Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts

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Hungarian weddings

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Last week I attended my cousin’s wedding and I thought I will write about how a hungarian wedding usually goes. I realised that in other parts of the world, what we do here is not at all common. Everyone has their traditions, and now, let me tell you about the hungarian ones.

 

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Usually it starts in the church or the registry office for those who don’t want a really big ceremony or those who are not religious. In Hungary, the groom also walks down the aisle with his mother, and the bride walks down with his father. Her young bridesmaids carry her veil behind her, so it does not touch the ground. At the ceremony there is usually singing and readings from the bible. It’s not common to write your own vows, but it’s starting to become a trend. When the ceremony is over, everyone leaves the building and the congratulations take place. Usually after that there is picture time, with everyone in it, and then with smaller groups, like family members together. And then, there is the bouquet toss. Every girl, who is not yet married, has to stand behind the bride and try to catch her bouquet, like in the picture above. Whoever catches it is believed to be the next one to get married.

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And then the fun begins! Everyone goes to the restaurant which is reserved for the occasion. The meal is pre-planned and usually there are shitloads of all kinds of drinks. You can ask for it to be catered, and usually there is someone in every family who makes wine or some kind of spirits and they insist bringing some. When you arrive, usually there is champagne for starters, and some snacks and cookies. Then there are all kinds of traditions, speeches and such. There is a man who entertains the guest with funny poems, games and jokes. We call him the vőfély, which my translator said is the equivalent of the best man, but I’m not sure. As I said, he entertains and leads the activities of the evening. Some examples of traditional activities are drinking from the bride’s shoe (I mean the groom drinks from it, not everyone, yuck) kidnapping of the bride. These are games in which the groom has to prove that he is worthy of the hand of her bride.

 

The dinner is pretty traditional. There is always broth, which hungarians love. Sometimes there is an entrée before the soup, but that’s not tradition. The main course is mostly meats, with many types of garnish, like rice, potatoes and cabbage. There usually is dessert, but not all the time. After midnight they also serve stuffed cabbage or stew. There is no such thing as a vegetarian wedding in Hungary. Of course, there is wedding cake, but we call it the bride’s cake. The newlywed couple cuts the cake together, holding the same knife.

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Meanwhile there is dancing, usually with a live band. There are some ,,classics”, which you will hear on every wedding. And some traditional activities too, like ,,train-dancing”, kind of like the conga line, just funnier and more active and versatile, because you have to do some tricks while being in a chain, like jumping on one foot, going backwards, etc. The party goes on until the morning. At midnight, there is the bride’s dance, when people give money for the chance to dance with the bride. This is how the family members support the newlyweds in their new lives together. This also usually helps to pay for the wedding costs. 🙂 The male members of the family ,,fight” to be the last one to dance with the bride before she is officially a wife. Then she changes her dress, into the ,,menyecske” dress, which is traditionally red and polka-dotted.

 

Pictures from the Castle District

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Come at me, bro

As you may have noticed, I have a little bit of writer’s block. We had birthday parties and then plain boring life in the last week, and I kinda got caught up in it. So now I’m just going to post some pictures that I took in the Castle district of Budapest.

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This reminded me of Assasin's Creed

This reminded me of Assassin’s Creed

The tourist were so much more enthusiastic than me

The tourist were so much more enthusiastic than me

It is always hard to write about your own hometown. I mean, what should I say? I don’t want to play the tourist guide here. Besides, you can always find that information on the web. And I really don’t feel like writing about it. So I will shut up now.

Doing it in English

There is a famous quote in Hungary about our language. It was said by one of our many great writers, Dezső Kosztolányi. Here you go: ,,Csak anyanyelvemen lehetek igazán én. Ennek mélységes mélyéből buzognak föl az öntudatlan sikolyok, a versek. Itt megfeledkezem arról, hogy beszélek, írok.” In a rough translation, it means this: I can only be really myself in my native language. From the deepness of it do my unwitting screams and poetry effervesce. Here, I forget that I talk and write.

Sooo, do you guys agree?

As far as I remember planning this blog, I always thought, I’m going to write in English. It is pretty simple why; I always read English blogs, and I always wanted to be a part of that community. I don’t want to live in this country, and if I could move today, I would. Although I like speaking Hungarian with my family and friends, and I even write poetry usually in Hungarian, but mostly, I think in English. That was a big change in my life about a year ago, and I like this change, because it makes me feel like I’m getting ready for the move. It’s a lot easier to think in English what you want to say, than translating it from Hungarian. I write future posts in my head and imagine my life always in English. I started learning it early in my life, I can’t remember a time, when it wasn’t there. When I was a little kid, maybe around two or three, I remember watching Cartoon Network when it was still in English in our country. Good old days. Now it’s Hungarian and actually really lousy. I liked the classic cartoons, Dexter, Tom and Jerry, Cow and Chicken, etc. That is how I learned this language. By the time I went to school, I already knew the basics and I was always ahead of my class. I learned faster and earlier. I was bored in class and read ahead. When I became a teenager I watched movies with their original language, I listened to american rock and metal bands, I surrounded myself with the listening. It really is the easiest way to learn a language. And now, I wish I could move to a place, where I could talk with everybody in English, not just in my imaginary speeches and posts. I will always speak Hungarian with my family, because my parents lived in a time when they had to learn Russian in school, and now they’re just too busy with their life to learn English. And maybe they are out of shape in learning also. So the point of this story, if there is any, is this: if you speak two or three languages, teach them to your kids as early as you can. It will have an impact in their future. It will make their life better.

Maybe I’m a traitor of my language, because I think in English now, I don’t know, but I like it like this. It’s a different mindset, for a new, different lifestyle.

This blog will be bilingual by the way, for the sake of my family and friends. Some posts will be English, some Hungarian, some both, depending on the topic. I hope it won’t become chaotic.

See you soon!