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October 09 , 2009

The Essential Guide to Being Hungarian

50 Facts and Facets of Nationhood


What is it to be Hungarian? What does it feel like? Most Hungarians are convinced that the rest of the world just doesn't get them. They are right. True, much of the world thinks highly of Hungarians – for reasons ranging from their heroism in the 1956 revolution to their genius as mathematicians, physicists, and financiers. But Hungarians do often seem to be living proof of the old joke that Magyars are in fact Martians: they may be situated in the very heart of Europe, but they are equipped with a confounding language, extraterrestrial (albeit endearing) accents, and an unearthly way of thinking.
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What most Hungarians learn from life about the Magyar mind is now available, for the first time, in this user-friendly guide to what being Hungarian is all about.

The Essential Guide to Being Hungarian brings together twelve authors well-versed in the quintessential ingredients of being Hungarian – from the stereotypical Magyar man to the stereotypical Magyar woman, foods to folk customs, livestock to literature, film to philosophy, politics to porcelain, and scientists to sports.

In fifty short, highly readable, often witty, sometimes politically incorrect, but always candid articles, the authors demonstrate that being credibly Hungarian – like being French, Polish or Japanese – is largely a matter of carrying around in your head a potpourri of conceptions and preconceptions acquired over the years from your elders, society, school, the streets, and mass media.

Compacting this wealth of knowledge into an irresistible little book, The Essential Guide to Being Hungarian is an indispensable reference that will teach you how to be Hungarian, even if you already are.
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