Moving to Hungary
With an approximated population of 9,908,798 people, Hungary is the 84th most populous country in the world. People moving to Hungary will find that this landlocked nation has a vivid culture with diverse ethnicity. Before moving to Hungary, it is advisable to make some comprehensive research first about the country in order to lessen culture shock.
Hungary has survived centuries of invasions, communism, and economic turmoil before forging ties with Western Europe. Now, it is an emerging frontrunner of the European Union.
The most celebrated symbol of its success is its capital, Budapest, which is touted to be the Paris of Central Europe. About 100 kilometers from this city is the continent's largest lake, Lake Balaton, which is known for the skyscraper hotels lining its shores.
Hungary is landlocked in the Carpathian Basin of Central Europe, bordered by seven countries and divided nearly in half by one of the longest-standing frontiers of the Roman Empire, the Danube River. Thus, it's not surprising that the country is known for its diverse landscape ranging from sand drifts to grassy prairies.
Expats are drawn to the country by its rich cultural attractions ranging from its unparalleled goulash soup to its Romanesque architecture and Baroque towns. The Hungarians are also famous for their profound literary heritage, internationally acclaimed films, exquisite wines, fine arts, Renaissance-inspired theatre and their wealth of musical traditions including the Frans Liszt Rhapsodies, Roma music and classical jazz.
Hungary's central location in Europe and long political history, from the Arpad leaders to the Ottomans, inevitably spurred a diversity of religious beliefs as well. Today, about half of Hungarians are Roman Catholics; 20% are Protestants and the rest are Jews or Muslims.
One thing unique to Hungarian multiculturalism, however, is the prevalence of a single official language that is devoid of neighboring language influences. Hungarian, a Finno-Ugric language, is the mother tongue spoken by about 98% of Hungarians while the rest speaks German, Slovak, Serbian, Slovene, Croatian, Romanian or Romani. Expats might find this to be a stumbling block in the beginning, but Hungarian is an easy language to learn and most can get by after a few months, especially with the help of online translation services.
Hungarians are naturally friendly and accommodating people. Expats get their first taste of the locals' graciousness with an outstretched hand of a native neighbor or flatmate; both men and women in Hungary have the habit of greeting by shaking hands, although a man typically has to wait for a woman to extend her hand. Light cheek kisses are also a common greeting among close friends. A man bowing to a woman is still a common sight among the older population. However, for business, things can get very formal, and people expect to be addressed by their titles and surnames.
Foreigners looking for a home offshore will gladly find one in Hungary where political and economic stability, cultural wealth, and warm, beautiful people are staples of everyday life.
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