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To Stay in Hungary, or to Stay Alive: That is the Question

Brilliant Hungarian musician Péter Gerendás has announced in a goodbye letter recently that he will leave Hungary soon. He will leave our country, his homeland, his home, he will leave Hungary soon. And he will leave us as well.

His reason for doing so is that he sees, he feels and experiences that the sign to leave has appeared on the wall.

The fact that he was born here in Hungary is not enough anymore. That he was brought up here, that his children live here, and that if sometimes he comes across a bush, he knows both its flower and its name – is not enough of an incentive for staying here anymore.

The fact his mother tongue is Hungarian is not enough to stay here anymore. The fact that he dreams in Hungarian and that it's Hungarian poets' lines that most often come to his mind is not enough for staying here anymore.

All of these could be sufficient forces to convince him that he should rather stay in Hungary, but they aren't so anymore.

We will be one less once again – the nation will lack a highly talented musician and a fantastic friend. We will be one less with a brilliant guitarist, who never had disputes with anyone and who never wished anything wrong to anyone. (Unlike some people who caused harm to him.)

"Oh, how many people have already left this country, and not the carpetbaggers, /how many ran away out into the world, / and not the wicked."

These lines were sung by another notable Hungarian musician, the late Tamás Cseh well more than thirty years ago. Of course, the circumstances were different back then, but the essence is always the same. Still, quite a lot of people live here who know by historical experience and not only from songs that dictatorships always begin the same way.

Gerendás is now leaving Hungary following so many unnamed – who are numerous and have been living in different countries across the world for a long time now. Gerendás is leaving after those many that left Hungary for other countries in the pursuit of a happy and truly rewarding life.

They did not look for a new homeland, however, because there's only one homeland.

We the rest are staying here yet – because it's familiar being here, and also because of our own opportunism. Or as some say it jokingly: because of our sense for adventure.

Péter Gerendás loves his homeland, but it seems that the homeland does not love him enough.

Me, I am staying here yet.

With all due respect,

X. Y.




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