Blogs change, because people do. I believe that’s a normal transition, and transition seems to be the guiding force of our times. So here is the updated version of where I intend to take this blog for the time being.
Helsinki-Budapest is a state of mind more than a physical location. It started out as the latter, when I was torn between two cities that have shaped me like none of the other places in which I’ve lived ever could. Positive, because I was feeling so much love for the people this was initially for. Even more positivity when I engaged with people and places that have always signified my happy place (in the physical and metaphysical sense), and then turning more and more sour as life took over. Passive-aggressive at times, writhing in pain at others. Some strange attempts at making this blog into something it could not ever become, and then finally this, its true mission, its real purpose: to provide guidance for those looking at relocating. Perhaps to Budapest, perhaps to Helsinki, perhaps somewhere else in the world. People with children who will now be exposed to a different culture, perhaps not just once, but in fact several times.
This blog is for them, but it is also for those who want to get a feel for what it means to be constantly living between several cultures, code switching, acting different while looking exactly like a local. Or looking different, yet acting and sounding, even dressing, exactly like the locals. The cases are as vast as there are people, and this blog does not aim to provide a definitive voice on the matter. That would be extremely arrogant. Instead, I am throwing my voice into the mix, with the intent to become one voice among many, a voice others out there can connect with by finding something in common. Helsinki-Budapest is a state of mind rather than a physical location at this point in time, and it combines the concepts I navigate every day: the illusion of freedom and the best life one could wish for pitted against a volatile background of an oppressed place that yearned for its beauty to be heard, fought for its freedom tooth and nail only to give it away. Or, if you prefer: straddling the world of conservatism due to being behind the Iron Curtain vs. a world of freedom and ideals upheld everywhere.
My aim is to provide guidelines, find points in common, and foster healthy debate. I am neither a populist nor conservative, and I deplore fanaticism from any side, and in any way, shape or form. I believe that love is love, and that you are what you call yourself, be that in terms of gender, marital status, or the country / countries you identify with, and definitely in terms of religion. Most of all, I believe that some people can indeed be jerks and worse, but that has nothing to do with the color of their skin, their religion, or any of the other “reasons” some like to give. I also very strongly believe that people from opposing sides can be friends, even though I have to remind myself of this every day when it comes to certain countries I have become intimately acquainted with. Sadly, negative experiences made in childhood and throughout your formative years do carry a heavy weight and will influence you throughout the rest of your life. That’s not to say I haven’t made friends with people from these particular places, but it has been more of a struggle, clearly flying in the face of what I have just preached. But maybe – and I believe this very strongly – this is exactly the reason I’m a good person to write about these matters. I’m not an idealist preaching from a mountain top. I understand hatred, pain, and discrimination firsthand.