In the first half of 2023, almost weekly protests were held over the education system in Budapest, Hungary. In some cases they were organized by teachers’ unions, in others they were planned by students. Based on the study done by the Republikon Institute, 62% of the Hungarian population rate the education system as “bad” (Republikon, 2023).
The railway line between Budapest and the West-Hungarian town of Győr is being renovated to breathe new life into the struggling public railway system. Győr, incidentally my hometown, features two university buildings connected by a skybridge shaped like a railway car. As of recently, these few meters are the only reliable means of long-distance transportation that railcars can carry passengers in the country.
Diplomatic relations between Hungary and the United States date back to the aftermath of World War I, when all states came to the conclusion that the globe is not a group of geographically isolated regions anymore, but a community. Consequently, all states affect one another, and mutually beneficial relations can only be established if they all cooperate.
The healthcare system has always been one of the most crucial points of a country’s social security, especially in Hungary’s case. In the last 15-20 years the Hungarian healthcare system went through a lot of changes and the general consensus is that despite the state insurance, the services aren’t sufficient.
The X platform (formerly Twitter) might not be the most popular platform in the CEE region, but posts regarding a European Parliament committee’s visit to Hungary in May 2023 gained attention nevertheless. An analysis revealed that the posts about the visit were targeted by suspected inauthentic accounts in an attempt to discredit any perceived opponent of the Hungarian ruling party.
The Hungarian government is pandering to its elderly voters through nostalgia. However, unlike other populists who promise to bring back a glorious and nonexistent past, the Hungarian leadership is putting hammer and sickle to work on bringing back communism – an era when their pensioner voter base was young and when absolutely nothing functioned properly.
While other European states redoubled in a tour de force of liberal values, the Hungarian government sunk even deeper into illiberalism and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán further consolidated his power, despite a dismal economic performance and international ostracism.
There is a well-known saying, popular both in Poland and Hungary, that goes ‘Pole and Hungarian brothers be, good for fight and good for party’. It is humorous, but it is also a symbol of the unique relationship between the two nations, which is a rarity compared to other countries or nations. The saying refers to mutual friendship, similarities and good relations.
In the fifth installment of the popular Harry Potter books, Dolores Umbridge, the personification of government meddling in education, forbids professors in Hogwarts from disclosing anything beyond what is strictly pertinent to their lessons. One rebellious schoolkid, however, points out in Umbridge’s class that she cannot reprimand him for misbehaving during the lesson, as it is irrelevant to the subject. He gets detention.
Hungarians are eager to eradicate mosquitoes, but it seems that the government is reluctant to collaborate with its citizens in doing so. Mosquitoes are a big problem everywhere. Not only do they annoy people with their hums and the itchiness of their bites, but also spread a lot of diseases. Therefore, when I visited rural Hungary, I inadvertently served as an open buffet for a cloud of these pests while conversing with someone from a small Hungarian village.