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Seated in a good restaurant in Budapest, you scan your neighbours and you notice one thing: Hungarians, beer in hand, don’t clink glasses before drinking. Curious, right? Whereas from Paris to Athens, it’s the norm. So why don’t we toast with beer in Hungary?
It’s a question of history, with a capital H. In 1848, during the famous Spring of the Peoples, the Hungarians wanted to emancipate themselves from the Austrian Empire. The political revolt became an armed confrontation. After a series of victories, the Austrian troops had to retreat and could only finally assert their domination the following year, aided by Russia. To celebrate this victory, the Austrians toasted with beer, a gesture since condemned by the Hungarians – and even banned for a time.
There you go, now you know why we don’t toast with beer in Hungary, although this will not prevent you from enjoying the delicious beverage, which Hungarians are so fond of – they consume an average of 65 litres per inhabitant per year!
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