The world admires the Hungarian gypsy village
According to tudathalo.blogspot.hu, the village of Cserdi is dwelled by almost only gypsies, and it used to be a neglected small village at the end of the world. Like so many other small settlements, Cserdi went into a total decline after the change of regime: crime and alcoholism became common, people didn’t have jobs, so they made a living from thievery. But then, something miraculous happened…
The village wasn’t always like this. Until the 1990s the village had talented and diverse dwellers, who worked very hard to make a living off of basket-work. Then, when there was no demand for baskets, the deprivation started. Who knows what would’ve happened to the village if a gritty mayor didn’t turn up a few years ago. László Bogdán did something that no political parties, nor politicians were able to do in the last 2-3 decades.
The onetime criminal village is now flourishing, its dwellers are working and make a good living. When the new mayor was chosen, one of his first steps was to close the local boozer, and put the dwellers’ nose to the grindstone. They realised that they make quite a good living, so they took to production. They are happy to work on the fields, cultivate, hoe and harvest the profit.
They don’t have to worry about firewood, because a municipal forest was set up to provide firewood for locals. The production is so successful that the village launched its own branded products, which will soon be available on the shelves of supermarkets.
These products include gypsy lecsó, jam, pickles, wooden boxed potatoes, garlic, and Cserdi sausage. Since 2005 the landscaping, the construction of the playgrounds, the renovation of the houses, the abolishment of crime and unemployment were all successful in the village close to Pécs. Girls don’t give birth at a young age, all kids go to school, and adults work diligently. Donation also became an important part of their everyday lives, they visit neighbouring villages, and give.
The shirt of the donators says: We produce for you, not steal from you. Even though Mayor László Bogdán has held almost 300 lectures in the past five years, still only a very few people know about Cserdi and its prosperity. But it is the living example of why we shouldn’t give up on gypsy villages.
Copy editor: bm