I’ve decided to try something new. Or rather, expand on a concept. In that it’s great to write posts about political activities around you, but it doesn’t give readers the full picture. Conservatives – and even populists – are not the monolith we (might) want them to be. Neither are they all pure evil. While it is true that 9.5 out of ten people in a conservative (and very left wing society) will decry the evil ill will of George Soros, not all of them preach hate. I have as many problems with the liberal-minded as I have with the conservative mindset, but the society I live in is very traditional, and I’ve always believed in deeply analyzing what I oppose. Which means looking at the positive where negativity reigns supreme.
Hungary has an interesting status in the world anyway. Always the stepchild, never the heir would be an apt description. Where France gave the world, literature, music, art, philosophy, and all the terminology that went with this in spades, Hungary’s contribution was more of a trickle, a composer here, several actors and (fewer) directors there, with an inventor or two thrown in for good measure. I exaggerate, of course. I always do, it’s in my nature, even my zodiac sign if I pull that card (for the record, it’s Gemini). But except for the significant contribution to acting and Hollywood, Hungary can’t exactly boast having started a world-changing revolution. Like I said, a few things here and there – significant in and of themselves – but nothing earth shattering.
Yet most of its citizens hold on to their fatherland’s (ultra-)conservative values as though its life depended on it, because in so many ways that’s all it really has, the values of our ancestors (though in my case, you know, the Semitic thing, though my dad did say that his mother was really religious and wanted nothing more than for him to become a rabbi).
I’m writing this as someone who identifies as Hungarian, who is sufficiently integrated to fully pass but enough of an outsider to be discerning. Besides, I’ve never liked or accepted authority. Still, I don’t identify with the liberal extreme either. To give you an idea, I think family is important but I firmly believe that family is what you make it and whom you consider your family to be: your friends, one parent, a guardian / foster parent, two mommies, two daddies, you get the idea. I believe love is love no matter who the giver / recipient is, and that people are virtuous or jerks regardless of heritage, ethnicity, color, or class. And I believe authority (which includes politics and religion) should always be questioned.
Which all pretty much makes a recipe for disaster. And begs the question, what am I really doing here and why? Aside from the reasons already stated, I had some unfinished business to take care of, on the physical and spiritual / karmic plane. But I also wanted to see for myself if things were really as rigid as they had been portrayed. I caught an initial whiff of it back in 2000, when I left after spending five years here. And while I can confirm that things are very much as they have been portrayed, I also have to add – in the spirit of fairness – that you get used to it easily. Your dissatisfaction comes out in other ways, depression, bad moods, wanting to leave. But you don’t live in fear per se. Then again, I’m saying this as a Cross Culture Kid, so read this as one person’s account, not as The Voice of the Nomadic People.
Hungary is just an example, one I know well. But conservative values tend to overlap, so for those interested in how one can live in a conservative society when one is not, I hope it can open a dialogue, or at the very least help put things in perspective. I’ve been told that I intimidate others, but I always like hearing back from people, so any questions and / or comments, just fire away.