Just for fun: Unusual cultural habits in Hungary and around the world

In this Just for fun thread, we would like to highlight unconventional customs which make Hungary stand out. This is a chance, at the same time, to learn about other countries’ equally interesting traditions.

1. Which country considers cats to be lucky? How about Hungary?
2. In which country should you not write in red ink?
3. Is there anything like a 15-minute grace period in Hungary or is showing up on time or earlier a common practice?
4. In which country do people greet each other by rubbing noses?
5. What is one custom associated with Hungarian culture that you have found to be quite unusual?

Thanks for participating,
Diksha

Do not do your laundry on a Sunday.
At least do not hang it up so the neighbors can see.

Another cultural thing here is that women do not say hello first to a
man they don't know or hardly know.
It is old style but that's what is formal here.
Older people also do not say hello to a younger person first, ok if the age difference is sllght they will but if it is obvious that a person is much older then you are, you should say hello first.
If an older person says hello and is not acknowledged it is too embarrassing.
My husband 's old friends also never spoke to me if my husband left the room when they were visiting.
It is a sign of respect but for us in the west it does seem a bit strict.
Married women are not usually left alone with another man, not sure about how singles handle this. Very old fashioned but it seems to work.

"In which country should you not write in red ink?"

China. In particular, never ever sign a letter to a friend in red: it means you are breaking off relations.

There's a story in one of Mao's biographies about a young woman a visiting friend brought along. Mao found the woman sycophantic and unbearable, so when she pulled out a photo and asked for his autograph, that was it. He took out a pencil, signed the photo and handed it back to her. And she gasped when she saw he had signed it in red.

zif :

"In which country should you not write in red ink?"

China. In particular, never ever sign a letter to a friend in red: it means you are breaking off relations.

There's a story in one of Mao's biographies....

That is kind of weird, considering Mao's book is red....  :/

zif :

"In which country should you not write in red ink?"

China. In particular, never ever sign a letter to a friend in red: it means you are breaking off relations....

In Germany, official (government) documents like treaties must - I believe - be signed in a special blue ink.  They are said to import special blue pens from Germany (for use at their embassies).   

Interesting other factoid I know that works as I tried it. It's very difficult to photocopy (Xerox process) things coloured in red.  Bit old that one.  I found out when I tried to copy a diagram to share with some people and couldn't do it! 

People used to publish things in red ink to stop it being copied.  Nowadays it's all digital scanning and not an issue anymore.

Not sure sort of culture this experience would fall under but...about 4-5 years back while doing our weekly grocery shopping inside Tesco,I leaned over to get some produce and a Hungarian women in her mid 40's pinched my bottom!!!She smiled at me too...
I was surprised but what the heck. I laughed it off, told my husband later about it and he just had to go there... Said something off the cuff about how did you like it or something else as stupid.
Last thing one would expect while "squeezing" the "tomatoes" in a grocery.
On one hand people here follow strict cultural rules and other times, while...
I was a bit "flattered" at age 60 to have anyone want to ," Squeeze the Charim".

Marilyn Tassy :

Not sure sort of culture this experience would fall under but...about 4-5 years back while doing our weekly grocery shopping inside Tesco,I leaned over to get some produce and a Hungarian women in her mid 40's pinched my bottom!!!She smiled at me too...
I was surprised but what the heck. I laughed it off, told my husband later about it and he just had to go there... Said something off the cuff about how did you like it or something else as stupid.
Last thing one would expect while "squeezing" the "tomatoes" in a grocery.
On one hand people here follow strict cultural rules and other times, while...
I was a bit "flattered" at age 60 to have anyone want to ," Squeeze the Charim".

Hmm...almost assault regardless of the pincher and pinchee.  No-one ever pinched my rear end but I live in hope at almost 60.  Well not approached recently for any derriere attention.   

I've never heard it call squeezing the tomatoes before.  Surely squeezing melons is more commonplace.

fluffy2560 :

I've never heard it call squeezing the tomatoes before.  .

Since this is a "local habits" site, I am not too off topic to say that "tomato" is referring to an old American slang (often derogatory) for a woman. Also see:

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/tomato

klsallee :
fluffy2560 :

I've never heard it call squeezing the tomatoes before.  .

Since this is a "local habits" site, I am not too off topic to say that "tomato" is referring to an old American slang (often derogatory) for a woman. Also see:

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/tomato

That's one I didn't know about.  I thought it was a euphemism but didn't know for sure.  I suppose it's what you read into it.

"That is kind of weird, considering Mao's book is red . . ."

Red is almost always a very auspicious color in Chinese culture. But every rule has its exceptions, and signing your name in red is a big no-no.

I am usually not lost for words but when I got the old bottom squeeze in Tesco by a middle aged women, I was speechless.  When I turned to look at my "attacker" she gave me a sly smile... Yuck, I mean in the grocery store??
Another matter if one is out and about club hopping or whatever but in the grocery?
Doesn't happen to me often but when people get fresh with me, they usually go over the top and act weird.
Very uncomfortable experience, my me too moment!
Another really odd thing happened here with some HU guy at one of those senior dances we used to attend with our neighbor. She was in her 80's and would go to these dances to meet up with her 80 something year old boyfriend. Both of their daughters didn't approve of their relationship so they met in secret and my husband and I would go with her to make sure she was Ok on the bus or train going and coming from the dances.
OK, so I was using crutches post knee surgery when we went to the dance.
My husband is a fantastic dancer, not me. I love just sitting with my drink and watch him do his thing.
Some local guy asked me to dance , I said no and pointed to my crutches.He wouldn't take no for an answer, I was sitting alone at that moment.
Another HU guy came to my defense and told the guy off really loud. So darn embarrassing, never went back to dance again, or rather never went back to watch dances again. .
So all these people who wished to "goose" me were local Hungarians. In the US I have never had that happen. Just  too in your face, even in my youth. People in general in the US usually keep their hands to themselves if not invited.

zif :

"That is kind of weird, considering Mao's book is red . . ."

Red is almost always a very auspicious color in Chinese culture. But every rule has its exceptions, and signing your name in red is a big no-no.

Hmmm....no red....that'll mess up the Chinese version of my deal signed with the devil.

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