Clichés and Prejudices?

2018.08.27

Small comment to stuff I heard about Hungary before coming here.

Hungary? Huh, no idea...

Despite being a part of Europe I heard surprisingly little about what's going on in and what exactly Hungary is in Germany.

Sure, a few of the seasonal workers are from there. The horse meat scandal a few years ago, wasn't there something with Hungary, too? And it belonged to Austria, some time ago, with the imperial and royal monarchy, didn't it?

But Hungary is more than that. And different.

So here I have, after one month, three things I have heard about Hungary beforehand and what the reality about them actually is:

"Budapest is really beautiful, and basically embedded in sunflower fields!"

That's mostly true. Budapest *is* very beautiful and wherever you go in the country you can find sunflower fields, now slowly getting harvested. At least there are more sunflower fields than cornfields, which is a nice change to what you see in Germany.

"But... how will you keep in contact with me/us? Will you even have internet there?"

The Hungarians (or, more precicely, Tivadar Puskás) constructed the first telephone exchange in Europe. They are proud of their infrastructure and engineering.

I am not sure why some people seem to think that you don't get internet access in Hungary, but thinking that is far away from reality - I even dare to say that the public WiFi network is better than in Germany (which, admittedly, is not very difficult) and we even have WiFi in our Jurta camp.

"They drink schnapps like water - a whole glass at breakfast! That's perfectly normal there!"

This, too, is - at least from what I have seen - far away from the truth.

Yes, the Hungarians say that everything below 35% counts as water and everything up to 50% just tickles a little, but they are not serious when they say that. At least I haven't met anyone yet who meant that.

Palinka (comparable with the German Obstler, only a little stronger) is served in small shot glasses, and not the whole day through but for special occasions (like the start of the wine harvest).

It's quite likely that there are some Hungarians who drink Palinka like water. But you can also find people like that in Germany or wherever you want to take a closer look.


And the moral of this story...

The Hungarians might have a few weird quirks, like every normal culture has - but in the end they are still normal, very lovely people and I am still, after staying here for one month, very happy that I chose this project in this country.