There is a common opinion that Hungarians are the most pessimistic nation in the world, who are never satisfied with their current situation and always find something to complain about. This is what is meant by the phenomenon known as Hungaro-pessimism, reports Magyarorszagom.hu. There are even experts who examine this “national disease”, and in the following, you can also get to know more about it.

The Hungarian passion for complaining has already provided subject to many experts researching this field. Journalists and specialists have analysed the state of mind and attitude of Hungarians to different things, and unfortunately, previous research has demonstrated that Hungary is among the countries which are prone to depression and pessimism. In fact, this finding has more to do with reality than we, Hungarians, would think.

Let me give you an everyday example. Two Hungarians run into each other and start a conversation about neutral topics. As time passes by, they get deeper into the conversation and eventually start complaining. Familiar, isn’t it? Of course, there are some exceptions, but if we merely imagine the situation, we can see how accurate it is of Hungarians.

One of the studies conducted in this field is that of Dr Géza Balázs, Hungarian linguist and ethnographer, who also gave a name to the phenomenon.

According to the linguist, the Hungarian language has a great role in forming the pessimism of the nation. In fact, languages influence our state of mind and our way of thinking since they are tools for us to convey our ideas, thoughts and feelings.

At first glance, this idea might seem to be a bit strange, but considering the Hungarian literature and vocabulary, we can easily understand what he means. Our vocabulary is abundant in words expressing negative feelings and sorrow, and there is not much optimism in most Hungarian literary pieces, either.

Magyarorszagom.hu mentions that, compared to the joyful national anthems of other nations, that of Hungary is relatively sad. In order to avoid any misunderstandings, it is crucial to note that it is beautiful in the eyes of Hungarians and it is the symbol of national unity, but this sad prayer hardly sounds like a joyful song.

Furthermore, another factor strengthening the phenomenon of Hungaro-pessimism is that Hungarians are likely to lament over terrible historical events leaving their mark on society. Such events are, for example, 15 March, 6 October or 23 October, to which awful memories are attached.

It is very true that many sorrowful events happened in the course of history, but we are not the only nation facing these kinds of problems.

Another Hungarian expert, Zsófia Ujpál, psychologist, argues that complaining has become a national passion in Hungary. The old Hungarian saying, “Sírva vigad a magyar” (lit. trans. “Hungarians make merry by crying”) also supports it. As the expert points out, complaining has become a Hungarian tradition by now, which is directly expected in a conversation. If someone poses the polite question “How are you?”, the first thing that comes to our mind is usually a grievance. If it were otherwise, it would be very suspicious.

The amount of pessimism we suffer from affects our health and sometimes we are not even aware of how damaging it can be.

Our deep depression is so alarming that concerning the global suicide tendencies, Hungary is in leading position. Although compulsive complaining does not necessarily entail deteriorated health, if we are constantly dissatisfied with our lives, it is going to have a negative impact on our health and worldview in the long run.

Source: magyarorszagom.hu

1 comment
  1. I do not think that Hungary’s national anthem is sad at all. It is one of the oldest national anthems and was written in a different time period than, as an example, the United States or Canada’s. One of those anthems came from a bar song. The U.S. has three national anthems, so which would you like to compare Hungary’s with?
    We all complain, so why do Hungarians feel that they have to complain more. Humans must complain, otherwise, we do not make improvements in our lot in life. I complain about the weather, a lot!! Politics, economy, arthritic pain, you name it. It is not the language to blame, whether it has one word or a thousand words to describe sadness. Hungarian is a very rich language and has many descriptive phrases and expressive words. Look how many words Hungarian has to express love or to eat. Most expressive are the swear words, a few I would like to direct at the writer of this particular topic. Stop making it easier to live in a depressed state by making excuses!

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