This time around we decided to go to see the opening of the Christmas market with Fruzsi and Boti in Keskustori and talk about our Christmas traditions.
We did not have any bigger plans for this meeting, just to meet up, walk around the market and see where the conversation would end up. Actually, meeting in the Christmas market was a good idea in a sense that we were able to see the things we were talking about in real and we also found new topics to talk about when seeing things.
However, ones again we realized that our cultures are rather similar to each other. There are no so many differences when it comes to the decorations, food or giving presents. It seems that those traditions are either Christian or European, and therefore common for us all.
The biggest differences we were able to name was that in Hungary it is not Santa Claus, who brings the presents on 24th of December, but baby Jesus. Even so, also kids in Hungary do believe to Santa Claus. He visits on 6th of December.
Another difference, though a very small one, is that in Hungary it is normal to hung candies to the Christmas tree whereas in Finland it is rather rare according to me.
For our sixth meeting we decided to see each other in Vapriikki to go to the National History Museum, since we had been talking about moose and deer flies during our last meeting. So, why only to talk, since you are also able to see! As we decided to go on Friday after 17pm, we did not have to pay for the fee, which was very convenient.
As it was about the Finnish nature and animals, I tried to explain Fruzsi and Boti some interesting facts about them. However, during our conversations I realized that Hungary is rather similar to Finland, when it comes to nature and animals. Not so many differences there. However, Fruzsi and Boti told me about some flying insects that do glow while flying, and I don’t think we have such.
For me the biggest outcome of this meeting was to have a nice continuum for the last meeting. To take one thing from a level of words a step up to something concrete. I personally love it when one thing leads to another. Also, since I last time got so exited about the image of a rural Hungarian village with interesting traditional events, I would now very much like to visit one, especially, if they have flying and glowing insects.
The picture above is from a movie The Princess and the Frog by Disney.
For our fifth meeting we met in the city centrum, where Fruzsi and Boti are living. Before the meeting I had a very little of information of it what would we be teaching and learning this time around. Therefore it was a very nice surprise for me that we were about to have some Hungarian snacks and drinks, which Fruzsi’s family had just recently brought from Hungary.
Palinka is a traditional Hungarian drink that contains around 50-70% of alcohol. It is distilled and usually made out of plums (szilva) and apricots (sargabarack). Although, basically any fruit or berry that grows in the garden, such as cherries or strawberries, could be used too. Anyway, since palinka is usually home made, it tastes different every time. Therefore we organized a game in which we tasted a little sample from each 4 bottles of palinka and found an order for them:
Palinka is drinked from a speacil kind of a tiny glass. It can be consumed in any time of the day, for any cause, such as medication for cough.
Fruzsi’s family had bought also some kolbasz, Hungarian sausage. I honestly hadn’t eaten sausage for over 15 years, so it was a rather interesting experience. I didn’t remember how does sausage taste – no any idea. So, I wasn’t really able to compare it to anything. But it was good. Strange to say, but I quite liked kolbasz. It did fit perfectly together with palinka, I have to say.
Disznovagas is a pig killing party, and it is kind of nice closing for this blog pot, since in it palinka and kolbaz comes together. So, according to Frizsi and Boti, in Hungary there is a special day in which you wake up early in the morning and start to drink palinka. After that you butcher a pig or two, and in the evening you will have a feast.
I really loved this meeting since we were talking a lot about Hungarian culture and the stuff we were talking about was very interesting. For instance the pig killing party sounded as something primitive, traditional and almost exotic that is happening in a small village in a countryside. That left a lot of space for imagination, which was so cool!
This time around we did teach each other our alphabets. To me this was rather interesting as I was thinking of using the Hungarian alphabets for an art project later on.
However, our first realization was that in the Hungarian alphabet there are a way more letters than in the Finnish alphabet. We counted that in total Hungarians have 44 letters and we Finns 29. This was partly explained so that in Hungary they don’t really use letter
but they combine it with other letters to form such letters as
GY, LY, NY and TY.
In the Hungarian language they also have such combined letters as
DZ, DZS, SZ and ZS,
which all were really strange to me, who has got used to it that one letter is only one letter – not 3 letters together. So, to me the Hungarian letters were kind of beyond understanding, which actually made learning them lots of fun.
We also did talk about it that neither in Hungarian language all the letters are equally important, but there are some 4 that they hardly use. Though, on the same time, some letters seems to be almost too popular. If you only look at the alphabet, there are 2 x A, 2 x E, 4 x O and 4 x U, even if you, of course, pronounce them differently.
In Fruzsi’s blog post you are able to see the entire alphabets.
For our second meeting we met in the canteen of the school to compare educational systems both in Finland and Hungary.
We started our meeting by teaching each other school related words – among others – such as:
However, I guess we all were rather ready to agree that both Finnish and Hungarian are such languages that are quite difficult to people, who don’t speak them as their native language. From this realization we kind of found a topic to our next meeting as we would teach each others our alphabets.
After learning words related to school we started to explain each other, how the educational system works in our countries. I personally found this rather interesting. Even if systems both in Finland and Hungary are rather similar from kindergarten to university, there are also some differences. The most surprising facts were:
In Hungary high school can last even 5 years whereas in Finland only 3.
When taking the final exam of high school, you have a written exam. This is the same in both countries. However, in Hungary you have to take also an oral exam. For this you will be given a list of some 20 questions to which you have to memorize the answers as one of them will be asked from you.
In Finnish educational system you have to take an entrance examination of a specific subject you wish to study to get in to a university of university of applied sciences. However, in Hungary, you don’t have to take an entrance examination, but you apply directly with the average of the final exam of high school or technical school.
In Hungary there are rather small universities that concentrate only to few subjects whereas in Finland we have universities such as TAMK, in which you are able to study multiple subjects. So, in a Hungarian university there may be 3 000 students while, for instance, in TAMK there are some 9 500.
The last meeting, unfortunately!
We went to the café called ‘Olympia’ for our last meeting, close to Pinja :/ We didn’t really talk about a special topic but more about our personal life and differents subjects. Just as really good friends. In fact, thanks to Each One Teach One course, I have meet Tamas and Rebeka and they are so nice! We have become really closed after four months.
Tamas and Rebeka are unique. With them, I had the chance to discover a new country, Hungary. They explained everything about it.
At the end of the meeting, Rebeka told me that she will go in Erasmus in February in France. And I also told them that I have find an internship in Budapest, Hungary! So it is not the end of our friendship 😀 I hope that I will see Tamas and Rebeka in Budapest before that Rebeka leaves Hungary.
Thank you guys, it was such a great time with you ! <3
It has been about one month since I have arrived to Budapest. The first weeks were little bit stressful and hectic. After first few weeks I have been started to enjoy everyday more and more about Hungary. Actually Budapest is amazing and beautiful city. I like this city because feeling is little bit mystic here and you can see rough places everywhere. Everyday you can find a new low-cost restaurant and enjoy delicious food. Getting around is easy by public trams and metros. You can find here also large parks where you can enjoy the spring.
I have been worked in two different hospitals here. The first one was The Defence Forces hospital and the second one was the National Institute For Medical Rehab. The patients have been mainly the spinal cord injured or they have fractures below the hips. Hospitals are clean and modern. Aids are little bit older than Finland but safe for patients.
I spend my freetime with friends from other cultures and sometimes I have to do some school works. The best thing is that here is a lot of exchange students and I have met students for example from Greece, Turkey and Italy. In April we will have 3 days trip to Prague, Vienna and Bratislava. It will be cool. Keep in touch! Continue reading Greetings from Budapest!