Check me out! The web-based literature, arts and culture magazine Zouch has taken a shine to me. They reblogged my “Civilization 5 offends my Hungarian sensibilities” post here.
Their website is pretty… and they also accept poetry and short stories!
And, so what if they are Canadian – if I plan on achieving global dominance, I must start somewhere, right?
Also, Hungarians love Canada for some reason. When my family was waiting around in Italy and being interviewed by the US Embassy to make sure we weren’t Soviet spies, we thought long and hard about going to Canada instead – almost every other refugee we were friends with moved there.
This post was written on a horse, while reading about Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary.
I understand Americans learn very little of Eastern Europe, so I don’t hold it against Civilization 5 for making Budapest a city-state instead of an actual civilization. Sure sure, it hurts, but Americans get such lousy education these days I can’t expect the Firaxis team to know that Hungary is one of the oldest and best countries in Europe.
What I absolutely cannot dismiss, for its outright heart-piercing egregious nature, is the kind of city-state Budapest is: …militaristic. How is it that Bucharest, of Romania, is a “cultured city”, but Budapest is not? What has Bucharest contributed to the world?
Today is the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a historic occasion the West marks as the collapse of communism. Months before the wall came down, Hungary had opened its own “Iron Curtain” of guard towers, mines, and electric fences that lined the border between Austria and Hungary. A family friend Lajos used to have the job of patrolling this border, and told me the story of how one day he threw off his body armor and gun, and told his fellow patrol guard and good friend that he couldn’t do it anymore. He ran for the border, and told his friend he could shoot him if he wanted. Needless to say, Lajos wasn’t shot, but he never saw his friend again.
Communism was never a natural fit for Hungary. The country’s aristocratic past, as part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, never dimmed from memory. After the 1956 uprising, Goulash Communism was instated to appease the populace. It was because of this little bit of capitalism that my mother was able to open a flower shop in Budapest. Still, the relationship with Hungary’s Communist leaders remained strained.
When the border between Austria and Hungary was opened in May 1989 (some say the Sopron Picnic in August was the official opening), many Eastern Germans used this route through Hungary to get to Austria and back to West Germany.
I thought I would throw other Eastern-European nations into the media mix today by sharing the story of my Hungarian -American exodus.