For some reason that question has been on my mind lately. Maybe it’s because of the news, the posts I’ve written, and reading, or maybe because my birthday is next month? The list could be endless but I think it all boils down to just “belonging” to me. Yes I was born in the U.S. so depending on which way you interpret the law, I might be a Hungarian Citizen or a United States Citizen or a dual citizen. Usually when I’m asked I say I’m Hungarian though. I don’t say that because I am not grateful of the opportunities provided to me and both my parents by the U.S., because I am. I say that because I believe most, if not all people need a sense of belonging. It’s my heritage; why shouldn’t I be proud of that? Does it mean Hungarian’s are perfect and without flaws? No, of course not. Our identities, our culture, traits, nationalities, languages, all makes us unique!
Sadly those same things, are seemingly viewed quite differently as of late. When I was younger, I remember some people saying to me “igazi Magyar, ” and it brought a smile of pride to my face. In English it would translate to “real Hungarian/Magyar.” This wasn’t because I somehow felt superior or better than anyone. Actually far from it because most of my life I’ve always felt like a misfit. It made me feel proud because someone else had actually noticed I cared about my heritage. I knew how to cook Hungarian food and speak the language quite well; I knew my family genealogy and I owned and worn a shirt with Hungarian embroidery. I had and have Hungarian folk-art on my walls, along with old and new Hungarian books in my library. Maybe I even thought I’d marry a Hungarian man one day but I didn’t. I joined the United States Navy instead and married a man born and raised in the south. We have two boys that I teasingly say to my husband are “mutts,” but you know what, I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world!!
So regardless of what some people might think, in my opinion a few bad apples do not spoil the tree. Instead of assuming we are all the same because of the actions of a few in the past or the present; judge the individual as just that, an INDIVIDUAL!