Much Ado About Mulatschak: Hungary

How well do you know your neighbors? We looked into the Alpine Republic’s special relationship with each of them

Whenever Austria and Hungary play each other in soccer, sooner or later someone cracks the old joke: “Today it’s Austria – Hungary!”, “Oh, and who’s on the other side?”.

Yes there was a time long past when Austria and Hungary were two realms joined in Habsburg rule, sharing an emperor and a coat of arms. Because of their shared history, as with any next-door neighbor, Austria and Hungary’s relationship has not always been without tension. After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, diplomatic and trade relations improved greatly, while the growing authoritarianism of Viktor Orbán has created a new set of challenges.

Peter Várnai, a 23-year-old student from Hungary, came here to study art at the University of Applied Arts. His friends had recommended Vienna to him because it is “a city of progress,” as they called it. “It’s a place where you get up in the morning and think to yourself, ‘I can make a difference today.’ It has to do with the feel of the city.”

More than 70,000 people of Hungarian heritage currently live in Austria, enriching not only the local cuisine, but also the language. The Viennese word Mulatschak, which roughly translated means (boozy) celebration, comes from the Hungarian word mulatság. Just right for the next time Austria and Hungary face each other on the pitch.

Border with Austria: 402 km, bordering Burgenland

Population: 9,830,000 people

Size: 93,030 km2

Trade Volume with Hungary:

Imports from Hungary: €3.5 billion

Exports to Hungary: €4.4 billion

Balance: €861 million

Fun fact:

The Rubik’s cube was invented by Hungarian professor Ernő Rubik.

Click here to read up on Austria’s next neighbor.

Corinna Berger
is an Austrian-American born in Tyrol, currently living in Vienna. After dabbling in Austrian Law she is currently studying Journalism and Media Management at the University of Applied Sciences FH WKW.

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