The Culture

Hungary is very much a mixture of the past and the present. You will find cars and horse-drawn wagons on the same road. Not every family has a car; so many people ride bikes, take public transportation, or walk instead of driving. About 7 million people carry cell phones, though they may or may not have a phone in their home. Some homes are still heated with wood or coal. Gas and water lines have not reached all villages yet. Many people still raise their own foods by gardening or keeping animals.

Then you may be offered a salad, which is not the traditional American version of lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, etc. It is often pickled cabbage, marinated sliced cucumbers, or a plate of sliced tomatoes with a splash of vinegar and chopped onions. Next the main course is meat, usually pork or chicken served with rice, pasta and/or potato. Finally, dessert will be served. They may offer you three or four types of dessert. After every course you will be offered a second helping. Be conscious of how much you can consume before taking more; Hungarians do not like to waste or throw away food.
While at the table, your napkins is NOT to be in your lap, it remains on the table until you need it, then you place it back on the table next to your plate. Both hands are kept on the table. The fork in the left hand and the knife in the right hand. Do not be surprised if you are offered some type of alcohol; just politely turn

Generally, Hungarians are very kind and understanding of foreigners. They also are often curious about why you are in their country. If time permits you may be invited to visit a Hungarian home.

When you are visiting a Hungarian’s home, be sure to bring them a gift, such as flowers or a box of chocolate. If you have been invited for a meal, don’t forget to bring a huge appetite. Upon entering a Hungarian’s home, take off your shoes in the entryway; Hungarians don’t wear their shoes in the house. Often your host will provide house slippers to wear while you are there.

it down. Overall: just relax, enjoy the meal, and have a good time!

There are many other cultural differences between Hungarians and Americans. For breakfast Hungarians would have salami, ham, cheese, sliced tomatoes and/or peppers and butter on slices of bread. Americans tend to have a light lunch, while Hungarians prefer a light supper. Lunches in Hungary are full course meals beginning with soup and bread. The Hungarian home is guarded as a private place where only family and closest friends are allowed to venture. Although there are many differences between us, remember Hungarians are people with feelings and needs like you and they need to know God’s love! Be flexible and you will return home richer for the experience!

Hungarians are very hospitable and generous toward their guests, so do not be surprised if a meal has 4-5 courses and they keep encouraging you to eat more of everything. First, you will be served soup and bread. Bread is torn in bite-size pieces and eaten without butter.
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