How Hungry is Hungary?
Are you from Hungry? Hungry is a beautiful country. I have never been to Hungry, but someday I would love to. Hungry Hungarian…a few sentences you might have heard from a non-Hungarian speaker before. The fact that people usually mix up Hungry with Hungary is a pun Hungarians are used to. But is there a scientific explanation behind it?
This familiar pun only can be used in the English language and other ones with German origin. Hungry in the Hungarian language is ‘éhes’ so this pun cannot be used between Hungarian speakers and in the language as the country is not called éhes in Hungarian but Magyarország (Hungarian [Magyar] + country [ország] = Hungary).
Even though Hungary and Magyarország are entirely different from each other, they actually have the same root. The name comes from the name of the people who lived in the ancient land of Hungary (the Carpathian Basin), the Huns, with their most famous and legendary leader Attila. In medieval Latin language, the term Hungaria was born from the word Hun, which means one Hun person (Hun + garia).
As the English language during the centuries developed from the Latin language, the word ‘Hungary’ was probably born from ‘Hungaria’. In ancient Hungarian language, the term ‘Magyar’ was born as the Huns called themselves (magyarok = Hungarians).
Hun = Magyar
All in all, the terminology of the word does not have anything in common with the enormous appetite of the country regardless of all the traditional and national Hungarian foods and drinks. But someone who has never been to Hungary might not know where to begin. Most foreign people choose Goulash soup when they are asked about the Hungarian gastronomy. It is a type of soup with paprika, beef, vegetables, and seasoning they usually say. Other world-famous dishes in Hungary are the all-time favourite lángos, fish soup and Somlói Galuska which is a type of dessert with nuts, chocolate sauce, rum, and whipped cream.
Another question a foreigner might ask is what food production like in the country? What is the Hungarian farm situation like and what crops and animals do they raise the best in the country? The most famous Hungarian crops are corn, potato, sunflower seeds, wheat and of course grapes for our iconic wines. Livestock is also an essential part of Hungarian agriculture; in fact, 40% of it comes from livestock animals like pigs, cows, and sheep.
Typical Hungarian livestock animals are the Hungarian grey and Mangalica which is a type of pig mostly bread on Hortobágy which is one of the most Hungarian regions in the country.
The Hungarian farming situation was not always the best in the country. Between 1990 and 2000, farms in Hungary reduced by 30% but in 2010 it increased by 50%. In 2018, the Hungarian minister of agriculture reported that according to several statistics the Hungarian agriculture is the fastest growing one on the European continent with more than 70,000 jobs created.
Hungarian agriculture suffered its most significant tragedy in 1863 when the 19th century’s biggest drought happened on the Great Hungarian Plain. Because of the scorching weather and the lack of water and men the Plain’s ground became useless. As a result, there were no crops for people to sell and to feed livestock animals, many of them died along with thousands of Hungarian residents.
Unfortunately, the situation today is still not considered to be the best as half of the Hungarian nation lives in poverty especially young children, approximately 40,000. Although the government organised free meals at school for almost 300,000 children, the weekends are still problematic as school lasts from Monday to Friday.
Besides free meals, the government also worked out a programme which helps parents to provide food for the family.
Featured image: Youtube