Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Name That Day

One of the things that's great about Hungary is it's love with Name Days. Never knew they existed until I came over here. Imagine my surprise when I learnt that there's yet another day you can get gifts outside of your birthday and Christmas. Fantastic. Okay, so you can't get gifts on the same sort of scale but I'm all up for a bit of extra chocolate, a pair of socks or aftershave (well, no, not the aftershave).

Read moreEach day in the calendar has at least one name attached to it. Some are obvious, like Éva on Christmas Eve (shared of course with Ádám) or Miklós on December 6th (day of chocolate), Szilveszter on New Year's Eve. The names are printed on the ubiquitous desktop paper calendars that are obligatory in every office.

This way you not only remember the name days of your friends and colleagues but provides a healthy discussion points on long lost names such as Petronella, Menyhért and Líviusz. Please also spare pity for Fanni whose name is unfortunate in both British and American English, and poor Albin whose name day crops up on February 29th.

Some foreigners can assume a new identity by taking the Hungarian equivalent of their name. For example, Michael becomes Mihaly, Paul is Pál, Mary turns into Mária. For me, Timbo became Timót. I've been told that it's not an exact match and that apparently there isn't a proper Timothy in Hungarian. Never mind, my new Hungarian name is set and now the gifts of sweets, soap and socks flow.

Timot day lands on Jan 24th, which was yesterday. I celebrated royally with a great (but sadly not óriási) Túró Rudi.

Mmmm.... Túró Rudi. Now there's another brilliant Hungarian tradition.

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At 9:24 AM, Blogger Emily said...

Belated boldog névnapot!

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Timbo said...

Why, thank you very much. I think a belated boldog szuletesnapot is required in the other direction too. Sounds like you had a good time in the big smoke. Good luck with the hot water situation.

At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Karen said...

I came to wish a boldog nevnapot, as well. Hm, Petronella, that's a good name. Wonder if Pete would approve.


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