A few weeks ago we published a guest post of Ábel, a Norwegian-Hungarian, who chose to live in Budapest a long time ago – but decided to return to Oslo (on the day the post went live). Since then he has been interviewed by national media, and his post has inspired many to tell us their own stories and insights.
“This post resonates strongly with me, my reasons for leaving were pretty much the same. In my case education was reason #8, universities are teaching material that is 30 years behind the times with methods that are 50 years behind. A bachelor’s was more than enough of that.
But the solution proposed for the opposition – boycotting the elections and the Parliament – wouldn’t work. It could only work with a governing party that has some sense of shame and some capability for introspection, but it’s established that fidesz is perfectly shameless. If they boycotted the Parliament, they would just condemn them as freeloaders who refuse to work while cashing in their paychecks. Yeah, they did the same when gyurcsány was the PM, but their fans are great at doublethink. If they boycotted the election, fidesz would just communicate it as a great victory and continue with even less opposition (parties getting more than 1% of the votes receive some monetary support from the state).”
A Turkish reader was unimpressed by the corruption and authoritarian tendencies listed in Ábel’s post.
“As a Turkish person living in Hungary, how AKP and Fidesz use populist rhetoric and tweaking the rules to gain more power is really similar. But the problem with the things he is complaining is, for the general public, this type of organized corruption these authoritarian leaders bring is preferable to the chaotic corruption these countries are used to. I mean, the economy grows, things get done so whether they prioritize the right things or who fills their pockets in the process becomes less of a concern. As half Norwegian its normal that his perspective is different, but I doubt the average Hungarian would mind half the things he listed here.”
A Greek reader, on the other hand, strongly felt the predicament of Hungary.
“For ordinary people low wages, high taxes, and rampant corruption have become an obstacle to a decent life, and many of my friends and colleagues have chosen to emigrate.”
So Hungary is becoming Greece. We have the rotten infrastructures too. The only difference is that Tsipras isn’t building anything for himself, or in general.
I can relate to the author almost 100%.
Tamás in the US is a doctor and left because of the state of healthcare.
I am a Hungarian living in the USA for 20+ years . I left because I had no chance for a reasonable good life , as a physician I didn’t see that health care in Hungary will ever improve and I couldn’t stand the corruption. Unfortunately corruption is a ” vital ” part of Hungarian life not just politics . I am politically conservative and based on my experience with socialism and the injustice what was made by the communist government of Hungary to my family I could never support a socialist government . I believe in free – not corrupt- capitalism. I was at the Hero’s square in 1989 when Orban gave his first major revolutionary speach against communism and Soviet imperialism . I still remember that day. I looked up at Orban and with all my heart I believed he is a hero , comparable to the Herod of 1956. Unfortunately what happened since than in Hungary is depressing and disappointing . It is even more disappointing that there is not much hope for any change. Mr Gyurcsany and his fellow socialists – regardless of their party affiliation are not a bit better .
May be one day a charismatic and skilled politician , honest and not corrupt , will arise – lets hope for it!
A surefire symptom undue power in a single hand is when his subjects are pondering what he was thinking, what he would think and how he sees the world.
I still living in Hungary. I don’t know for how long:)
You mentioned 89’s Orban, he transformed. Now he look like exactly that middle aged/corrupt/disappointing/ communist leader he spoken up against back then. Like to communist did, he looks for enemies everywhere, this is the permanent revolution against something to reach nothing. Building fear in the citizens and acting like the savior who is protecting the country form György Soros/migrants/Brussel/ any random group and person. Why this is the main message? This is the only way to keep the leadership and collect as much wealth as he and his family members/close friends can.
Hungary is more kleptocracy than democracy.
Others have caught the poetic side of the country and we salute their profound insights.
“Ah Hungary, the Barney Gumble of Europe. A heaven for tourist, hell (percieved) for its people. There is so much potential in Hungary, but that does not mean anything when half the population is in denial and thinks everything should be kept as is, while the other half is desperate for change but only see that coming through moving to another country. Both are wrong and Hungarian “optimism” is what is at fault. Seriously Hungary, your favorite past time activity is to bring eachother down, either through alcohol or pessimism. When I go to Hungary I see much good stuff going on, so great many scientific achievements, such a cool culture, such lovely down earth people, such arcitechture, and the food and wine. But its only there for someone to bring down by either by words or actions. My Hungarian friends, as much as I love them, I always see them carrying this negativity about their country with them. Let. It. Go! This is your only and by far biggest problem, tune your attitude a little more to the positive side and see magic happening in the long run. Believe that you can have an impact on how things work by changing mentality, the way it is now people do shitty things because it is already “shitty”. Yeah, that and alcohol, alcohol is hurting your country all too much, but that is no news story.”
What is your story?
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