Do you come from a large or a small family?
I come from a small family because my parents are divorced and I grew up as an only child.
Who do you live together with? What is your relationship with them like?
I live with my mum. She is a librarian in a school. I don’t get on very well with her, we often quarrel about unimportant things. She is caring but not very tolerant.
Are you in close contact with those members of your immediate family who don’t live with you?
I haven’t a close contact with them, for example with my father and grandmother. Occasionally I have lunch with them.
How important to you is your extended family?
I don’t have very strong family ties and I am not in close contact with many of my relatives. I haven’t seen some of my cousins for ages. At times I bump into (összeakad) them in the street and then we talk about what has happened to us since we last meet.
What is your picture of an ideal husband and father like?
An ideal husband should feel responsible for his wife and dependants (eltartottak). He should be clever and active as well as practical in his knowledge of affairs and money. He should be good with his hands and should have a good head for business. At the same time he should be tall, strong, handsome and brave.
Is the mother’s place in the home?
No, I don’t think so. If woman were involved (lefoglalja vmi) only in domestic affairs (házi teendők), it would mean their leading separate lives from their husbands. But when they too have a job, they have more to share (megoszt) with their husbands in other ways and can expect (elvár) help from them in the home and with the children. You can’t deprive (megfoszt) a woman of her right to earn her own living, find pleasure in her work and keep in touch (kapcsolatot tart) with real life.
Should housewives be paid in the same way as other people are?
There is no way (nincs rá mód) you could pay a housewife now. She is doing about 10 jobs. Families should have a woman (bejárónője van) in for some hours every day to do the housework.
How many jobs are women responsible for?
If a woman goes out to work (eljár dolgozni), she is responsible for at least three jobs. Some women hold high positions (magas beosztása van) and are good mothers and housewives at the same time.
Can a woman fulfil (teljesít) the duty (kötelesség) of a wife, a mother and a career woman?
It all depends on the husband’s attitude (viselkedés). If he shares the responsibility of bringing up a child and caring for (törődik vele) the family with his wife, which should ideally happen in every family, women will be less exhausted and more efficient both at work and at home.
Who wears the trousers in your family?
My mother does as my parents are divorced so decisions are always made by her.
What jobs are typically the husband’s responsibility?
Men are usually good at decorating the flat and repairing household devices (háztartási eszközök). A handyman (ezermester) can fix a dripping (csöpögő) tap, replace a burnt-out light bulb, stick on wallpaper, repair a leaking waterpipe (folyó vízvezeték).
Who can stay at home on child care leave?
According to an act passed some years ago, it is either the mother or the father who can stay at home with the new-born baby. In practise, however, it is still the mother who goes on maternity leave (születési szabadság) for one, two or sometimes three years.
Is it worth staying at home until the child is three years old?
Yes. Definitely. The first few years of a child’s life are crucially (létfontosságúan) important. This is the time creating contact between parent and child. There can’t be anything more important for a mother than attending to (gondoz) a child during the first few years of its life.
On what occasions do the member of the wider family meet?
The members of the wider family only meet at weddings, funerals and on christmas.
How does a couple get married in Hungary?
People can get married either in a church or in a registry office. In the latter (utóbbi) case there must be two witnesses. Most people however, prefer to have a church wedding too, with the bride in white attended (kísér) by her bridesmaid and the bridegroom in black attended by his best men. After the wedding ceremony there is a large reception (fogadás) where an enormous meal is eaten, the wedding cake is cut and toasts are drunk in whisky or sherry. The guests are dressed in their best clothes and dance to accordion (harmonika) music. Old traditions such as dancing with the bride at midnight and the bride leaving to change clothes after the dance are still kept at most wedding parties.
What is the greatest family festival for you?
I think in this part of the world Christmas is the greatest family festival for everybody. It is very solemnly (komolyan) celebrated with ancient customs and traditions.
What is you relationship like with your parents?
I am very fond of my mum, but I don’t always get on very well with her. She try to control me too much and quite often she treat me like 3-year-old child. My friends are given much more freedom while I am always told what is right and what is wrong. They expect me to regard (tekint) them as friends but at the same time they just give instructions and hardly ever ask me about my feelings. In fact I would never admit (megenged) them least of all to my parents.
Are parents too permissive (engedékeny) to their children nowadays?
No, I don’t think so. I suppose there are more strict parents than permissive ones. They know that being permissive often does more harm than good. On the other hand, There are quite a few parents who try to protect their children from the pitfalls (csapda) of life, which is just natural.
Should children have pocket money?
Yes. Why not let them learn how to manage a certain amount of money and how to spin it out (elhúz) for a week or a month. The amount should not be too much.
What is your attitude to corporal punishment?
Corporal punishment is ineffective as beating can hardly make an unmanageable (kezelhetetlen) child obey his elders. It only frightens the child and makes both the child and the parent feel unhappy. It also degrading (megalázó) for it appeals (fordul) to cruelty. It ruins the child’s self-respect and does more harm than good.
How would you behave if you found your child had gone out of control?
Dealing with a naughty child is no easy matter. The only wise (bölcs) attitude the parents adopt towards (alkalmaz) their children’s behaviour is to sit down with them about their problems and explain to them what is right and what is wrong.
Would you give your children everything they want?
It’s only natural for parents to try to do so. Children, however, must realise that money is earned by hard work. So parents should try and convince them not to want everything that money can buy.
What are the most important things about educating a child?
It’s very important to direct a child’s energy into the right channels. A child often has more energy than he knows what to do with. Later, youngsters should be taught respect for other people and the respect for the law. They should also be taught patriotism (hazafiasság) and the need for hard work. They must know what is morally right or wrong.
Do you think schools are able to meet these requirements?
Schools are obsessed (megszállott) with training the child rather than giving him an overall (általános) moral education. Many youngsters are reaching maturity without learning the hard lessons of life. Parents are inclide to (hajlamos) leave the child’s education up to the school, which it fails to do properly (megfelelően) owing to (vmi miatt) many different factors. Some of these are high pupil-teacher ratios, lack of time, negligence (hanyagság) of teacher…etc.
Are children overburdened (túlterhelt) at school?
Yes, in most secondary schools in Hungary students have to cope with an enormous workload. Teachers force them to do a lot of homework and take oral tests in class, which puts a unrelenting (szüntelen) pressure on them. Student are required to make an even more intense effort (erőkifejtés) in the third and fourth years of grammar school so they can get admission to university.
Have you or your friends ever had any experience of the generation gap?
Yes, I suppose everybody has. The generation gap is by no means a modern phenomenon (jelenség). The young have always reacted against the accepted beliefs of their elders. I mostly had a difference of opinion with my mother. I am very critical of my mum and the world around me but never of myself. To tell the truth I don’t know why my mother is against me going steady (jár vkivel) with a boy at the age of 16. I think is just natural.
What are some of the problems teenagers have?
By the time they are 16 they almost certainly experienced some disillusionment (csalódás) with the adult society, being very much sensitive to social injustice (igazságtalanság). They would like to unrestricted freedom at the moment and would like to be told what to do next. They feel that their parents don’t understand them, which leads them to ignore (semmibe vesz) parental counsel (tanács). That’s why they often feel frustrated about their own affairs. Teenagers need extra attention voth from parents and teachers otherwise they may easily turn to drugs or violence.
How would you get your children study?
You can always cajole (levesz a lábáról) a child into studying. I would just tell him that he’ll get a bike if he studies hard and this always does the trick.
What are the job and career prospects (lehetőség) for young people today?
Not very promising. There are far fewer jobs than even before and the unemployment rate is rising. It is difficult to youngsters to join in this rat race where efficiency (hatékonyság) has priority over human values.
Can you explain why many school leavers with good resulta cannot enter universities?
Unfortunately there are fewer university places in Hungary than are needed. At certain universities there are 3 or 4 applicants (jelentkező) for every place while admission to (felvétel) others is quite easy to get. Understandably there is a lot of competition at the entrance exams and sometimes even the best students fail to stand the strain (erőfeszítés) and give up.
How much freedom should children have in the choice of their careers?
Parents should have a say but the final decision should be left up to the child. After all it is his life. He should know what he wants to do with.
Should parents still support their children once they have grown up?
Yes, I think so. Otherwise they would not be able to set up their own homes and raise 2 or 3 children. Only with the help of a grandmother or a grandfather can a mother go out to work .
What are the effects of television on family life?
I accept that television is part of modern life but it can do a lot of harm if it is not used selectively. Fortunately I and my mum rarely watch tv so it’s not a problem for us and we can talk to each other in the evenings.
Do you think family life is different today from what it was like 30-50 years ago?
Yes. I think people lived in a happy family and had lots of friends. Now there are fewer opportunities for enjoying the company of other people because everybody is busy and they don’t have time for each other. People used to know all of their neighbours but now people are isolated from each other and, what is even worse, from the members of their own family. Also families used to be much larger. My grandmother was one of 5 children. Very few people nowadays care to have such large families.
Are you against or in favour of large families? Why?
It would be nice to have a large family and a lot of children but i am afraid I couldn’t afford it. I think I would be too busy because of my job and it’s possible that financial things would be problems too.
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