January 18, 2022 17:14
Winter holiday in Hungary with the eyes of alumni volunteers

Whether you’ve just spent your first winter holidays in Hungary or you have already had several experiences, we hope it was relaxing and peaceful. Most of the Hungarian people spent their time with their families, many shops were closed, and some events were postponed because of the pandemic. Regardless, some of the enthusiastic volunteers of the Alumni Network Hungary shared their previous experiences and gave tips and advice for your next holiday season.

Suzie Toumeh from Syria

„I spent the holidays in Szeged. I went to the market filled with handcrafted souvenirs. Street vendors popped up everywhere to offer my favourite drinks: mulled wine, and hot chocolate. I spent Christmas trying international dishes with friends. On New Year's Eve, I went to the bridge and enjoyed the fireworks. Last year, I went to a lot of parties, but I discovered, it is better to relax and spend it with friends, whom I am grateful to have. My tip is don’t try to make the holidays “perfect”.

Zineb Laadioui from Morocco

"I have been in  Budapest for one and a half years. This is the first time I celebrated Christmas and the New Year in the beautiful weather of Budapest. My go-to activity during the last year's holidays is Christmas market hunting. My friends and I visited every Christmas market we could go to, it's an exquisite opportunity to try authentic Hungarian food and purchase handcrafted accessories. The holiday spirit in Budapest is something I have never felt before and it has its own aura and charm. I have seen many tourists come to Hungary during the holidays and I understand the beauty of it."

Ayaz Shaikh from India

We have been facing many difficulties every day because of the uncertainty of the COVID-19. I will say now we are very used to adopting the changes with precautions and moving ahead with happiness. I think we got this pandemic period as a new way of living life. I am so happy and pleased to have family around me during these difficulties, especially my wife and a toddler! We as a family spent our holidays in Debrecen. We went out shopping, had some dinners at different places, tried Hungarian foods like “krumplilángos” (potato deep-fried dough) and “kürtöskalács” (chimney cake). we also went to Chrismas market located in the city centre, where we explored different shops of food, groceries and organic food products produced in a rural part of Hungary. All the city was decorated with beautiful designs made by using different types of lamps and modern lightening way. There was a huge Christmas tree, decorated beautifully with ornaments and gifts to attract people. Our toddler enjoyed his first Christmas fair visit.

During the new year's evening, we prepared a famous Indian dish Biryani and welcomed the new year with good health and a bunch of happiness! We prayed to the Almighty for easing all the difficulties and sorrows from our life and to give us the life which we always wanted.

We would like to encourage all the newcomers that should focus on mental and physical health! as we can see a lot of things have changed because of the pandemic so we should speak more often with our families, friends and loved ones to express our thoughts and feelings and apart from this we should also focus on doing some physical activities at home to become a fit. I and my family wish you all the love and happiness ahead!

Vishant Pratap Singh from India

I had an amazing holiday break. I was planning to travel to Malta but because of unforeseen circumstances, I couldn’t go and stay in Hungary. I walked around Budapest with my friends and tried new places (cafes, bars, clubs). The New Year’s Eve of 2022 was an amazing evening as I had the plans to just meet some friends but then surprise turned up and I got to celebrate the new year with almost 40 people mostly from India but still the community was so diverse as we had people from other countries like Pakistan, Malaysia, USA, Japan I advise for newcomers to be open to all the opportunities and indulge in various activities as it will open up doors to happening future ahead.

Ana Elena Martinez Felizola from Colombia

I spent the holiday season with some friends, and we cooked different dishes from our home countries and shared the time and later we went to see the fireworks from the Liberty Bridge in Budapest. For me, the most important thing is to be grateful for the experiences lived in the year and the gift to be alive. I recommend that newcomers spend this season with some friends and go to see the Christmas lights around the city. 

My advice is to be prepared and go to the supermarket some days before the holiday because I went at the last minute and most of the stands were empty and usually supermarkets are closed on holidays or have shortened times.

Manish Kumar from India

I travelled from Miskolc to Budapest to enjoy the winter holidays with my friends, explored the city, its decorations, its people and to get some city vibes also did some shopping. Holidays of the last year was a different experience for me as in 2020 we were in lockdown due to the pandemic.  My advice is for 2022 for all the new students coming to Hungary, to be open, inclusive and learn new things, explore new places.

Links and sources: Alumni Network HungarySuzie ToumehZineb LaadiouiAyaz ShaikhVishant Pratap Singh, Ana Elena Martinez FelizolaManish Kumar 

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