When moving abroad, most Hungarians may feel daunted by the prospect of being surrounded by foreign cultures and traditions 24/7. Many bring personal objects from Hungary to customise their new home. We have collected some of the objects that Hungarians abroad find important to have in their new dwellings.
When discussing objects from Hungary, home blessings came up in the majority of cases. They usually hang in the hallway or the kitchen in a traditional Hungarian dwelling. The blessing has the following translation:
“Where there is faith, there’s love
Where there is love, there’s peace
Where there is peace, there’s blessing
Where there is blessing, God’s there
Where God is, there is no need.”
When asked why it is so important, Hungarians simply said it was something that just “belongs” to a Hungarian home. Sometimes, a tradition is so intimately intertwined with a culture that it does not have an explanation.
Hungarian and Székely flags are also popular in Hungarian homes and institutions abroad. They can come in all shapes and sizes; Hungarians mentioned that they have red-white-green ribbons on suitcases and in their cars. These subtly hint at the owner’s Hungarian heritage, although some non-Hungarians have assumed these to be representing Italian culture.
Hungarian flags appear to be the go-to object to represent Hungarian culture. People display them in their homes more so than Hungarians living in Hungary. The Hungarian community centre called Szent István House has multiple flags in its inner hall.
Hungarians living in the UK have expressed their discontent with British cuisine. They regard it as too bland and believe it is not seasoned enough. To compensate, Hungarians take spices with them to their new homes. This may be goulash seasoning, paprika and garlic spread. While these are common commodities in Hungary, they are very difficult to come by in some countries such as the UK.
All of the discussed objects carry special meaning to the Hungarians abroad who possess them. However, they have stressed their importance in representing their culture as well. They let non-Hungarian visitors to their homes know that they have stepped into a Hungarian dwelling.