Online touristic magazine turizmus.com published the results of a survey conducted by Erzsébet Malota and Tamás Gyulavári, focusing on how foreigners perceive Hungarians and Hungarian culture.
Altogether 1566 foreign students studying in Hungary participated in the online survey primarily focusing on the picture these young people have of Hungary and Hungarians, including their spontaneous negative and positive reactions.
The perception of the student representatives of 11 different countries of Hungarian culture was measured with a semantic differential scale, with the main interest being in the differences between the views, considering the students’ home countries.
There are significant differences when looking at the results based on countries:
those coming from a more developed country like Germany or Japan are more strict,
while those from less developed regions like India, Algeria or Nigeria, see Hungarians in a better light.
The results of the above were compared to the picture Hungarians have of themselves. The most frequent words used to describe Hungarians were ‘beauty’, ‘kindness’, ‘friendliness’, while the answer to the question regarding the negative aspects, were mostly ‘no negatives’.
Some of the funniest phrases encountered were ‘pancakes’, ‘uncle Laci’, ‘strong studying‘, ‘Cubik-Rubik’.
The results reveal that regarding the cultural aspect of Hungary and Hungarians, foreigners gave the higher points, except for two aspects, as Hungarians see themselves funnier and more unique than foreigners do. Foreigners usually see Hungarians as very honest and well-mannered, yet not many of them think about Hungarians as optimistic. A surprising result is that foreigners see Hungarians more organised and put together than Hungarians see themselves.
featured image: instagram.com/hungarianfestival