Bulgarians and Hungarians

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Levo
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Bulgarians and Hungarians

Postby Levo » 2009-07-07, 22:39

Hi!

I beg your pardon in advance that I'm opening a topic in a language sub-forum, but Bulgarian members of Unilang are not really active in the other topics.

There are theories that say, Bulgarians and Hungarians at least lived next to each other as neighbours in the early Medieval ages in the Eastern steppes (today Ukraine and parts of Russia), and some even dare to say - like our national origin-legends - that the two peoples are related.

My question is, do Bulgarians have any kind of opinion about Hungarians in their common memory?
By some unexplainable reason Hungarians have a positive memory about Bulgarians, but no-one really knows why. (Of course since that I negotioated the topic, and I found the possible explanations, but otherwise these are not well-known today).
So, what do you think? :)

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Re: Bulgarians and Hungarians

Postby gothwolf » 2009-07-13, 8:25

:hmm: Well, I think we don't have a common opinion about the Hungarian people. These times when we were neighbors with the Hungarian empire are already forgotten but I haven't heart anything negative about them which is great (because most of Bulgarians don't have positive attitude towards their neighbors). Personally I really like the Hungarian culture and language (I hope this year I'm going to study Hungarian philology at the university).

levo wrote:I beg your pardon in advance that I'm opening a topic in a language sub-forum, but Bulgarian members of Unilang are not really active in the other topics.


We aren't active in our sub-forum as well.

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Re: Bulgarians and Hungarians

Postby Levo » 2009-07-13, 10:50

Thank you for your reply, gothwolf. :)

I've already had the luck to swim at the coast of Mallorca and Greece already, but in my memories Varna (Várna in our language) remained the best experience when I ever bathed in the sea. And Ruse (Rusze) seemed to be way more developed than Ghiorghiu, and Sofia was really nice with its discrete shine. The "Balkanic man-type" couldn't really be seen at all on people, or not any more than here, since Bulgarians seemed to have a very similar behaviour as Hungarians do, this is also a reason why I felt like at home over there.
I hope I can return to Bulgaria one fine day. There are many Hungarians going there again.

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Re: Bulgarians and Hungarians

Postby Arcane » 2009-07-15, 20:44

Hi, Levo,

I assume you ask about the common opinion of ordinary people and not the ones specifically interested in the country. If so, most Bulgarians don't know almost anything about Hungary. They surely know the capital; the fact it was a communist country; most would have some vague idea that the "strange Hungarian language" has nothing to do with most European languages and that's it. The strange thing is that [sometimes based only on that scarce information] the Bulgarians who have formed some opinion have a pretty positive attitude towards Hungarians. I have a few possible explanations:

1. We have sympathy for all ex-communist countries who struggled to make their way into the free market economy and continuously work on the internal democratic process. Hungary is generally stated as a good example of "shock therapy" compared to our "slow and easy" [and not that effective] approach towards economic transition. Also, Hungary is respected by those who are familiar with the events in 1956. Opening your Western border in 1989 was also a notable event.

2. We have never really been neighbours. You know very well that Wallachia, Transylvania and Bukovina had a special status in the Ottoman empire - they had a vassal and at times autonomous status. Transylvania itself was redivided numerous times. But there was not too much historical contact between Bulgarians and Hungarians. We never claimed the same territories, therefore never had conflicts. Just the opposite, at some points we had common enemies. Both Bulgaria and Hungary had territorial claims against Romania [esp. you after the Trianon pact] and both countries suffered a huge disappointment [to put it very mildly], concerning Russia. Here they started speaking about the huge Russian let down much later due to the disillusion about Slavic unity and all that crap but I'm glad it finally happened.
But once again, territories with mixed population [predominantly Bulgarian and Hungarian] did not exist. No ethnic tension.

3. Since Hungary doesn't belong to the Balkans [neither geographically, nor politically or culturally], there is nothing in our high-school history textbooks about Hungarians. In my major [journalism] we studied a lot of the history [since antiquity] and international relations [after '45] between ex-Ottoman and Habsburg [and later Austro-Hungarian] empires and territories/provinces. But again Hungary was included as much as the Balkans and its population were concerned. Only a few majors at universities offer a wide perspective on Hungary apart from Hungarian philology. That leads to something else - most of our scarce information is first-hand, that is people who visited the country. These are mainly young people and they are much more open-minded. So the overall impression is "very cool, you should visit" etc. You show that attitude yourself.

To sum up, well.. let's face it. Both countries are small and far from powerful. We never get into the international news unless something incredible happened. And we ourselves don't know much about each other. Nationalism both in Bulgaria and Hungary is [unfortunately] quite alive. But latest EU elections showed that is true also for Western Europe. It depends solely on us to find information and damn it, nowadays it's not so hard. There's the Internet, there has been a Hungarian Cultural Institute in Sofia for some years now so whoever is interested may easily find what they need.
Last edited by Arcane on 2012-01-17, 15:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bulgarians and Hungarians

Postby Arcane » 2009-07-15, 20:57

About the "Balkanic man-type". I see what you mean and I can understand why those people annoy you. But have in mind it is not too fair to judge. Their behaviour and informal practices are bugging me too but we are children of another era, Levo. Their life was and it still is totally different. They don't travel, they don't see anything out of their world. They're the product of a particular time and they can't be turned down just for that. Perhaps we are the ones who should change things..

Also, you should probably review your mostly negative [correct me if I'm wrong] opinion about Romanians. I know it's not too easy but give it a try: )

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Re: Bulgarians and Hungarians

Postby Levo » 2009-07-15, 22:57

Arcane wrote:Hi, Levo,


1. We have sympathy for all ex-communist countries who struggled to make their way into the free market economy and continuously work on the internal democratic process. Hungary is generally stated as a good example of "shock therapy" compared to our "slow and easy" [and not that effective] approach towards economic transition. Also, Hungary is respected by those who are familiar with the events in 1956. Opening your Western border in 1989 was also a notable event.

Wow! I feel just the same, and never met anyone else saying this.
Arcane wrote:About the "Balkanic man-type". I see what you mean and I can understand why those people annoy you. But have in mind it is not too fair to judge. Their behaviour and informal practices are bugging me too but we are children of another era, Levo.

I see you are a very intelligent person, but you don't count with the fact that maybe I'm also aware of this. :) And even if I'm aware of the reasons why those people are like that, the results are the same. At the same time, I feel familiar with the Balkanic man-type more than with let's say, French or English.

Why do you think that I have a negative opinion about Romanians themselves? Just because Bulgarian cities seemed to be more developed for me, it doesn't mean that I automatically have a bad opinion about the people in the country which is in a less luckier situation, as Romania. (And now, maybe only was.)
I don't think that just because Hungary is less tidy compared to Austria, then people are automatically worse here.

Otherwise, I really liked your first post, thank you. Actually I'm really pleased to see that you're not the first Bulgarian who cares about history too.

Actually we in Hungary are divided as for the theories about our origin. It is proven that we were neighbours, not in our present situation, but when Bulgarians were still in the Southern Steppes of present-day Russia, just as Hungarians. That's something no Hungarian doubts. (Though I know I'm in not admitted territories when I'm talking about the non-Slavic past of Bulgarians, we learn about it at secondary school that Bulgarians were originally a Turkish people (like the Chuwash for example), and got Slavonized later, and they are not proud about this part).
Only that some go even further and say that on top of all these, we are also related, which is debatable.

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Re: Bulgarians and Hungarians

Postby duko » 2009-07-16, 6:56

Is anyone going to point out how similar the Hungarian and Bulgarian flags are? :)

Of course Bulgarian inherit their name from the ancient Bulgars, but those were only a ruling class and probably didn't have any greater cultural and genetic impact on the newly formed nation as a whole, just like the Rus in Russia.
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Re: Bulgarians and Hungarians

Postby paruha » 2009-07-16, 7:17

I mentioned this topic to one friend and what he said sounded logical to me.
Before 1989 many Hungarians visited the Bulgarian seaside for their holidays and hence they connect Bulgaria with leisure time, beach and other nice things.
Защо да харчим пари, които нямаме, за да купим неща, които не са ни нужни, така че да впечатлим хора, които не харесваме?

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Re: Bulgarians and Hungarians

Postby Arcane » 2009-07-16, 10:59

I totally agree about the "Balkan type". And I am not as tolerant as I should be, to be honest, but I do try my best to accept them in a way. At the same time bad practices should not be tolerated in any way. So I find it pretty hard to find the right approach sometimes. It's like ideological/lifestyle/generational disaster.. :|

Levo wrote:Why do you think that I have a negative opinion about Romanians themselves? Just because Bulgarian cities seemed to be more developed for me, it doesn't mean that I automatically have a bad opinion about the people in the country which is in a less luckier situation, as Romania. (And now, maybe only was.)


I am sorry if I got it wrong :) I read the forum on and off and 'know' just a few people, so that's the vague impression I got from some posts of yours. I have had great impression from both Hungarians and Romanians and it makes me sad when they start buggering about. Sorry again if I got it that way.

About the towns - it is quite relative and it depends which ones you compare. For example, I like Bucharest much more than Sofia but sometimes it's just a matter of opinion.

Levo wrote:Actually we in Hungary are divided as for the theories about our origin. It is proven that we were neighbours, not in our present situation, but when Bulgarians were still in the Southern Steppes of present-day Russia, just as Hungarians. That's something no Hungarian doubts. (Though I know I'm in not admitted territories when I'm talking about the non-Slavic past of Bulgarians, we learn about it at secondary school that Bulgarians were originally a Turkish people (like the Chuwash for example), and got Slavonized later, and they are not proud about this part).
Only that some go even further and say that on top of all these, we are also related, which is debatable.


I like reading on such topics too but always take everything with a grain of salt. Unfortunately many historians use their research, "evidence" and strange theories just to uplift the nation's status and thus proclaim their nation "the most ancient", "the best", "the most developed". And it usually reaches the point of "you see, we were here before you so that land is ours". You won't believe it but now there's a new trend in some circles in Bulgaria [it's all about historians]. Now they abolished the Slavic origin theory and claim we're directly linked with Thracians :lol: I find that bloody pathetic.. It's like the Greeks that believe they are descendants of Ancient Greece. In fact everything in Eastern Europe is so mixed [the North not that much since it was not easy to settle down] that any claims about any origin are uncertain. There are just the guesses of anthropologists, not many historical sources in writing. Of course, we have the main characteristics of Magyars, Slavs and Bulgars (btw it is Turkic, not Turkish origin) but our modern nations are something completely different. And for sure all these came in contact back then but it is hard to tell what exactly happened :)

What I noticed is that peoples who have a hard time in terms of politics and economics tend to stick to their past. I don't know how it is in Hungary but I am fed up hearing about the "glorious past" and our "magnificent and beautiful nature" while seeing the government fail big time.

Btw what paruha says is very interesting, I never thought about it. I am from the seaside but never met Hungarians back then, mainly Czechs, Slovaks, Germans, Finns and ex-USSR people. But it is very likely there were Hungarians as well.

Duko, the flags are indeed very similar but I have no explanation about that.

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Re: Bulgarians and Hungarians

Postby Arcane » 2009-07-16, 11:01

duko wrote: Of course Bulgarian inherit their name from the ancient Bulgars, but those were only a ruling class and probably didn't have any greater cultural and genetic impact on the newly formed nation as a whole, just like the Rus in Russia.


Yes, that's quite a good comparison :)

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Re: Bulgarians and Hungarians

Postby Levo » 2009-07-17, 10:45

It's true that before 1989 there were some Hungarians going to the Bulgarian beach, but one must know that they weren't ordinary people. Most of them were from the circles of "the Party". Ordinary Hungarians went to lake Balaton.
On the contrary, nowadays ordinary people are starting to flee to Bulgaria (that's why we could also go there, but we were more interested in cultural sights). And nowadays Bulgaria really starts to become the symbol of sandy beaches and vacation, but before it wasn't really like that.

Arcane, there is a theory in certain circles that Hungarians are the descendents of the Huns who came from the Polynesian islands(!), so I know what you mean :D

On the other hand as for mythicondrial DNA researches, there was a tribe found in Kazakhstan (which has families living in Mongolia, Uzbekistan and Uyghuristan as well) and their mythocondrial DNA was the the most similar to Hungarians, Bulgarians and Ukrainians. The resemblance was bigger than with their own neighbours themselves, Kazakhs, Uzbeks, etc...By the way, this tribe calls itself "Madjar". It's interesting, isn't it.

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Re: Bulgarians and Hungarians

Postby bibienne » 2009-07-22, 15:22

Levo wrote:...By some unexplainable reason Hungarians have a positive memory about Bulgarians, but no-one really knows why. (Of course since that I negotioated the topic, and I found the possible explanations, but otherwise these are not well-known today)...


I remember seeing a documentary about Bulgarian gardeners and merchants who immigrated to Hungary, mostly in the 19th century. It seems that they have integrated quite well and have contributed to Hungarian society, and some of them have made it big there. In the film they explained the good opinion about Bulgarians with these people.

In Bulgaria, on the other hand, Hungary is not mentioned very often. (Which is normal, as we don't have a Hungarian minority or any special relations.) I too have only learnt at school that Bulgars and Huns moved together to Europe. According to one theory I have read, their languages were related, which was proven by comparing names of places in Hungary and Proto-Bulgarian words and names. But of course this theory too was not sufficiently proven.:)

In general, the little I have heard about Hungary has never been negative.

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Re: Bulgarians and Hungarians

Postby tech_noir » 2010-03-07, 12:06

Historically we used to be quite close long, long time ago. Our ancestors used to live and fight together being very close and similar. However in early medieval period we somehow split for political reasons and even had some wars.
Few contacts since then, but people still somehow feel familiar without an obvious specific reason :yep:

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Re: Bulgarians and Hungarians

Postby kalata23 » 2010-11-27, 1:32

That I know is Hungarians love us in the past. My friends from Бага-Тур (Baga-Tur) were at Kurultaj and they said that the people liked them, because they found us like brothers.
I know that in the past Bulgarians and Hungarians were neighbors and Hungarians Inherits many things. Because of the neighborhood Hungarian language have started to be amended. This things i know thanks to Hungarian professor Geza Feher.
In time of communism in Bulgaria, his books were banned in Bulgaria because of the СССР to improve that we don't became from proto-bulgarians but from slavians. And i think this is very sad. This person devoted his life to the Bulgarian history and the links with Hungary.
So i know that you like us and i think a big part of our people likes Hungary.
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Re: Bulgarians and Hungarians

Postby maxval » 2011-03-07, 12:39

Interesting topic for me. :)

I am mainly of Bulgarian ethnic background, but my native language is Hungarian. I speak Bulgarian at a near-native level, but with Hungarian intonation... :D

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Re: Bulgarians and Hungarians

Postby Nitrobulgarine » 2011-06-13, 21:45

I like Hungary. Actually, I like both Hungary and Romania. Interesting, who will Romania choose to host UEFA 2020? Hungary or Bulgaria? Or Turkey will win? :wink:
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Re: Bulgarians and Hungarians

Postby Arcane » 2011-09-14, 14:03

maxval wrote:Interesting topic for me. :)

I am mainly of Bulgarian ethnic background, but my native language is Hungarian. I speak Bulgarian at a near-native level, but with Hungarian intonation... :D


I'd be super curious to hear how that sounds!: )

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Re: Bulgarians and Hungarians

Postby Vilivil » 2012-02-08, 16:22

maxval wrote:Interesting topic for me. :)

I am mainly of Bulgarian ethnic background, but my native language is Hungarian. I speak Bulgarian at a near-native level, but with Hungarian intonation... :D


it is interesting topic for me too, specially because I am a Hungarian from Transylvania, now living in Bulgaria. The only oppinion I got across is that the Hungarian language is really hard, what I can't really understand because there are many words similar in these two languages (and mainly these words are the only Bulgarian I know :whistle: ).

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Re: Bulgarians and Hungarians

Postby ssdr » 2015-01-14, 15:12

It is proven that Bulgaria and Hungary /Ungaria/ in Bulgarian are countries with common history and relation.
Middle Ages
Main article: Kingdom of Hungary in the Middle Ages
The Romans pulled out in the 5th century AD to be succeeded by the Huns through fierce battles. Germanic tribes, Lombards, Avars and Slavs all passed through during the second Age of Migrations (following the split up of the Hun tribe, after Attila the Hun died), until the arrival of the Magyars in about 896. The peace treaty of 829 added Pannonia to Bulgaria after the victory of the Bulgarian army under Omurtag over Holy Roman Empire under Louis the Pious. Budapest arose out of two Bulgarian military frontier fortresses Buda and Pest, situated on the two banks of Danube.[2] While other tribes spread across the entire Carpathian basin, the clan of Árpád settled down on Csepel Island, a large island in the Danube, forming a shelter for the settlers who started agricultural works (south part of Budapest today). It was under the Árpád dynasty that Hungary became a Christian state, ruled first from Esztergom and later from Székesfehérvár.

After the Bulgarian–Hungarian Wars, Buda and Pest started their development in the 12th century, which was largely thanks to the French, Walloon and German settlers who migrated here and worked and traded under royal protection along the banks of the Danube. Both towns were devastated during the Mongol invasion of Europe in 1241-42[3] and subsequently rebuilt by colonists from Germany, who renamed Buda "Ofen", after its numerous lime kilns. (The "Pest" name, which has a Slav origin, also means "furnace".)


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