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Strange facts about Hungary

This time I decided to keep it simple and only write down a few strange facts about Hungary, a few things I have never seen in another country. I hope you find them interesting as I do and if not, please say it loud in the comments box at the bottom of this article.

  • Hungarians celebrate name´s day like we celebrate birthdays (but without the candle and the cake). All calendars have written the names which should be celebrate by month and day by day. If you have an “universal name” like: Maria, Charles, Rachel, John, etc., your name might exist in Hungarian but with a different spelling.
  • People never smile back at you on public transportation but they do stare at you until the point that you feel that there is something funny or weird with your face, clothes or hair.
  • When tipping in restaurants, taxis and so on, instead of giving the tip after paying, Hungarians say how much change they want back. It might sound complicate… I know. Let me give you an example: The total to pay is 2000 HUF you want to tip with 200 HUF.  Let’s say you are paying with 2500 HUF. You, as a foreigner, may wait until you get the change and they leave 200 HUF as a tip. Right? What would a Hungarian do? Hungarians will hand the 2500 HUF and say: “I only want 300 back”.

  • When Hungarians translate books, movies, series, etc., they not only change the original title but they take too many creative licenses, for example: streets´ and characters´ names are all changed in order to make it sound “more Hungarian”. Their  explanation is: the audience/readers “would not understand if we don´t do it”.
  • In summer time they have (as a starter)  sweet and cold soups made from fruits. Some people even put whipped cream in it.
  • People you don’t know well ask you awkward questions like: how old you are, how much you earn, where did you get the sweater you are wearing today and how much did cost. Are you renting the place you live in or if is it your own place and then… of course how much are you paying for the rent or the loan. The best thing is they actually get offended if you decide not tho share what you, as a foreigner, consider private information.

That´s all for today 🙂

8 años en Budapest

Con la llegada de septiembre me doy cuenta de que ya son 8 años en Budapest. Han pasado ...

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Un abrazo desde Budapest
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Strange facts about Hungary by madrexilio is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Internacional
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4 Responses
  • Liene
    abril 4, 2013

    Latvians celebrate name days also. The tradition is that on your name day you have an open door – all your friends and relatives have an open invitation to come wish you a happy vārda diena. Many of the other things you mention are possibly pretty standard for central Europe?

    • madrexilio
      abril 5, 2013

      What a lovely thing to do! I really like the open door party idea 🙂
      And yes, you might be right, it could be a standard for these countries.

  • Detti
    abril 3, 2013

    hahaha 🙂 ” People never smile back at you on public transportation, but they do stare at you ” so true…okey-dokey, sometimes I do smile back (well of course, it needs to be a very handsome person 😉 )

    • madrexilio
      abril 5, 2013

      So why guys don´t smile at me? I think I´m pretty enough :p

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