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Emigration: easy way out or a life-long dilemma?

Emigration: easy way out or a life-long dilemma?

The Hungarian documentary series titled Menjek/Maradjak (Should I Go/Should I Stay) aims to present the current trends in emigration in today’s Hungary. Édes Otthon (Sweet Home) is the fourth episode within the series, and it tells the stories of three Hungarians who left Hungary in hopes of living a better life somewhere else. However, all of them came back to Hungary for some reason, writes.

If you are interested, you can go and see the documentary at the Verzió International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival today, details can be found on the festival’s website. Films at Verzió Documentary Film Festival are being screened from 14 November to 26 November in three different cities: Budapest (14-19 November), Szeged (23-25 November) and Pécs (23-26 November).

The documentary series Menjek/Maradjak was directed by Bálint Tusor, László Józsa and Loránd Balázs Imre. They were inspired by the fact that recently, the number of Hungarians working or settling down abroad has tripled. More and more people leave the country and start their lives somewhere else. This is not always an easy decision to make. The episodes of the series investigate the decision making process, dilemmas and lives of people who left Hungary.

Sweet Life is the fourth episode of the documentary series which tells the story of three so different yet so similar Hungarians who felt that life could be better somewhere else, outside Hungary, so they left the country. Then, eventually they all came back home for some reason. They all got what they were looking for abroad, let that be more money or more opportunities, but each of them decided to come back and give Hungary a second chance.


Zsófi and Robi

The first story is about Zsófi and Robi who moved to Austria with their kids mainly because of financial reasons. Salaries are much better in Austria, enabling the parents to make a better life for their children. However, they decided to, at least partially, move back home. Zsófi moved back to Hungary with the kids, while Robi is still working abroad, commuting between Austria and Hungary. Zsófi speaks German, so everyday life abroad was not a huge challenge for her.

Nevertheless, she felt that she was going to lose her identity if she cannot speak in Hungarian.

Mirjam and Nivaldo

The protagonist of the second story is the Hungarian woman: Mirjam, who also appeared in another episode of the documentary series titled New York. In this episode, she has a Brazilian husband called Nivaldo and they have a daughter. They are trying to create a home for themselves in Brazil. Six months later however, they are renovating their house in Hungary. What happened? The decision of where to settle was extremely hard to make, as they have families on the opposite sides of the planet. They decided to have two homes, one in Brazil and one in Hungary. Luckily, their jobs make it possible for them to live wherever they choose.

The message is that decision making is hard when you have no option, but it is also very hard if you have many options to choose from.

Reni and Joci

In the third story, Reni and Joci move back to Hungary with their child after living in London for a while. They both find new jobs relatively soon. Reni start working at Menedék Egyesület (Hungarian Associations for Migrants) where she helps migrants, while Joci starts working at Kék Pont (Blue Point) where he helps drug addicts and alcoholics.

They are hoping to live their life here like they did in London: they just want to live a free, open-minded and optimistic life, even in Hungary.

Do you think it is possible?

According to index, what is really good about this documentary series is that the creators do not take sides. They do not want to convince you that leaving your home country is good or bad. They do not judge their protagonists nor make them martyrs. Their only goal is to show what emigration is really like, what it takes to go through with it, and what challenges people have to face once they decide to move back home.

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