Hungary - my homeland

Image:Flag of Hungary.svgHungary, officially in English the Republic of Hungary (Magyar Köztársaság, is a landlocked country in the Carpathian Basin of Central Europe, bordered by Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia. Its capital is Budapest. Hungary is a member of OECD, NATO, EU and a Schengen state. The official language is Hungarian (also known as Magyar), which forms part of the Finno-Ugric family. It is one of the four official languages of the European Union that is not of Indo-European origin.

Hungary was one of the 15 most popular tourist destinations in the world in the past decade, with a capital regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world. The country is home to the second largest thermal lake in the world (Lake Hévíz), the largest lake in Central Europe (Lake Balaton), and the largest natural grassland in Europe (Hortobágy).

The President of the Republic, elected by the Parliament every five years, has a largely ceremonial role, choosing the dates of elections.

Administratively, Hungary is divided into 19 counties. In addition, the capital city (főváros), Budapest, is independent of any county government. The counties and the capital are the 20 NUTS third-level units of Hungary.

The counties are further subdivided into 173 subregions (kistérségek), and Budapest is its own subregion. Since 1996, the counties and City of Budapest have been grouped into 7 regions for statistical and development purposes. These seven regions constitute NUTS' second-level units of Hungary.

For 95% of the population, the mother language is Hungarian, a Finno-Ugric language unrelated to any neighboring language and distantly related to Finnish and Estonian. The main Minority group are the Roma (2.1%). Other groups include: Germans (1.2%), Slovaks (0.4%), Croats (0.2%), Romanians (0.1%), Ukrainians (0.1%), and Serbs (0.1%).

Image:Esztergom-Bazilika+Sotetkapu.JPGHungary is home to the largest synagogue in Europe (Great Synagogue), the largest medicinal bath in Europe (Széchenyi Medicinal Bath), the third largest church in Europe (Esztergom Basilica), the second largest territorial abbey in the world (Pannonhalma Archabbey), the second largest Baroque castle in the world (Gödöllő), and the largest Early Christian Necropolis outside Italy (Pécs). Hungarian cuisine is also a prominent feature of Hungarian culture, with traditional dishes such as the world famous goulash (gulyás or gulyásleves) a main feature of the Hungarian diet. Dishes are often flavoured with paprika (pure powdered pepper), a Magyar innovation.

Comments