- Official name – Republic of Hungary
- Population – 10,037,637
- Official Language - Hungarian
- Currency – Forint (HUF)
- Capital city – Budapest
- GDP Per Capita – purchasing power parity $19,000
Formerly communist Hungary is one of the ten Eastern European countries that acceded to the European Union on 1 May 2004. Hungary is a landlocked state with many neighbours – Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria. It is mostly flat, with low mountains in the north. Lake Balaton, a popular tourist centre, is the largest lake in central Europe.
The ancestors of ethnic Hungarians were the Magyar tribes, who moved into the Carpathian Basin in 896, conquering the people already in the region. Hungary became a Christian kingdom under St Stephen in the year 1000. Hungary has played an important role as part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire under the Habsburgs.
The Hungarian language is unlike the other neighbouring languages and is only distantly related to Finnish and Estonian. It is a member of the Finno-Ugric family of languages, unrelated to the Indo-European language family, which contains the major European languages. Hungarians list their surnames first.
The capital city, Budapest, which originally was two separate cities: Buda and Pest, straddles the River Danube. It is rich in history and culture and famed for its curative springs.
The country‘s main manufactured exports include machinery and transport equipment, foodstuffs and chemicals. Hungary is a highly musical country whose traditional folk music inspired its great composers such as Liszt, Bartók and Kodály.
Author: Tamás Bajor, Vienna Consult Kft., www.viennaconsult.hu