Ever felt a bit out of place when visiting a foreign country? This article is just for you then!

Numerous Hungarians have left their country in the past decades: be it war, revolution or just understandable desire for higher wages, many of the country’s brightest have opted for emigration. The following is just a selection of the many behavioural differences between Hungary and the West.


Many Western countries, most notably the US and the UK, view politeness as the absolute most crucial thing when interacting with strangers.

This often comes at the expense of straightforwardness and honesty: something that Hungarians might not be familiar with.

Think first, speak later is rather good advice in these situations and some generic phrases might also come in handy.

Personal space

This is a tricky topic because it does vary from individual to individual, but as a rule of thumb, it is good to know that Westerners tend to require more personal space than Hungarians. However, when this space is violated, expect way less rudeness than what you would receive here in Eastern Europe. This is just a difference in how people deal with situations involving strangers.

Offensive humour

This is perhaps the most important one on this list. Political correctness has spread widely in the Western world, which means that jokes/remarks one might find offensive are considered rude and inconsiderate. There are obviously varying degrees of political correctness depending on circumstances but

jokes focusing on disabilities, ethnicities and religions are particular minefields that are best avoided.

We have written about similar stuff, focusing on Hungarians living in the UK here and here. If you have anything else to add to the list, feel free to provide suggestions!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.