Why does Hungary hate Romania

The relationship between Hungary and Romania

Due to the past, many Hungarians still live in Romania today, but we have already been told that the two peoples do not get along well because their common history has been shaped over long stretches of conflicts, wars and oppression. This can still be seen today in the mutual mistrust. The focus of the disputes was mostly the Transylvania region, which is now part of Romania. For both nations, Transylvania is something like the “historical cradle” of the nation. It is therefore no wonder that politicians, historians and intellectuals from both countries have long discussed which people came to Transylvania first. Romanians are of the opinion that they are the descendants of the Dacians who, after their suppression by the Roman Emperor Traian (106 AD), mixed with the Romans and adopted their language. The Hungarian historians, on the other hand, dispute the Dacian origin of the Romanians. According to them, the Magyars (Hungarians) expelled Bulgarians and Avars - but not Romanians - from what is now Transylvania in the late ninth and early tenth centuries. The Romanians would have settled in Transylvania later.

Hungary was able to secure power in Transylvania for a long time, while the Romanian population was often oppressed. Transylvania only became Romanian after the First World War, because the Trianon Peace Treaty of 1920 stipulated that Hungary had to give up two thirds of its original territory, which also included Transylvania. During the Second World War Hungary was able to regain most of the territories, but after the defeat in the war this was reversed and so Transylvania is now a region of Romania. Over the years there have been numerous conflicts between the two peoples. A positive sign was the signing of the basic bilateral treaty in 1996, which, in addition to the inviolability of the borders, laid down the linguistic and cultural rights of the Hungarian minority. Nevertheless, tensions between the two nations continued to arise later on.

Here in Baia Mare, the Hungarian minority seems to be more or less accepted, as for example a Hungarian festival was held on a weekend last September and you can always find Hungarian specialties such as langos, Kürtöskalacs et cetera at the Christmas markets. In general, however, Hungarians and Romanians still have a long way to go if they are to achieve sustainable reconciliation based on mutual trust and respect.

Regarding the differences, I noticed that, for example, the infrastructure in Romania is worse than in Hungary. In general, Hungary is in a better position than Romania in many areas. On the one hand, this is because the country was not as heavily exploited as Romania during communism. From 1956 onwards, so-called goulash communism prevailed in Hungary. This term denotes the attempt to combine a course close to Moscow with economic relief that went relatively far for the conditions in the Eastern bloc at the time. For example, people in Hungary were granted freedom of expression.

In addition, Hungary has been an EU member state since 2004 and has brought its streets into shape with the help of European Union funds. In Romania, on the other hand, there are hardly any motorways, which is why all the trucks drive on normal roads, which are also not always in good condition. Romania is also lagging a little behind in other areas.

It was an interesting observation for me, which is why I did a little more research on this topic.