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Hungarian Stereotypes

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This essay based on wide background information. The writer of this essay tries to show the Hungarian stereotypes through theoretical view, statistical facts and mainly his own thoughts. It must be mentioned that the writer is a Hungarian person, so the ideas are more original and the essay shows the inner information about Hungarian society. The essay starts with a theoretical approach of stereotypes, then it continues with an introduction to Hungarian stereotypes. This part of the essay contains findings and analyses of certain questionnaires. Interesting things of Hungarian stereotypes in a more experience approach close this part.

Theory of stereotypes1 Social psychology just like other modern disciplines rooted in sociological and philosophical customs. From the Enlightenment social psychology inherited two basic dilemmas: 1. universalism versus relativism; 2. action versus cognition. Ad 1. : The Enlightenment’s philosophy says, that every man is a personality and the member of the society, and universal and rational laws control their behaviour.

The social differences among the groups are accidental. All people have a “common world”, which causes the people to make grounded moral decisions. Ad 2. After the Enlightenment, thinking is before action, and the Cartesian subject is defined as “cogito”. These principles of the Enlightenment were queried by the biggest philosophers of the era, and the “Anti-Enlightenment” movement of the 19th century directly brought it into question. One of the biggest characters of social psychology, Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote this in his cogitation about the Polish government: “The Polish customs … have always the advantage that they evermore increase patriotism in every Pole, and they never want to be mixed with other foreign cultures.

The connection between action and thinking is a very disturbing question in social psychology and it has many explanations. In the past, sociology focused on the behaviours and actions of the plebs, but nowadays thinking is more important than action. This is called the cognitive aspect. Stereotyping is a par excellence cognitive action; an act that is before thinking and argumentation. One of the definitions says: “Stereotypes are only common thoughts about characteristics (exacted features, personal values, etc. , which are perceived by the members of a society” (Manstead, Hewstone, 19952).

The most important thing here is that the people consider stereotypes true and they make cognitive actions, but these actions only prevent the maturation of the truth and meaning. Rousseau and Tajfel say that the function of stereotypes is mark boundaries among social groups, and increase the positive social identity. That means that people who are stereotyping have a negative feeling against foreigners. This type of thinking is very negative and discriminating.

Genuine stereotyping should be very positive too. Those people who are stereotyping should make positive stereotypes too. About Hungarians Hungarians about Hungarians On the basis of the findings of a questionnaire3 which included almost 2,800 persons from the adult population of Hungarian nationality in eight Central European countries, the makers of the questionnaire concluded that the Central European Hungarians living outside Hungary, mainly in countries with a larger Hungarian population, have a domineering Hungarian identity while a double, or a multiple identity is less typical.

This statement concerns only their national identity, and not their loyalty to the state, which they happen to be citizens of. The national identification of Central European Hungarians is basically of a non-ethnic nature: it is not based on the consciousness of a blood-relation, but mainly on cultural factors (mother tongue, arts, traditions, customs etc. ) and on emotional elements, i. e. it can be described as an identity of a cultural nation. The national identification is a coherent and not a diffuse phenomenon.

Its components (national identification, the vision, the self-image, stereotypes, the perception of history or the religious and cultural identity) are closely linked, influence one another and strengthen the impacts mutually. A comparison of the identification of the societies in and outside Hungary (in the Carpathian Basin) shows that those living outside its borders have typically a stronger national feeling, more optimistic vision and a more positive self-image, which may be rooted in the self-protecting attitude of minority existence.

This self-protective mechanism of the mind is also reflected in the fact that the identification, the self-image and the cultural identity of the minorities living in highly scattered form, parallel with and as a remedy for the assimilation tendencies, tend to get stronger. Among the conditions of minority existence, not only the identification, but the tolerance level in general increases: minorities tend to assess the relation to the neighbouring nations more positively than the mother country does.

A related experience shows that deficient (negative or neutral) identification results in a stronger intolerance while the acknowledged identification and its positive nature (if it is not “overheated” emotionally) generally goes hand in hand with tolerance, and is even a precondition of it. The main feature of identification is that the most learned and the best-educated people have the most conscious and most positive (but not merely emotional) national consciousness, the most optimistic vision, the most realistic and balanced national self-image and historic awareness.

The main preservers of the minority consciousness are the minority intellectuals, in spite of the fact that generally they have not graduated in their mother language and worked in a majority language environment. The mother language is a key element of the identification of the Central European Hungarians, in spite of the fact that generally, only a smaller part of the Hungarians living in minority outside Hungary can live among bilingual conditions with the dominance of the mother language.

The way minority Hungarians use their mother language shows, due to the sociological environment, certain signs of degradation: the mother language domineers among the less educated rural population. The language culture of the mother language has an important role: the majority of the readings of Hungarians living in larger groups is in Hungarian and, unlike in the mother country, cultural traditions are important, and the classical Hungarian literature has a substantial share between the readings (especially for the ones living scattered).

On the basis of the questionnaire’s experience, more conscious, more positive and more balanced forms of identification accompany the higher level of the culture of reading. Culture, or in concrete terms, the culture of reading is a pillar of identification. Hungarian stereotypes4 The main groups of Hungarian stereotypes can be easily determined. Let’s see first the geographical segmentation of Hungarian stereotypes. Basically, there are two kinds of according to domicile: the countryside (actually it can be separated into two groups to western and eastern Hungary) and the capital.

The people who live in the capitol are very proud that they live in Budapest. This eminence and transcendence feeling can be very abusive toward other Hungarians, and can lead to critical arguments. What is more, the western part of Hungary is getting similar to this behaviour. The reason is that the closeness of the European Union economically and ethically influences the country, especially the western region and the capitol. Another interesting and also funny thing is that the people in Budapest have a special language “rara avis”, namely they put “a” or “az” (both of them mean like “the” in English) before a person’s first name.

It can sound in English like “Did you hear what the John bought? ” What is more, when somebody lives for a long time in Budapest, he or she will do the same, moreover the foreigners can learn the language wrongly. Foreigners about Hungarians Let’s see Hungarians from another viewpoint. If a foreigner comes to Hungary and wants to learn the language, he or she will shortly read Hungarian literature as well. This person would find that all of Hungarian poems, even the Hungarian anthem is very sad. There is only one reason for this: Hungarian people are “crying-revelling”.

That means that they are basically sad people, but they can celebrate. Another meaning can be that Hungarians couldn’t ever be happy for a long time, they always had something wrong in their past. The people who live in Europe might think the same that was mentioned before about the Hungarian people. Most of them think that Hungarians have heart, when the objectives are gallant, but they can argue on a nightingale5. Another strong feature of Hungarians is that when they had fights in the past, they often won them with honour and boisterous temperament. Rationalism was not a common component.

The Hungarian tourist sightseeings are the best visualizations of Hungarian emprise (derring-do). Just think about the Lashing Rangemen. In Hortobi?? gy Hungarian shepherds have huge dogs (komondor and kuvasz are the two species) that are very dreadful and ferocious. Hortobi?? gy is very important part of the country, because foreigners can see the real Hungarian society. The lonely Csi?? rdas (Inns) on the face of the Puszta; the friendly, hospitable (and greedy) feasters can show the foreigners the Hungarian emprise. But foreigners can only see this feeling, they will never feel it.

Hungarian meals can also characterize the society. These meals are full of fat and they are very hot and piquant. The Hungarian temperament is also greasy, sarcastic, wasp-tongued and improper. Conclusion “The great Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi was once asked about what he believed in extraterrestrials (aliens). “Sure I do,” he said. “I know a lot of them personally. They’re called Hungarians. ” What Fermi was saying was not that Hungarians are strange, though they are; what he wanted to say was that Hungarians are too smart to be human.

If somebody has studied the history at all, he should know that 20th-century physics and mathematics are pretty much Hungarian conspiracies, not to speak about music and cinema. The currency trader George Soros, perhaps the single most powerful man on the world, is a Hungarian. Ernie Kovacs, the most cerebral and inventive television comedian who ever lived, was a Hungarian. Take the example of Schick razor. Schick was Hungarian. Or another example: ballpoint pen called “biro”? Biro was Hungarian. A Hungarian, John von Neumann, invented game theory and he was the first to apply binary numbers to problems in computing.

A question: who manufactures today the “brains” for the computers? The answer is Intel. A Hungarian, Andrew Grove (not a typical Hungarian name), founded the company. Hungarians are especially ubiquitous in math. Open a college math textbook, and you’ll most likely find a smattering of Frenchmen, a rather greater number of Germans, a few Brits and Japanese, and, most of all, Hungarians. Hungarians beyond counting, except by Hungarians, who are better at this sort of thing than we mere mortals.

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