Hungarian Culture

Do's and Don'ts

Do’s

  • Hungarians take great pride in their food and wine. Discussing these in a complementary manner will help develop your relationship with your Hungarian counterpart. By a similar token, avoid criticising Hungarian food, particularly meals prepared by older Hungarians. This will most likely cause deep offence.
  • Hungary has undergone numerous economic upheavals. Thus, be sensitive and considerate about topics relating to the economic standards of the individual and the country.
  • Hungarians are often very formal, especially around food. Do be considerate of this and be conscious of how you present yourself. Particular discussion topics during meals are inappropriate (such as things relating to dirt or irreverent matters).
  • Approach conversations about the World Wars and the Cold Wars sensitively. Most Hungarians are open to discussing their history. However, some may prefer not to revisit the past.

 

Don'ts

  • Take care when discussing Hungary’s minorities or neighbouring countries. Depending on your Hungarian counterpart, such discussions may lead to a heated debate.
  • It is best not to show enthusiasm for American economic influences in Hungary. Many Hungarians view foreign involvement – particularly by the United States – with scepticism.
  • Take care in discussing the recent topic of refugees. Due to the historical legacy of the Ottoman Empire in Hungary, some Hungarians are not particularly supportive of the recent migration of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa region.
  • Don’t be offended if your Hungarian counterpart expresses their opinions or criticisms bluntly. It is common for Hungarians to communicate in a manner.

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