A landlocked country in the heart of Europe, Hungary was a powerful medieval kingdom. Intimately involved in European history and culture, the Hungarians have always been proud of their distinctive identity, reinforced by the fact that their language bears no resemblance to that of any of their neighbors.
Today, following the collapse of Communism, Hungarians feel part of Central Europe again, the Europe of science, culture, and civic virtue, of gem-like Baroque churches and 19th century schools, town halls, barracks, and railway stations.
This beautiful and beguiling land is home to the magnificent city of Budapest on the banks of the Danube, to the largest lake in central Europe, and to charming spa towns and hot springs. Hungarian openness and hospitality have been tested by the migrant crisis on Europe's doorstep, and the rise of populist parties.
After setting the context in a brief historical overview, Culture Smart! Hungary offers practical advice and important insights into different aspects of Hungarian life today, to help deepen your understanding and appreciation of this complex and talented people.
Good manners begin with a greeting. Stand up! Only the old and frail stay seated for greetings. The practice in Hungary is for a man to make the first greeting to a woman, a younger person to an older, a subordinate to a superior, and someone approaching to those already there.