Us Europeans

Archives for Us Europeans

Presents and parties

Getting to a birthday party without a present would not be very polite in many European countries. In Hungary, it`s the raising of the glasses that counts more than anything else. Presents are preferably liquid and alcoholic, but they may also they represent something home-made; edible or artistic.

Posted by Bruno

Asking Hungarians about who or what inspires them is quite a challenging project. It may well be a question that is impossible for them to answer, especially for those Hungarians who have no connections with anybody outside Hungary, do not speak foreign languages, and live outside the major cities. They may simply be lacking a source of inspiration, or, more probably, they do not tend to think in terms like inspiration. A combination of `obligation` and `dedication` would seem more of an accurate description of their motives.

Posted by Bruno

Hungarians and change

As I wrote in earlier articles, Hungarians are not very happy about the situation their country is in. The economy is declining, politicians are unable to change the tide and the people have little hope for improvement. All of that is leading toward`s today`s question: what changes does Hungary need?

Posted by Bruno

Six months abroad

Since the integration in the European Union, Hungarians have not flooded Western Europe in the way the Poles and the Romanians have. As I found out during previous day, the delayed interest in foreign languages forms an important barrier. Added to that, Hungarians seem to be very fond of their own country and region. Moving from one city to another can already represent quite a challenge. Still, many young citizens are tempted to visit the outside world. Temporarily moving abroad used to be luxury, but for Budapestian students and graduates, it`s already becoming business as usual. Today`s question: which European destination would you choose if you were to study or work abroad for 6 months?

Posted by Bruno

Theoretical knowledge is important in Hungary and the education system is organised accordingly. Facts are highly valued, history is more popular than in most other European countries and so is literature. What else is there to know about the time Hungarians spend preparing for professional life?

Posted by Bruno

Only 15 years ago, internet was still a new phenomenon. People were not familiar with even the expression `on-line`, let alone the drastic consequences the internet would have on their daily lives only a decade later. Internet was introduced to the big public well after the 1989 revolution in Eastern Europe, which means that it could develop simultaneously all over Europe. Differences in the quality of infrastructure have put Eastern Europe behind on Western Europe, but countries like Estonia show that initial delay can also serve as an advantage. And what about Hungary?

Posted by Bruno

Language cross road

Multilingualism is a major topic on the European agenda. In general, it is an asset that is reserved for smaller countries, with `odd` languages. Large countries like the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and France can afford the arrogance of not caring about foreign languages. Smaller countries cannot. Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Malta, Cyprus and all of Scandinavia depend on their language skills to maintain their positions in the global market. Such need to learn foreign languages could also be expected of Hungary. Located right in the middle of the European Union, bordering all major language groups existent in the EU, it could form an ideal European linguistic cross road. But only the capital Budapest seems to take advantage of that situation.

Posted by Bruno

Nothing but positive

Most reactions to the Us European project are quite positive. Some are not. As it has been made clear to me, the tone I have so far used in describing Romania is degrading, too harsh and too Western. Since today is my last day in Romania, I will try to make up for any emotional damage that my writings may have caused to sensitive souls. I am asking people only to tell me positive things about Romania. Here`s the result:

Posted by Bruno

As I learnt during previous days, Romanian boys and girls are expected to behave in a similar way until they reach the age of 11 or 12, with the exception that the girls have earrings. Gender roles are only starting to sink in during the early teenage years. From then on, boys are raised to be men, and girls are raised to be women: two distinctly different paths.

Posted by Bruno

Romanian humour

Romanians are very social and talkative people. They like to spend time in company and they are fond of having conversations. Beside their love for philosophy and conspiracy theories, they also have a taste for humour. But beware, make sure you are not the subject of their jokes, because they are usually not very flattering. Except when they joke about themselves.

Posted by Bruno