Monday, November 14, 2005

Coming out in a nasty 'tache

Why is it that Hungarian men sport large moustaches unseen practically anywhere else in the world? Is it to disguise spectacularly ugly upper lips? Is it like a clown's makeup - you can tell whether the man in question likes to think of himself as happy or sad depending on whether he's gone for the uplifted twirly version or the downcast drooping down to the chin version?

It's most odd. It's not everyone, obviously. I know of many many clean shaven men both here and in Budapest, but this long moustache thing does seem to be a curiosity of the Magyar male. Having said that I just did a bit of research - to be honest I typed "Hungarian moustache" into google, which is what passes for "research" when I am feeling lazy - and found that in Europe this kind of moustache is actually called the Hungarian Moustache, while in the US it's called the "Wild West Moustache". Which leads me to suspect it's related to horsemanship and riding across endless plains herding livestock. But why would horsemen need long bushy moustaches? The other possibility is that it is related to the concept of the "Gay Hussar" - is the moustache seen as an identifier within homosexual culture because of it's links to Hungarian men and hence to the Hussar and ... well you can see where I'm going with this, but I fear that I'm barking up the wrong leather clad thigh.

It's a fascinating subject I think you can tell, and I am inspired to look into it further. Though I'll probably forget.

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