Sense of humour in Hungary

Hello everyone,

Should we set out to explore Hungarian's culture through its sense of humour? Indeed, if one is planning to settle in the country, it is best to understand the cultural codes governing humour in order to avoid any faux-pas.

What is special about the sense of humour in Hungary?

Is it acceptable to joke about any situations?

What is typically funny and what is absolutely not funny?

Are there any popular comedians in Hungary and how would one be able to discover them (stand-up shows, festivals, internet, etc.)?

What is the funniest joke you have heard in Hungary?

Please share your experience,

Bhavna

Hmm, HU humor is under rated.
It is a very dry but sharp humor.
Most Hungarians are not "funny" on a daily base but when they do try humor it is real and very on point.
Silly slap stick humor or very obvious social issues are not funny to them.
They seem to dive deep when they finally ( thank God) decide to be humorous.
My HU husband is more stoic  then anyone else I ever met but when he wishes to be funny he cuts to the bone.
In English my husband is sometimes very funny but when he speaks to other Hungarians they are usually bowling over with laughter. He was the class clown in school.
No dumb comedy but a smart play on words is the HU style they also can cut to the bone if they know a person well.
All of their humor comes out of left field.

Well, you would enjoy your stay if you are fluent in Hungarian. However, most of them aren't welcoming because of reasons that shouldn't bother you at all.
Generally the economy is poor. You really have to work the hell out of yourself.
I advice you make use of available churches if you're a Christian.
Finally, it is very important that you self motivated, dependent and inspired. You can only understand when you live it.
Welcome to Hungary.

MR MEOGI wrote:

Well, you would enjoy your stay if you are fluent in Hungarian. However, most of them aren't welcoming because of reasons that shouldn't bother you at all.
Generally the economy is poor. You really have to work the hell out of yourself.
I advice you make use of available churches if you're a Christian.
Finally, it is very important that you self motivated, dependent and inspired. You can only understand when you live it.
Welcome to Hungary.


Thank you for the info, but what you have written has nothing to do with the Opening Post.

Bhavna wrote:

Hello everyone,

Should we set out to explore Hungarians culture through its sense of humour? Indeed, if one is planning to settle in the country, it is best to understand the cultural codes governing humour in order to avoid any faux-pas.

What is special about the sense of humour in Hungary?

Is it acceptable to joke about any situations?

What is typically funny and what is absolutely not funny?

Are there any popular comedians in Hungary and how would one be able to discover them (stand-up shows, festivals, internet, etc.)?

What is the funniest joke you have heard in Hungary?

Please share your experience,

Bhavna


My wife is a true blue Hungarian. I am Australian and the first thing she wanted to know was our slang.She has mastered it. Hungarian people can be shy not arrogant but when you get to the core they are the most funny people I have met .. Dry sarcastic its the understanding of the culture. My work colleagues are funny as he'll when you understand them. If you dont understand them go home...

Bender69 wrote:

.... Dry sarcastic its the understanding of the culture. .....


I agree with that.  It's quite self-deprecating and intelligently absurdist.

Most Hungarians need to get to know you before opening up.

Might be particularly true of the ones who lived under communism.

My experience is that they tended to be less forthcoming. 

They are probably cautious because they needed to hide it to avoid being labelled/criticised.

Couldn't agree with you more... I associate Hungarian people similar to Aussies. They can be extremely funny.. I have seen that.. But a very proud people.. And there is nothing wrong with that... I have respect for the people i know sometimes it's not easy to be a part of their society.  But when they let you in... They are one of the nicest people on the planet.

Bender69 wrote:
Bhavna wrote:

Hello everyone,

Should we set out to explore Hungarians culture through its sense of humour? Indeed, if one is planning to settle in the country, it is best to understand the cultural codes governing humour in order to avoid any faux-pas.

What is special about the sense of humour in Hungary?

Is it acceptable to joke about any situations?

What is typically funny and what is absolutely not funny?

Are there any popular comedians in Hungary and how would one be able to discover them (stand-up shows, festivals, internet, etc.)?

What is the funniest joke you have heard in Hungary?

Please share your experience,

Bhavna


My wife is a true blue Hungarian. I am Australian and the first thing she wanted to know was our slang.She has mastered it. Hungarian people can be shy not arrogant but when you get to the core they are the most funny people I have met .. Dry sarcastic its the understanding of the culture. My work colleagues are funny as he'll when you understand them. If you dont understand them go home...


In Vegas one of my co-workers was a young guy from Hungary.
He always made us smile with his dry humor but one time I about lost it, it was so funny.
He had an old Asian man at his table and the old dude just out of the blue picked his nose and spread the contents on his playing card! Yuck.
Instead of going insane this Hungarian guy calmly told the man loudly in front of every, "Sir, please do not mark the cards" classic and insane funny statement.

Marilyn Tassy wrote:

....
In Vegas one of my co-workers was a young guy from Hungary.
He always made us smile with his dry humor but one time I about lost it, it was so funny.
He had an old Asian man at his table and the old dude just out of the blue picked his nose and spread the contents on his playing card! Yuck.
Instead of going insane this Hungarian guy calmly told the man loudly in front of every, "Sir, please do not mark the cards" classic and insane funny statement.


That's really funny!

I'll give you Hungary in a nutshell... Earn respect and its given...They are the biggest worry warts on the planet.... Are very well educated with respect for their elders...Definitely know how to have a good time ... They like to trust than not. Will give you love like never before if it is trusted... If you are not honest... Forget it ... They might play games with you from time to time . Don't be offend it ... Respect it because they are only checking you out because they like you.. This is a place of old school. There are not to many of them left and its why i respect and admire it...

I'll give you Hungary in a nutshell... Earn respect and its given...They are the biggest worry warts on the planet.... Are very well educated with respect for their elders...Definitely know how to have a good time ... They like to trust than not. Will give you love like never before if it is trusted... If you are not honest... Forget it ... They might play games with you from time to time . Don't be offend it ... Respect it because they are only checking you out because they like you.. This is a place of old school. There are not to many of them left and its why i respect and admire it...

One last thing.... Every morning when my Hungarian colleges walk into work and i am having a smoke out the front of the building... They give me the bird 🖕... And say good morning,  I love you... I have the guys doing it and a few of the Girls... But the Girls  don't say I love you... Just the finger...And good morning.... Now that's funny..😁😁😁😁😁

Bender69 wrote:

I'll give you Hungary in a nutshell... Earn respect and its given...They are the biggest worry warts on the planet.... Are very well educated with respect for their elders...Definitely know how to have a good time ... They like to trust than not. Will give you love like never before if it is trusted... If you are not honest... Forget it ... They might play games with you from time to time . Don't be offend it ... Respect it because they are only checking you out because they like you.. This is a place of old school. There are not to many of them left and its why i respect and admire it...


I wouldn't agree with all of that - it's too much fawning - I'd almost think they were wearing wings.   

There's a thing here about snobbery over academic qualifications and it isn't funny at all.

Some people want to interrogate you over your education before they'll consider you worthy of talking to or indeed taking you seriously.    It's quite laughable how blatant some of this behaviour is -  one could have a recent PhD in Frog Spawn Management, be labelled "manager" and be taken more seriously in an electrical installation project than a professional electrician of 20+ years standing.  Quite absurd.

One more detailed and technical story is that some "engineers" insisted on compression fittings for a high pressure airco installation whereas the standard (and the right way) is to weld.  It eventually came to either the installers did it their way or they walked.  The installers won - luckily they had a sense of humour.

Peter principle in action.

Hungarians like me, I have never been not excepted really.
My husband and I are just private people and keep to oursevles mostly.
We used to have dinner parties with a couple of our neighbors in the house and I had several single lady friends I met in my gym here in Hungary a few years back.
My husband is more private then I am so I respect that he is a loner except for my company.
He used to know everyone in the city.
I remember in 1978 when we first visited Budapest.
He had been out of HU for over 7 years but everywhere we walked someone was coming over and saying hello to my husband, even shop keepers who were outside their shops would call us over and ask where my husband had been.
Hungarian can be funny and sharp but I've also born the brunt of them being tricky.
I once asked 2 HU ladies my age, around 19 at the time to teach me to say something nice in HU to my then boyfriend, now husband.
I practiced really hard to remember and pronounce every word perfectly.
I should of known since they both were giggling when they were teaching me that something evil this way comes...
I went up to my husband and proudly recited my little diddy to him.
His face dropped and he looked confused, he said where did you learn such trash... Seems I had literally bitten off more then I could chew, won't say what I learned but it was a bit nasty in nature.
The laugh was on me, I sort of gave up asking those 2 for anything serious, silly girls.
In Hungarian my husband is super funny, people are always laughing when he says something and is in a good mood. In English it is hit or miss with the comedy, one needs to know the little twists and turns in a language to be funny.He was the class clown in school as a child in HU.

Marilyn Tassy wrote:

....
In Hungarian my husband is super funny, people are always laughing when he says something and is in a good mood. In English it is hit or miss with the comedy, one needs to know the little twists and turns in a language to be funny.He was the class clown in school as a child in HU.


For sure but some people do manage to make a transition in another language. 

The Germans aren't exactly known in the UK for their humour - tends to be a bit too much on the slapstick side for the British.  But in the UK, we have a fairly popular German comedian called Henning Wehn.   

He plays on the German vs English thing but he does know the small turns of phrase that non-native speakers wouldn't necessarily know.  He's really quite successful which is saying a lot as he'll always get a hard time - usually about the war.  Others would have given up long ago.   

If he keeps going for say, another 10 years, he'll be bordering on national treasure status.

My German yoga teacher in Vegas would make the class of 25 or more people crack up because she tried to be funny, failed hard.
She is easy going and didn't get offended but dang at times her mistake was a lot funnier then her joke.