Transition

Most of you know that this country is still transitioning (sometimes with big revertings backwards) out of the Soviet-molded 1948-1989 communist/socialist realities.  Buildings standing untended since the 1940’s are one outward sign of this.  Tenants being allowed to claim ownership of their homes with no resources for repair and maintenance and no sense of ownership adds to the problem; they still wait for ’the government’ to do whatever is needed and to tell them what to do.  Throw in the fact that street names are also in flux and you get a feeling for the unrealities here.

Most of you know that this country is still transitioning (sometimes with big revertings backwards) out of the Soviet-molded 1948-1989 communist/socialist realities.  Buildings standing untended since the 1940’s are one outward sign of this.  Tenants being allowed to claim ownership of their homes with no resources for repair and maintenance and no sense of ownership adds to the problem; they still wait for ’the government’ to do whatever is needed and to tell them what to do.  Throw in the fact that street names are also in flux and you get a feeling for the unrealities here.At this point in time, major streets have a name for one part of their length and other names for other parts, - so that all honorable persons might be mentioned on street signs.  But also, some streets are still doubly-marked with both Soviet dignitaries’ names and the olde Hungarians’ names.  Hungarians don’t tell you how many blocks to go to get to your destination.  They tell you how many streets to go, - by name!  It often is quite unlikely that you will get there from here.
 
The red star is another blazon from the Soviet past which is problematic.  In some towns, every cemetery gravestone from the era is capped with the red 5-pointed sign.  A fire watchtower in the Matra Mountains until only a few years ago declared its loyalty with a big red one.  Of course, the height of irony is seen outside the front door of the American Embassy in Budapest, where the one Soviet memorial allowed in the City stands, purportedly with 16 Soviet soldiers interred beneath it, and flashing its Soviet Union seal and red star – such display outlawed by Parliamentary decree for anywhere in the nation!
 
Not ’tradition’ but ’transition’is the theme song here, and painful to grope through with these good people.
 
Coralyn T. Medyesy,  Missionary in Hungary

Coralyn Medyesy is a missionary with the Reformed Church in Hungary, based in Budapest, Hungary.  She serves as a Teacher of Social Work and Diakonia at the Nagy Koros School.