Cultural Trivia

THE ASTER REVOLUTION

October is the season for chrysanthemum to bloom. Hungarian association to this simple but colourful flower is the Aster Revolution of 1818, the first of the several other upheavals this country went through in the 20th century. On 31 October Archduke Joseph August of Austria, the official representative of Habsburg King Charles IV, installed Count […]

By |October 30th, 2015|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

NEXT TO A BIG GATE THERE IS ALWAYS A SMALL GATE

That’s how the saying goes: A NAGY KAPU MELLETT MINDIG VAN EGY KISKAPU. The concept of ’kiskapu’ i.e. ’small gate’, is an essential survival strategy to go through Hungarian bureaucracy. Adopting this concept is essential for expats living in Hungary, if you want to get things done.

The origin of the saying is illustrated by the […]

By |October 13th, 2015|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

KÜRTŐSKALÁCS FOR ALL OCCASIONS

 
“Let them eat cake” is the traditional translation of the French phrase (“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”) as supposedly Marie Antoinette said, in Hungarian ”EGYENEK KALÁCSOT”.

This weekend you are literally invited to eat cake, a very special type, called KÜRTŐSKALÁCS originating in Transylvania which has become very popular in Budapest and elsewhere in Europe recently. CAKE in Hungarian […]

By |October 8th, 2015|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

KÜRTŐSKALÁCS FOR ALL OCCASIONS

“Let them eat cake” is the traditional translation of the French phrase (“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”) as supposedly Marie Antoinette said, in Hungarian ”EGYENEK KALÁCSOT”.

This weekend you are literally invited to eat cake, a very special type, called KÜRTŐSKALÁCS originating in Transylvania which has become very popular in Budapest and elsewhere in Europe recently. CAKE in Hungarian […]

By |October 8th, 2015|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

The 13 Martyrs of Arad

Street names remind Hungarians daily of their history. The Október 6 utca in Lipótváros  (OKTÓBER HAT UTCA) is named so to remember  the execution of the 13 martyrs of Arad (ARADI VÉRTANÚK) in 1949 after the Hungarian honvéd army was defeated by the Habsburgs aided by the Russian Tzarist army. The word VÉRTANÚ sounds more […]

By |October 6th, 2015|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

GOOD MORNING! WITH A SHOT OF PÁLINKA

Most Hungarians have an uncritical faith in the fact that pálinka is a general remedy for all pain and sorrow. The habit of starting the day with a shot of pálinka, which startles most foreigners, is expressed in the language by the humorous wish of ’PÁLINKÁS JÓ REGGELT!’. The tradition goes back to the times […]

By |September 30th, 2015|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

END OF SEPTEMBER

At the mentioning of the end of September most Hungarians will recite the first two lines of Sándor Petőfi’s, our national poet’s, gloomy poem:

MÉG NYÍLNAK A VÖLGYBEN A KERTI VIRÁGOK,
MÉG ZÖLDEL A NYÁRFA AZ ABLAK ELŐTT

Below in the valley the flowers are resplendent,
Outside by the window the poplars still glow

The rest of the poem is […]

By |September 28th, 2015|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

SAUERKRAUT IS GOOD FOR YOU

Autumn is coming and the season of cabbage dishes is starting. When it comes to cabbage –full of vitamin C –  it must be VECSÉSI. Vecsés (Wetschesch), a typically SVÁB (Schwabian i.e. ethnic German) village  22 kms South-East of Pest boasts to have the best SAVANYÚKÁPOSZTA (sauerkraut) , the tradition of making it dating back […]

By |September 25th, 2015|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

OLD WOMEN’S SUMMER

We are all enjoying the sunny and still warm weather at the end of September and early October called VÉNASSZONYOK NYARA (vén=old asszony=woman –ok=plural nyár=summer –a=genitive), the Hungarian equivalent of Indian Summer.

However, you should be careful using the adjective VÉN in other context. There are three words meaning ’old’ when we refer to people: IDŐS […]

By |September 23rd, 2015|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

PICNIC, THE HUNGARIAN WAY

SZÜRET, the grape harvest season has just started. Officially there are 22 borvidék (wine regions) in Hungary, each with their special traditions and flavours. SZÜRETELÉS (grape picking) is a hard job but lots of fun too. Look out for SZÜRETI BÁL  (harvest festival) going to take place all over the country until late October.  One […]

By |September 4th, 2015|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments