Shops Open on Sundays Again

Well, shops are open today. I am writing this article on Sunday. I made myself time to write, but my heart wants to go to the supermarket which is open now, apparently.

Let’s rewind the clock a couple of months back. In 2015, Hungarian government decided that it would be a great idea to force big supermarkets to close on Sundays. This wasn’t an idea of the entire Hungarian government but a smaill part of the ruling party that has majority in the parliament. This tiny portion is a deeply Christian party that merged with FIDESZ ( ) a long time ago because otherwise FIDESZ would have lost it’s majority in the parliament. So, for this faction would not leave the Union, somehow they needed to be satisfied since they are deeply religious and they are also conservative.


Their self-proclaimed goal in life is to lead Hungary back to a simpler time.

When I was growing up, we didn’t have supermarkets. It was during communism era, so all we had is a couple of big stores in the capital that was government owned and tiny shops that individuals run as a family business. Not so long after 1990, foreign international shop chains started to appear, such as Tesco, Auchan and so on.

While these chains are regarded evil in the eyes of the public, everyone goes there because it is cheap and you can get anything from vegetables to flat screen TVs. These chains have an interesting policy in order to satisfy everybody, especially those who work during the week. They are open on Saturdays and Sundays same as on workdays, so that families could go there together and buy a lot of stuff.

021029-N-3228G-007 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (Oct. 29, 2002) -- Lt. Craig Wortham, assigned to Afloat Training Group, Middle Pacific, stocks up on groceries with his family at the new Department of Defense Commissary located in the ÒMall at Pearl Harbor.Ó The new commissary was designed with customer convenience in mind with wider aisles to maneuver shopping carts easier and three additional registers to speed up checkouts. The 350,000 square foot mall houses the largest Navy Exchange in the world, the largest Department of Defense Commissary in Hawaii, and was designed based on recommendations from customers through surveys and focus groups. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class William R. Goodwin. (RELEASED)

Obviously, in the eyes of Christian organizations, people shouldn’t go to such places, especially on Sundays when there is church service. And since the people of Hungary had lost their ways and no longer went to church, this Christian party created a law to force supermarkets to close on Sundays so families could go to church together.

Every decent individual could see how stupid this logic is, when you are devoted to an idea: there is no turning back and since Fidesz did not want to lose these people in the parliament, they accepted the law.

And for many months people cursed the government because, before this decision was made, half of the people had gone to the supermarkets on Saturday and the other half on Sunday.

Now everyone had to go on Saturday which created huge lines and a lot of angry families. One could even say that the result was quite the opposite this Christian party hoped for. However, what kind of logic could you expect from well-paid rich politicians who had lost touch with everyday things a long-long time ago?

Today everything is back to normal. This great experiment ended and people sit back in satisfaction that the government of Hungary unfortunately failed to see what people wanted. But politicians are not famous for sensitivity to the public and for their imagination. They can barely run a country and, let’s be frank, we are lucky to be alive.

To the people of Hungary I say: “Forget the past and enjoy your Sunday shopping”.

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About the Author: Chris Kovacs

Technical Consultant, Traveller, Filmmaker & Photographer
Much like most people, I like to be all sorts of things.

P.S.: some of articles are edited and co-written by a mysterious person called Tatjana. But I take all the credit.

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