15 March – this time not home

If almost every one of my major events takes place abroad nowadays, I thought that the celebration of the 15th of March deserves a few sentences…

It’s approx. two o’clock in the afternoon when my right leg touches the ground and I get out of bed. A wide yawn follows; I scratch my back and grumpily head to the sink. Yesterday night’s birthday and Brazilian party ended late in the morning. But let’s look at the bright side. At least I start my national day with a right foot…I don’t recall properly if first I ate breakfast (if I had breakfast at all) and then took a shower or the other way around. But following the natural logical line it would be advisable to take a shower first so the guy sitting next to you at the table doesn’t fall on his back from the party’s stench. It seemed that it won’t be one of my active days because every inch of my body was acing. I wouldn’t blame the party so much for it but the previous day at work…

Probably I began doing something that I almost never do when I’m home because it’s not of my interest. I started reading the newspapers and I came to the conclusion that in certain areas I already know better what’s happening than my folks. And so I started with the Szabadság[1]. On the front page an article not about the 15th of March but an article about planting trees (wow, we have this too?); the picture depicts probably two important personalities with a stupid smile holding a shovel and planting a tree in a place where there are already to many trees. But that’s enough about logics. I was slightly amazed that the front page didn’t portray the events and I had to find the schedule for the celebration somewhere on the right side of the website. After reading the schedule that I was already used to I decided to read some criticism. Manna.ro[2] followed. Not everyone agrees and in the eyes of many the festivities are to boring, static, it concerns old people, there’s too much religion involved, it’s too sad and not even the whistling of uncle Gyurcsany’s[3] speech is appealing anymore. There’s some truth in it. It wouldn’t hurt to revive it a little bit…After I pretty much depleted the Hungarian media I switched to the Romanian one…The Clujeanul [4]followed. Fairly moderate article, nothing special… Oh, it grabs my eye that a 16 year old kid was beaten up just because he had a Hungarian flag on him. I read madam Enache’s [5]protest against this act and I couldn’t do anything but agree. I read the different comments and I realized that there are still many frustrated teenagers (and not just) in my city that would rather see us in a coffin. So it was advisable to check out the site of the New Right (Noua Dreaptă). The reincarnation of the former Iron Guard  (Garda de Fier) who hate everybody and everything that is not pure blood Romanian. Auucchhh 🙂 You lil’ Nazis. But of course we know that everyone is entitled to have his own opinion, but it looks like that many look in the other direction when confronted with the problem that these groups are just on the border of legality and the rules regarding the incitement for discrimination, hatred and separatism (as they split society) regards them too. After reading there “highly scientific” articles I smiled slightly sad knowing that there are such idiots (especially elements of society with master degrees and PhDs) and frustrated chaps. But enough about this.

…Because the reading of all these news took a couple of hours I decided not to neglect the wellness of the physic and went to the gym. But unfortunately my energy wasn’t quite abundant so in less than an hour I was once again reading news from home. Meanwhile I found out about the Albanian tragedy. It would’ve left me cold and indifferent, like all the other CNN sensations but my indifference disappeared upon seeing my two sweet (always smiling) Albanian colleagues crying and waiting for news from home. Are they okay? Did anything happen to my cousin? In times like these you don’t even know to try cheering them up or to politely walk away.

…I once again immerse myself in news. I click on the on-line Duna Tv, thinking that there has to be something new. But in the mean-time I find out that not even the Ukrainian extremists like us and they were protesting against the Verecke memorial. In the mean-time I follow the news. It felt really good to see how Demszky[6] the all mighty got a nice rotten egg from the “cheering crowed”…The news papers catch my attention once again and to my pleasant surprise I see a picture of my former high-school mates as under the flags they were leading the procession to the former Biasini hotel. I will never find this boring and over used.  It always felt good taking part in the procession. I ended my day reading some criticism about Lajos Kossuth[7] and once again it became clear to me that history has to be presented objectively and this concerns us too.

It was already getting dark when my Spanish colleague was slightly surprised seeing me as I listened to a military march. Probably he thought that it was some form of neo-nationalist behavior. Not quite :). The only Klapka March I could find was filmed during a military parade. I probably only told him and Brian what happened on this day and what it meant to me…I wasn’t home anymore. I wasn’t in the cheering crowd, I didn’t shout the anthem and I didn’t whistle Ferko’s (Gyurcsany) speech…Retreated in a small Utrecht room I put my headphones on and listened to the szekler anthem. And in a strange way all the emotions ran through my body again. Once again I felt Hungarian but above all this I truly felt human.



                   Utrecht 16th of March 2008


[1] Szabadsag – Local Hungarian news paper from Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvar);

[2] Manna.ro – liberal and critical web-site

[3] Ferenc Gyurcsanyi – Prime Minister of Hungary; after the failed 2005 referendum, Hungarians leaving out-side of Hungary weren’t granted double citizenship.

[4] Clujeanul – Local Romanian news paper from Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvar);

[5] Smaranda Enache – the leader of the Pro Europa group

[6] Gabor Demszky – mayor of Budapest; in the same party as the Prime Minister

[7] Lajos Kossuth – 1848-49 Hungarian Revolutionary figure


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