June 2006


I grew up in Hungary a small European land locked country – actually I spent my childhood in the Southern Hungarian town of Szeged. Then I moved to Budapest and spent my university years there – majoring in English and Arabic literature.Since in South Africa we are so far away from Eastern Europe – not that many Hungarians are spotted around here – South Africans are sometimes suspicious about us Hungarians – we speak a funny language that doesn’t sound like English or French or even Russian or Polish nor Tswana or Zulu , we were one of the “Eastern bloc” countries that spent many years under Soviet rule, many of us are also not devoted to a specific religion due to our previous dispensation.

Others think of Hungary as a magic Oriental place – a secret far away place full of exciting and mesmerising traditions and cultures – especially that the name of our capital is called Budapest – as if it had something to do with the Buddha. If something is unreachable and is so far away – one tends to build a dreamlike image of it.

However my experience is that even though we live quite far away from each other – we are similar in many ways with South Africans, I have realised the people here have been listening to the same music, have been reading the same books, many times cook similar dishes in other words the more countries I visit, the more cultures and traditions I experience I realise that we all have much more in common than we think.

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Be the change that you want to see in the world.

Mohandas Gandhi

Some time ago we went to see a film at the annual Puk film festival here in Potch. We normally see one film each year (the rest are normally not worth seeing) – last time it was God is African – this year it was Paradise now.

From the Wikipedia:

Paradise Now (Arabic: الجنة الآن‎ ​) is a 2005 filmdirected by Hany Abu-Assad about two Palestinian men preparing for a suicide attack in Israel. It won a Golden Globe for best foreign language film and was nominated for an Academy Award in the same category. Click to read on …

I think it is important to see this film no matter what your thoughts might be about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.