Thursday, November 29, 2012

How About Hungary?

Lately we've had a few students inquire about Hungary, so YFU Canada had our visiting Hungarian student, Dóri, tell us about her home country! We wanted to know: What sorts of things do Canadian students ask her about Hungary?

One of the statues at Memento Park in Budapest
photo courtesy of Ferran Cornellà, via Wikimedia Commons
People usually ask if, in Hungary, we speak English or Russian. Well, in Hungary we speak Hungarian! It's not part of Russia and it's not in Asia; it's in the middle of Europe, and we have a great history. We can travel by public transportation everywhere in the country, and we have beautiful old buildings everywhere. I'm from the capital, which has two parts: buda and pest, and between the two there is the river Danube, crossed by beautiful bridges. 

All around Europe they say that the prettiest girls are Hungarians, but I don't know if that's true or not! They often ask me if we have four seasons, and yes, it's pretty much the same as in Canada - it's a bit less cold, but only about ten degrees difference, so we often see around forty degrees Celsius in summer and at most minus ten in winter. 

We have very good chocolates, and Hungarians invented the Rubik's cube and the first colored television! We also have very strong schools, and it's very different from the Canadian school system. In Hungary, you have to study very well and a lot if you want to survive, but students only start working when they get to university In high school, you can't find anyone who's working a part-time job! Students usually can be found hanging out together everyday after school, or at least very often, and they are doing sports or music or arts two or three times a week, though not everyone does extracurriculars. We also get a lot of exchange students coming to our music high schools from Germany and Japan - they love studying instruments and music in Hungary. (Editor's note: YFU offers musical exchange programs to Hungary as well!)

The biggest difference between Hungary and Canada (I was shocked the first time and it took me two months to actually deal with it) is what students wear to school. In Canada, students are wearing the kinds of pants and shirts to school as we wear for pajamas in Hungary! In Hungary, everyone dresses very nicely for school, and they only wear jogging pants at home or when they go to bed. Back home,  the cooking is also very different, and we don't really eat canned food or things like that. But a lot of other things are very similar to Canada!

Thank you, Dóri!!

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