They think we have amazing food, they think we have beautiful women, and they think our politics are kind of bonkers. We have asked five people of different nationalities what are the first things they associate with Hungary. Here is what the world really thinks about this small country in Central Europe.
“Prior to coming to Hungary in 2017, my impressions were as follows: A poorer ex-communist European country with no real export produce. It is pretty insignificant on the political spectrum. There are no real tourism opportunities since Hungary is landlocked. On the other hand, it is a cheap destination to visit, with a reputation of being the Paris of the East for its great nightlife. After my visit, my perception somewhat changed. Hungarians are humble and honest people. There are great tourism areas and good investment opportunities. It is a safe country to visit with amazing architecture and delicious wine. I would definitely consider relocating to Hungary in the future.”
“The first four things that come to my mind when I hear the word ‘Hungary’ are: Orbán, Danube, goulash, and freedom of speech. Orbán is an extreme right leader who is giving a hard time to the EU. He did not respect either asylum or the rights of refugees hence he constructed a fence on the country’s border with Serbia. We also heard some stories of a Hungarian radio channel that was shut down because it was probably owned by the opposition party. The Hungarian language is crazy difficult, one of my exes tried to teach me a couple of phrases, with not much success.”
“Being half Hungarian, I would visit Hungary often as a child. The images I associate with Hungary are the trees in my grandmother’s fruit garden, little me playing with snails after summer showers, and my visits to Budapest Zoo and the amusement park. Hungary for me was the little marzipan figures my grandma would surprise me with at the pastry shop. It also means the foods my Hungarian mother missed the most in Russia: the sausage, Turo Rudi, the Hungarian stew and tarhonya. As I grew up, today I associate Hungary with a country that did not have much luck in history and currently acts as a “rebel” politically. If I can picture Hungary as a person, I would picture it as a very proud, stubborn, large man.”
“On the positive side, I would say the view of the parliament building at night as you stroll across Margaret Bridge. Budapest itself is a wonderful city – vibrant and exciting. Hungarian women are known for their beauty all over Europe. I also remember sausages and beer, and a cake called Esterhazy if I’m not mistaken. On the negative side, I think of the total blindness of the people living there when it comes to politics as well as a prevalent pessimism and negativity. Whenever I visited Hungary, I did not see anyone smiling on the street. I do not why though, maybe it is cultural.”
“When I hear the word ‘Hungary’ I think about the word ‘opportunity’ because I feel this country is an uncut gem with the potential to be a world-class contender for tourism, Olympics etc. It is currently overshadowed by politics but Hungary has the location, weather and people to do everything. The country has an ideal climate, English is widely spoken in Budapest, and the cooperation TAX is low. It is a place I would most certainly invest in. Besides, Hungary has great festivals like Sziget.”