Cultural Trivia


If you are in Budapest between August 30 and September 6, don’t miss the annual Jewish Summer Festival ( ). Since the collapse of Communism Budapest has enjoyed a revival of Jewish culture. You are welcome to get the full picture during one of Fungarian’s Jewish Heritage Tours ( )

The emblematic folk song SZÓL A […]

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

Freedom and holiday

The two words are the same in Hungarian: SZABADSÁG meaning ’freedom’ as in e.g. Szabadság híd (Liberty/freedom Bridge) or Szabadság szobor (Liberty Statue, see photo). The root of the word is the adjective SZABAD (free) and thus szabadság is ”free-ness”, and when you are free from work, that’s holiday: SZABADSÁG. Common phrases with the word include […]

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

Send a postcard from Budapest

And surprise your beloved by putting a beautiful, artistic stamp on it. Hungary is a paradise for filatelists. The Hungarian Post Office issues hundreds of ornate stamps annually with a theme like anniversary of famous Hungarians or major events. The easiest way to buy them is at any Post Office, larger ones have their gift […]

By |July 22nd, 2015|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

What’s the difference between ZSERBÓ and GERBEAUD


In Communist times the café was renamed Vörösmarty Cukrászda but its original name back after 1989.

The pronunciation is the same but the latter is the name of the most famous café in Budapest named after Swiss-born Emile Gerbeaud, while the first one, ’zserbó’ is the name of a walnut and […]

By |July 20th, 2015|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments


Don’t miss this golden opportunity if you visit Budapest between now and the end of the year: the exhibition The Solitary Cedar – Csontváry’s Genius opened last Sunday in the former Army Headquarters building of the Buda Castle and will be open to visitors until 31 December 2015.

Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka (1853–1919) is an enigmatic figure of Hungarian art […]

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

The Painter of Loneliness

No one has tried harder to go and see the cedars of Lebanon than me. Csontváry’s Solitary Cedar was so imprinted on my mind that I longed for years to see the real ones and have the inspiration the painter experienced. My craving turned into obstinate determination when my first attempt to cross the Syrian-Lebanese […]

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


July and August are the two hot months, often with periods of ’KÁNIKULA’ i.e. the Hungarianized Latin word for dog days. The national pastime is to escape to a STRAND, which even a small town can afford to have. As opposed to medicinal baths (GYÓGYFÜRDŐ) ’strand’ is a recreational establishment with cold water swimming pools […]

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


One of the most common linguistic frustrations of tourists in Budapest is when they inquire from passers-by how to get to Széchenyi fürdő, locals cannot figure out what they are trying to say. Although most phrasebooks attempt to help by providing some sort of transcription like Rick Steves’ guide: (SAY-chehn-yee) or Wikipedia using IPA (International Phonetic […]

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

The Greatest of the Magyars

Whose sad eyes gaze at you from the 5000-forint banknote? Whose idea was it to connect Buda and Pest by a chain bridge and merge the twin cities? Whose idea was it to set up an Academy of Sciences to safeguard the Hungarian language and cultivate young minds because –as he said – only an […]

By |June 22nd, 2015|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

Pull your earlobe for me – Birthdays in Hungary

Some good advice for you if you can’t meet a Hungarian who celebrates his/her birthday. Just call the person (even a text/sms message will do) and say PULL YOUR EARLOBE FOR ME (húzd meg a füled a nevemben). They will understand that you wish them a happy birthday. The whole context is ”Isten éltessen sokáig, […]

By |May 21st, 2015|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments