VÉNASSZONYOKWe 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 – elderly, ÖREG – old, VÉN – very old (over 80). Another three words meaning ’old’ are Ó (e.g. Óbuda), RÉGI (e.g. régiség=antique) and ŐSI meaning ’ancient’.

To call someone vénasszony is derogative in modern use. The main association for Hungarians is the folk pop song KIÜLTEK A VÉNASSZONYOK A PADRA, ISTEN TUDJA MIRŐL FOLYIK A PLETYKA (the old women sat out onto the bench, God knows what the gossiping is about) – see photo. If you go to villages, you can still see such benches where neighbours gather to socialise.

Although far from being high culture or even culture but a popular form of entertainment among the country population is the magyar nóta (contrary to folksong=népdal, magyar nóta=Hungarian songs are composed by popular songwriters and the lyrics are often sentimental and frivolous). Here is an example – the VÉNASSZONYOK song accompanied by a gypsy band: