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Where is Hungary Anyway? Mei 7, 2008

Posted by finallywoken in Around The World.
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This article is written by
Sherwin Tobing, the blog owner of
Goresan Ngawur.

I have been living in Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, for almost a year. Hungary might sound little bit strange for Indonesians. Many Indonesians do not even have a ghost of idea on where Hungary actually is. Hungary is located in the heart of Europa and its people were originated from somewhere in Central Asia. These people, called Magyar in Hungarian, built a settlement there more than 1000 years ago.

Hungarian language is far from similar with other European languages and categorized as Finno-Ugrian language. International linguists referred it as the second most difficult language to learn after Chinese and, somehow, put it in the same cluster with Estonian and Finnish. Its 44 phonemes and strange grammar and vocabulary contributed to the difficulty in learning it. I, once, read somewhere good example about this. Hungry tourists could easily find restaurant in France, ristorante in Italy, Restaurant in Germany, and restaurante in Spain. Meanwhile, in Hungary he will starve to death since restaurant is étterem in Hungarian. It is spoken by approximately 16 million people. 11 million of them are living in Hungary, and the rest are residing in Translyvania province of Romania, southern part of Slovakia, Serbian autonomous region of Vojvodina, Burgenland in Austria, and some parts of Croatia and Slovenia.

Hungary used to be a very big state before the World War 1 and integrated in dual monarchy system with Austria since 1848 under Austro-Hungarian Empire. Trianon Treaty concluded after the war gave 2/3 of Hungary to its neighbors which result in the existence of Hungarian diaspora in there. Current Hungary is just the remaining 1/3 of it before.

Budapest is an exotic capital city. Beautiful Danube river divided it into hilly Buda and flat Pest. These two are connected by some bridges which shines brightly at night. In the city itself, one may find some buildings from Ottoman era 400 years ago, lot of cathedrals and churches, beautiful castles, operas, museums, and highly eccentric governmental buildings. Jewish largest synagogue can also be found here. My favorites are Hungarian parliament, the largest in Europe, Heroes’ Square (see picture) and St. Istvan’s Cathedral.

Budapest is also famous for its thermal and medicinal baths. There are even some medicinal pools where you can relax yourself. I recommend one in Hotel Gellert. Right beside it, you will be amazed to see the cave in the heart of the city. Up on the Gellert Hill, there stands Citadella, statue built by Austria in the past. Those who like history may want to see Memorial of Hungarian Revolution 1956 and House of Terror, place where you can spend two hours to see equipments used by communist party to torture people and lot of pictures from that era. Between Buda and Pest, there is one small island named Margaret Island, where you can relax, enjoy the beautiful scenery of Danube river, and use some sport facilities. Reaching all places aforementioned is not difficult, Hungarian government provides us great public transportation system.

In regard to foods, I believe all of us here know Hungarian Goulash Soup, I really love it. There are some other great dishes too like fish soup, chicken paprika, and home-made stew. Most of dishes here use paprika as ingredient. Hungary is also famous for its high quality brandy and wine, such as Palinka and Tokaji.

Most Indonesians will have hard time in naming famous Hungarians. Well, some football enthusiasts might be able to name Ferenc Puskas, one of football legend, though. I could also name George Soros, world famous economist from Hungary who emigrated to London to escape Soviet occupation. Who else?
– Albert Szent Gyorgyi, the inventor of Vitamin C who received a Nobel Prize
– Karolyi Simmonyi Jr., the developer of Microsoft Word and Excel
– Janos Kemmy, the first one in the world to send an email
– Joszef Kalamb, the designer of T-Model of Ford
– Viktor Szebehelly, the one who define where Appolo have to land in the moon
– Dones Gabor, the inventor of holography
– Kalman Kand, the father of electric train
– Janos Irinyi, the inventor of match
– Laszlo Biro, the inventor of ballpoint pen
– Bela Bartok and Zoltan Kodaly, world famous composers
– many other

I did experience culture shock when I moved here from Tokyo, Japan last year. People are different, the way they think is different, and their attitude toward foreigners is different. Having lived abroad for 8 years helped me a lot in adapting with local customs and traditions.

It was the first time for me to live in a rather small city. I really missed Tokyo and Jakarta’s crowdedness. I sometimes compared it with Vienna, closest big city. You hardly see lot of people outside after 7 o’clock there. In addition, shops are closed too early and, in Sunday, most of them are not open. Luckily, it is not the case with Budapest. It should also be noted that the air here is much fresher than in Tokyo and, obviously, Jakarta.😆

Lastly, I found that prices here are much cheaper than Tokyo, yes I know it is an obvious fact, but I did find it as something grateful. With all great things it can offer, Budapest is, indeed, worth living, or, at least, worth visiting. I surely will miss this city after I returned to Tokyo this fall.

taken by sherwin tobing
I myself took picture above. List of famous Hungarians above was quoted from booklet given by my university and has been modified.

Komentar»

1. Bill Chapman - Mei 7, 2008

You referred in a jokey way to the difficulties of the Hungarian language. Japanese isn’t so simple either. As someone who enjoys languages and travel, have you ever looked at Esperanto. I can recommend it. Take a look at http://www.esperanto.net

2. yuki tobing - Mei 7, 2008

Bill, thank you for the comment. Japanese might be difficult, considering that it uses Chinese character which is totally different with alphabet. Hungarian still uses alphabet, with some additional phonemes. I learned German, my friend learned French, and we both agree that these two languages are much easier than Hungarian.😀

3. Hungary » Higher education and professional schools in Hungary - Mei 8, 2008

[…] Where is Hungary Anyway?I have been living in Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, for almost a year. Hungary might sound little bit strange for Indonesians. Many Indonesians do not even have a ghost of idea on where Hungary actually is. … […]

4. famous austrians | Lasts information - Mei 9, 2008

[…] Where is Hungary Anyway?11 million of them are living in Hungary, and the rest are residing in Translyvania province of Romania, southern part of Slovakia, Serbian autonomous region of Vojvodina, Burgenland in Austria, and some parts of Croatia and Slovenia. …Indonesian Expatriates Forum – https://indonesianexpat.wordpress.com […]

5. famous austrians | Wonderful Article - Mei 9, 2008

[…] toward positive. …. . . . . ¡ИEAÐ ШIÐE OÞEП! – http://headwideopen.blogspot.com/|||Where is Hungary Anyway?11 million of them are living in Hungary, and the rest are residing in Translyvania province of […]

6. famous austrians | Information Blog - Mei 9, 2008

[…] Where is Hungary Anyway?6 May 2008 by finallywoken 11 million of them are living in Hungary, and the rest are residing in Translyvania province of Romania, southern part of Slovakia, Serbian autonomous region of Vojvodina, Burgenland in Austria, and some parts of Croatia and Slovenia. …Indonesian Expatriates Forum – https://indonesianexpat.wordpress.com […]

7. famous austrians | Care news - Mei 9, 2008

[…] toward positive. …. . . . . ¡ИEAÐ ШIÐE OÞEП! – http://headwideopen.blogspot.com/|||Where is Hungary Anyway?11 million of them are living in Hungary, and the rest are residing in Translyvania province of […]

8. famous austrians | shelley - Mei 9, 2008

[…] toward positive. …. . . . . ¡ИEAÐ ШIÐE OÞEП! – http://headwideopen.blogspot.com/|||Where is Hungary Anyway?11 million of them are living in Hungary, and the rest are residing in Translyvania province of […]

9. guebukanmonyet - Mei 9, 2008

Interesting article. Now, I wanna go to Hungary🙂 The country sounds beautiful and peaceful.

10. yuki tobing - Mei 9, 2008

Tasa, you surely have to, haha. Unfortunately, I am leaving this lovely country soon, I have to return to Japan. So, no free guide and accomodation now.😀

11. jaka - Mei 13, 2008

The good thing of east Europe is, you get lower price of almost everything in comparison to West European countries. However, they have the similar ambience with west europe. And pretty girls (and good looking boys, if you are girls) to look at! Bening, kalo katanya Mandra.

Try also Prague (but be careful with “copet”)!

12. dinysays - Mei 14, 2008

Sherwin, if you think Budapest is small, try living in my town: Ames, Iowa, USA. Its population is only 50,000. Even lower in the summer when most of the students are gone. Hungary does sound interesting to visit. But it’s not going to be cheap, I’m afraid…

13. yuki tobing - Mei 15, 2008

@jaka:
I went there 12 years ago, couldn’t recall it’s beauty. Will be going there in the end of this month.😀

@dinysays:
Haha, well, I’d lived in Dumai, Riau, which is also pretty small before. The thing is that, the term small I used above referred more to the size of population instead of city itself. I love crowded place. Town with 50.000 populations must be really silent.😀

14. robert stuart - Mei 16, 2008

You didn’t mention the girls?? I spent my early years working throughout eastern europe and actually kept an appartment in Budapest through the 70’s and early eighties…The parts of the old Hapsburg empire that included Hungary,Czech,Slovak,Poland(south) wer wonderful to visit even in the dark days of communism as the people(girls!) were great to look at AND very well educated…my favorites were with out doubt the Hungarians…I know and love Budapest but always had a soft spot for Prague and Krakow in terms of medieval beauty but the Hungarian nui( missing an accent but means girls)..nogyon szep…means very beautiful…besides being a native english speaker who speaks good german I also can get by Hungarian and to a lesser extent Czech/Slovak..and even less in Polish…viszontlatasra…good bye

15. yuki tobing - Mei 22, 2008

Szia Robert, you’re completely right, Hungarian women are, indeed, both beautiful and smart.😀 That’s what I read Robert, post-communism countries where Austrian-Hungarian Empire’s legacy is still strong are worth visiting, thank you for the information.

And yes, some of them do speak German, and it helps me much since I speak German a bit as well.😀

Viszontlatasra.

16. 1 Tahun dan Selamat Tinggal Budapest - Mei 29, 2008

[…] Saya sungguh berterima kasih kepada Tuhan karena telah memberikan kesempatan bagi saya untuk belajar dan tinggal di Budapest selama satu tahun. Berbagai pengalaman menarik telah saya alami di sini dan sebagian sempat saya ceritakan di sini, seperti nyaris dituntut ke pengadilan oleh mafia, menghadiri festival film Indonesia di Budapest, belajar masak, kartu ATM ditelan oleh mesin ATM sampai mengunjungi tempat-tempat menarik di sini. Bagi yang masih penasaran ada apa di Budapest/Hongaria, silahkan baca tulisan saya 1001 Hal yang Tidak Anda Ketahui Tentang Hongaria atau, versi Inggrisnya yang telah dimodifikasi, Where is Hungary Anyway?. […]

17. Mark Ramsay - Agustus 27, 2008

I am doing a piece of work on Hungary and I saw your post, I am very impressed by the amount of information that you know about the country and the population and it’s language, so I just wanted to say thanks and well done it is a cracking post. Mark Ramsay http://www.virtualtripping.co.uk.

18. yuki tobing - Oktober 3, 2008

Hey, thanks Mark, nice to know you like it.😀

19. Eva Torok - Januari 1, 2009

Dear Sherwin Tobing, hope you do not mind me suggesting to use the proper spelling of those great Hunagian personalities you have referred to in your blog, as they would deserve to have their names properly written (I accept accents like á, é, etc are ignored, but still there are some typos in your blog above), so the correct spelling:

– Karolyi Simonyi Jr., the developer of Microsoft Word and Excel
– Janos Kemeny, the first one in the world to send an email
– Jozsef Galamb, the designer of T-Model of Ford
– Viktor Szebehely, the one who define where Appolo have to land in the moon
– Denes Gabor, the inventor of holography
– Kalman Kando, the father of electric train

Your blog is interesting to read!
Thanks for amending these in your blog and all the best, Éva


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