Hungarians say Hungarians don’t stick together abroad. However, velvet.hu collected several letters sent by Hungarians from abroad to show there are positive examples as well.
“It was strange to read about Hungarians of the article who had immediately given up making contacts with other Hungarians after some negative experiences. I myself have been living in Salzburg for 5 years, but earlier, I had spent 2 years in Vienna and one in Munich.
During my life in Vienna, I had gone skating with Hungarian students, since many of them had attended the Music Academy, they had also invited me for their concerts. I played football with Hungarians once a week. Of course with Austrians too, in the company team. I sat with 3 Hungarian colleagues in the office, we always helped each other, the first time I stayed at one of my colleague as long as I couldn’t find an apartment.
I have Hungarian colleagues in Salzburg, we are on good terms and help each other. If you need to carry furniture, tow a car, return this and that home, we can always count on each other. From time to time we drink together a beer, eat a pizza or go hiking etc. Of course, we pay attention not to separate from the Austrian colleagues, we don’t exclude them with the language, we don’t go to eat together, and everyone goes with his/her Austrian colleagues. On Sunday, there was Tankcsapda concert in the town, I went to there with three Hungarians and an Austrian, but there he was the “foreigner”.
It is essential you can make friends with foreigners in a foreign country, because locals have their own network of connections, they don’t need new friends. Why should I exclude Hungarians? There is a Facebook group for Hungarians living in the province, there are around 2500 people in it, if your computer breaks down or you need Austrian license plate for your car, there is always someone who can help you. In a small team, we celebrated March 15. Of course, you can also womanize in this case.
There are trolls among so many people, as well as at home. If someone hostile is or “want to rummage in my pocket”, I obviously won’t make friends with him/her. Of course, I don’t limit myself only for Hungarian people, I went skiing with a Ukrainian and a Spanish guy two weeks ago. I go football with more Austrian companies and I play ice hockey with the company team.”
“I’ve been living in Bavaria for almost three years and I work with hundreds of Hungarians at Munich Airport. We came here from very different life situations and almost all of us started from bottom. It means package loading at most of us. The very hard years of the beginning brought together many Hungarians, acquaintances, friendships formed. We are held in high esteem at the airport because we are hard-working and reliable. Many of us started as borrowed workers and lived in workers’ hostel, which brought us together. We also have an association founded by a former colleague worked at the airport. I am the author of the MUC-airport blog, which due to many Hungarians could get a job. There is a great Hungarian team here, for those Hungary doesn’t need to be ashamed of.”
I lived in Bern, Switzerland for 13 years, I raised 3 children with a husband from a third country, I was a university student. It was between about 1984 and 1997. That was the most beautiful time of my life in terms of the Hungarians, there was a heart-warming, great Hungarian community. Demanding cultural performances, scouting, Hungarian Mass, these gave me the spiritual home. The atmosphere there and then was thanks to some enthusiastic, charismatic people’s work, who lived there such a way they could not go home. Hungarians were important for them, 56 refugees were also living then.
Heart-warming celebration of national holidays, we often got together privately, the atmosphere was friendly, loving and cheerful. I have never spoken with my children in German, they learned that on the streets, pre-school, school, but the local community was a great help to keep their Hungarian identity. Not all of the Hungarians there were sympathetic for me just because they were Hungarians, but I found friends as well. Sometimes there something in the life of the community reminiscent of a soap opera: marriages, divorces, stories…but everyone does his own level. Some of the friendships has been lasting, some of them have been updated after a longer break.
The solidarity which I experienced there has been missing in my life since then, I am homesick for Bern from Hungary. I also go back for 4-5 days every year, but it is not the same. Unfortunately, the local Hungarian community waned, aged, many of them died. But there is scouting, even a Hungarian school has created, there is Hungarian Mass despite the Swiss state doesn’t support it financially. The Hungarians of Bern and Basel finance a priest coming from Transylvania. There are programs, lectures; some Hungarian families have been keeping the local Hungarian traditions in the third generation. It is sad, touching, admirable. I don’t know what life was in other cities then, but I lived through that then and there, and have feeding from it spiritually.”
“(…)I’m in the fortunate position that I experienced more solidarity. And it is also important for integration. And when I saw that the writing in the box is about Mallorca, I smiled because I also got friends there with who I still keep in touch.
And so thinking back, it is not really evolved in other countries. I lived 6 months in Dominica, 6 month in Austria, 1.5 years in the Canary Islands (Fuerteventura), years in Mallorca and I’ve been living in Austria since March 1. I was a Hungarian evening in Mallorca what many people attended, I got friends from Mallorca, but we only speak by phone, Skype, because they’re not near. There are in Switzerland, Tyrol, Germany, and there are people who left in Mallorca. Then it occurred to me that it contributed in the beginning that I spoke the language of the country and it is not difficult for me to help, so they used me sometimes, but it eventually turns out.
Of course, I had the pleasure for those Hungarians who turn away when they hear a Hungarian word. They are the ones who I wouldn’t like to meet either in home or abroad…We spent a beautiful 6 years in Mallorca which is partly due to the nice Hungarians living there. So I think if someone is bad-tempered, he/she remains that in Hungary and abroad too.
“I recommend you to contact the SMOSZ, the National Federation of Hungarians in Sweden which has about 5000 members, or SOMIT, the Hungarian Youth Society of Sweden which has hundreds of members. And you can also write about what it is like when local Hungarians stick together, partying together, going to the theater, doing charity work pass on the Hungarian language to the next generation.
My story began when I had moved to my Swedish boyfriend to Stockholm. It was important to quickly learn the language, there was company through my boyfriend, so I didn’t have the need to meet Hungarians. I thought that just because we spoke the same language, it is not enough to be on good terms with someone.
The change was when I broke up with my boyfriend 2 years ago and I stood there without acquaintances. I started to enter Facebook groups and once I was invited to a film club. It turned into that I meet Hungarians the most.
Here, in Sweden, there are all kinds of people who were mentioned in the article. Some use the other, there is Hungarian nationalism, envy. But there are helpful, nice and valuable people too, and fortunately I know these people.
The cultural life is pretty busy, there is playhouse in place called Hungarian House every two weeks. There are commemorations, lectures, dance houses and summer camps. The embassy also organizes programs and very high quality performances. I also heard about Hungarian choir and reading circle. Someone holds talking evening every first Friday of the month, for many years. There also are film clubs. And that’s just what I know.”
based on the article of velvet.hu
translated by BA