The greater the differences in values between your home culture and your host culture, the greater the stress.

The greater the differences in values between your home culture and your host culture, the greater the stress. Values of cleanliness, responsibility, and use of time may cause stress for years. Cultures may appear similar on the surface but have broad differences in deeper values. 

Ronald L. Koteskey

The greater the differences in values between your home and host cultures, the greater the stress. Share on X
Some cultural differences between Britain and Hungary


Bath time is in the morning

Greet by shaking hands.

Guests are not asked to remove their shoes.

Public restrooms are free.

School time is Monday through Friday.


Bath time is in the evening

Greet by kissing both cheeks.

Shoes are taken off at the door, and slippers are provided for guests.

You pay to use the restroom.

Kids occasionally have to go to school on Saturday.

These are to name but a few. We have found many things in Hungary go in the opposite direction to what we have been accustomed to. Names are surname first then Christian name even when mentioning a name in conversation. Dates are year first. Homework grades are 1-5 where five is the best.

Cultural Discomfort

We remember during our missionary training being asked to fill in a form that had been written right to left instead of left to right and to make matters worse we had to use the hand we didn’t usually write with. At the time we thought this was a little silly and a bit extreme, the reality is that the discomfort experienced then accurately reflects our discomfort in everyday life.

Now we still bath in the morning; old habits die hard! We do however greet by kissing both cheeks; we take off our shoes when visiting and provide our guests with slippers. We always go to town armed with a stash of 100 forint coins in case we need to use the restroom.  We are gradually changing and adapting.  Somethings will never be easy though; our children never did get used to having school on a Saturday.

Finding the Funny Side

In our world, where many things are topsy-turvy, the best approach is to have a sense of humour.  We laugh when we make a mistake. We have become interested in the customs and why things operate the way they do. Instead of complaining or rigidly sticking to our own customs we have learned to embrace those things which make life a little easier here.

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (The Message)

“For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means, I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.”

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