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God’s Leg

 

The word ISTEN – that is ‘God’ – is frequently used outside religious context in Hungarian. A graphic example is the saying MEGFOGTA AZ ISTEN LÁBÁT, meaning ‘He/she has caught God by the leg.’ The phrase is used in situations when someone is lucky. He/she has found the way to succeed. E.g. someone got a […]

By |January 15th, 2017|Language Matters|0 Comments

Attila the Hun

Every 7th of January I have to call four friends called Attila and congratulate them on their name day. A Hungarian table calendar tells you whose name day it is, and just to make sure every morning the radio announcer congratulates those who are celebrating their name day. In addition a little sign at the […]

By |January 4th, 2017|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

LUCK BRINGING LENTIL

Like it or not, you must eat LENCSEFŐZELÉK on New Year’s Day. Lentils symbolise prosperity, wealth and luck for the new year.

Although it’s an international dish and so is the new year custom to start the year with lentil soup, but the Hungarian recipe contains a few new elements, in line with the general principles […]

By |December 31st, 2016|Hungarian Food|0 Comments

Frédi és Béni – Kovakövi Karácsony

The headline is meant to be a riddle. The original English is HOW THE FLINSTONES SAVED CHRISTMAS. A most perplexing, though hilarious experience for foreigners in this country is to watch American movies with Hungarian voices. The dubbed version of the Flinstones was a huge success mainly due to renowned playwright József Romhányi, who rewrote […]

By |December 26th, 2016|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

WHAT’S THIS MAGPIE DOING?

Can you guess the meaning of this Hungarian proverb:

The magpie wants too much but its tail is too weak to carry it away. In Hungarian:

SOKAT AKAR A SZARKA, DE NEM BÍRJA A FARKA.

Meaning in Hungarian cultural context:

Someone who undertakes a task that exceeds her/his capacity. Someone wants to do too many things but fails in […]

By |December 18th, 2016|Language Matters|0 Comments

Great Grandma’s Hungarian Kitchen

 

”One and a half million of our people staggered out to America” – lamented Attila József* in his great poem Hazám (My Homeland). The great wave of emigration he refers to was in the first decade of the 20th century and now the grandchildren are coming back to discover their cultural roots.

In the small village […]

By |November 21st, 2016|Memorable Classes|0 Comments

THE CITY OF ELIZABETH

Elizabeth, in Hungarian Erzsébet, Erzsi, Erzsike is a prestigious name-day in the Hungarian calendar, November 19. You may come across the name a lot when rambling in the city. In Hungarian history there were two exceptional women called Erzsébet: Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, after whom the beautiful church at Rózsák tere is named, and Queen […]

By |November 19th, 2016|Special Days|0 Comments

THE COLUMBO HOAX

Both foreigners and locals wonder how Peter Falk’s legendary Lieutenant Columbo and his pet basset hound landed right at the foot of the Pest side of Margaret Bridge.

The bronze statue was commissioned in 2008 by the District 5 Local Government under the false assumption that Peter Falk’s ancestor was Miksa Falk after whom the street […]

By |November 14th, 2016|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Martin’s Day Goose Fiesta

Goose dishes are considered as delicacies in Hungarian cuisine. The main season for goose dishes is autumn, especially around November 11, St Martin’s day. Here is a list of the most typical St. Martin’s Day dishes
THE MENU
RÁKÓCZI TAVERNA – FAMILY RESTAURANT IN DISTRICT 8
St. Martin’s Day Geese Treats
Starter:
Foie gras cold platter with cracklings, tomato slices, […]

By |November 3rd, 2016|Hungarian Food|0 Comments

WHY IS HALLOWEEN STRANGE FOR HUNGARIANS?

November 1st is national holiday. According to the Catholic calendar, it’s All Saints’ Day – but Hungarians call it Day of the Dead (Halottak napja), when traditionally it’s a family obligation to tend the graves of their closest relatives.
Lit by thousands of candles, the cemeteries are a melancholic and beautiful sight on this day. […]

By |October 28th, 2016|Special Days|0 Comments