprika in EVERYTHING!

    They love to go to tanning centres and you can spot solariums on every street corner.

    They dream to live in Spain or Italy but most want to come home to Hungary again.

    All in all they are proud to be Hungarians, respect those who have suffered and don't like to feel embarrassed i.e they are pretty reserved. I only have experience in Budapest;I am sure those from the countryside are different in many ways...

    If you are Hungarian and read this I hope you do not feel offended in any way and feel free to send me an EMAIL to contest anything I have said.

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  • Christmas Traditions

    by blint Written Dec 7, 2008

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    On the night of December 5th St Nicholas (Szent Mikulas) or in Britain or America as he is known: Father Christmas or Santa Claus comes to visit.

    This tradition originates from the story that Mikulas wanted to help out a poor old man who did not have the money to pay the dowry for his daughters therefore they would have been sold into slavery. Mikulas is thought to have thrown money into his shoes drying by the open fire. This brought about the tradition of hanging stockings by the fireplace in the hope of getting presents.

    These days in Hungary the children receive sweets of small toys on this night and Szent Mikulas is thought to be accompanied by an angel and a type of black demon who looks for those children who have been naughty and leaves them golden twigs as a warning.

    On Saturday 6th December you can in fact see many shop workers and so forth wearing horns and carrying golden twigs.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Religious Travel

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