Shopping in an upmarket store in Vienna. Since many upstarts sneer
at the products and the range available in Hungary, they frequently go on
buying sprees abroad.
The couple of years after some four decades of communism
brought many changes in Hungarian society. It was
the period when a class of nouveau riche young people began to emerge who
obtained their wealth in dubious ways. They characteristically organize in
strongly-knit communities with extended networks of friends, where esteem and
admission in the group depends on how much money you have. To be able to get
along, they take good care that the people of the law turn a blind eye to
their dealings, or win them over to their side. However, a rapidly acquired
high social status rarely goes hand in hand with refined culture; they either
interpret social norms according to their own taste or ignore them
altogether. The abrupt change in their lifestyle often triggers identity
problems that are difficult to hide. Theirs is a lifestyle characterized by
luxury, exhibitionism, aggression and strong group loyalty.