Monday, December 6, 2010

Hungary Or Not Hungary? Part I.

When one born in Hungary moves to the US, certain differences are expected to be seen.  These are not the differences many I've met might think about.  Like, do we have electricity over there.  Or if we have TV and such.  Basically stupid questions only ignorant people ask.  I ignore those as it's not even worth my time to try to satisfy their undereducated curiosity.  Many of those don't even know where my country is, or that it even exists.  Mind blowing, isn't it.  The infamous video comes to mind, in which country music singer Kellie Pickler shamelessly admits her not existing knowledge of the World.  I had a model ask me once, if my country was in Africa.  No comment.  She clearly had no idea where Eastern Europe was.

 Then again do we really talk about Eastern Europe when mentioning Hungary?  According to my patriotic sister it's located in Central Europe.  Which I'm not gonna fight against as I haven't argued with her since we were teenagers.  What is wrong with belonging to Eastern Europe anyways?  I don't see the big deal.  But for Hungarians it's not an attractive statement.  When you look up online, you find that Hungary is in the heart of Europe between East and West.  Which is kind of weird as it's geographic location pulls more towards the East.  And the middle is more like Austria.  But again common knowledge explains Hungary as an Eastern European country.  Like it or not.

 The questions I get sometimes when i'm visiting my home country is this: How is life in the US?  I figure they expect me to say, it's wonderful, i'm so happy, everything is perfect, life is easy.  I'm lucky to say that it's pretty much the description of my current life.  But I always have to add, that it is not glamorous for all.  There are many poor, jobless and struggling people here as well as in any other place.  People work for their money every day to put food on the table.  There are problems, issues and daily complications with life.  And yes, there might be more opportunities here then in a small village in Russia, but you still have to work to make things happen. Things don't just fall on your lap.

 All though I have to say opportunities are a big part of being successful.  People always say, if an opportunity presents itself you must jump.  Yeah, but what happens if opportunities don't present themselves?  You just hang out?  I have a bunch of aspiring actress friends.  Some from the US some from other places.  I can definitely see the difference in how one growing up in LA have more open windows towards the entertainment industry then the other from abroad.  Most of them in the US were part of some drama class by the age of 5, were seen in various commercials and acted as child actors.  There was no drama class in my town.  It was a freaking communist country back then.  We had to learn Russian and Hungarian folk dance.  Didn't have the chance to watch Hollywood movies, we felt lucky if something came in from Austria.  Don't feel bad!  I had a very happy childhood.  I'm just saying.  If I wanted to pursue acting in big international movies, I would've had to jump over a couple of  more obstacles, then just deciding about which agent to choose.  After all many of today's movie stars were born and raised in LA, even went to Beverly Hills High School.  What an advantage presented at your feet.  I'm not saying even a talentless brat would've made it, but come on!  I remember Charlize Theron's acceptance speech at the Oscars.  She got up there and the first thing she said: "Oh my God, I'm from South Africa!"  She was completely shocked, and I felt her amazement.  All though she didn't have to get through the language barrier.  Which is the biggest problem for aspiring actors from around the World trying to make it in Hollywood.  So many talents get wasted, just because you were born in the wrong place in the wrong time.  And for you it might take 20 years or more to fight yourself out of it just to be in a position were others simply born into.  Plus you have to speak at least one more language other then yours.  Needless to say this statement goes to any other profession, not just acting.

 Growing up in Hungary you hear a lot of youngsters talk about how they trying to get out, and make it in the capital or even in one of the Western countries.  GET OUT!  This expression bothers me.  It sounds so alarming.  Like there's an immediate threat.  I never felt the need to get out.  I always liked where I lived, and certainly had high hopes from life, but still never wanted to get out.  I just left.  Not because I planned to.  I had an opportunity, I took it and it took me around the World landing me in the US.  I still have friends in Hungary who want to 'get out'.  Even though they have a great life and success.  They still don't see the country side of a small Eastern European country as the place for their future.  Of course I understand.  I couldn't either.  At least not now.  I've seen too much, can't go back.  But that doesn't mean life can't be good there.  Happiness is relative.  I have another friend who is complaining about how all the young people leave, instead of trying to make it there.  What happens if everyone leaves.  A country which at one point was regarded as one of the cultural centers of the Western World will end up being a place for old retirees.  Kind of sad and scary.  She thinks people should stay and make this country a better place.  Fight for the memory of Hungary, which for more then 900 years was a great power in history.  I agree with her, of course i do.  No matter how far away I am, where I live, at heart I will always remain true to my nation.  We have good food!

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