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The other day I went to a festival to sell my products. We were having a nice conversation with two Austrian ladies, when suddenly a man, who knew one of the women, appeared. After a few minutes it turned out that he is Hungarian, like me. So my friend told him that these clothes are my products. He checked them out and said “wow I thought they were African made! Very nice! So you are a white n….r” – he smiled at me and as my jaw dropped, he turned to the other girls and started explaining with a super friendly Santa Claus-tone “Yes, you know, this word in Hungary is absolutely not an insult.”
He could not talk further because I finally was able to breathe and I stood up and told him “This word is insultive all around the world, you know? Just that we Hungarians do not give a damn to how others feel about words concerning them. We just think that we have the right to tell everybody what to think.”
The two ladies were just looking left and right because I said all that loudly and in Hungarian because when I get stressed, I forget German straight. I just left them there and thank God when I returned, he was gone so I explained to my friends what I told him.
Frankly speaking, I do know that many people do not say this as an insult in Eastern Europe. But my problem is that they are absolutely not ready to get informed about these things! They do not care at all!
Do you know, I know some Hungarian and Romanian women who married black men. They take the men home to their families, introduce them, the relatives will – in the better cases – smile and accept the person, sit down with him and call him the N word with a smile. And the man will open his eyes wide and big, and says to his wife “hey how did your uncle call me?” And she will say “Shhhh, this is not an insult in Hungary!” And the man will shut up!
Well, I seriously blame all involved persons. The family, for their ignorance. The woman, for not even trying to understand her husband. And yes, I blame that man too, because he is supposed to warn his wife! We should wake up and see that it is not our right to decide how a black person should feel about this word because it is THEIR own privilege to say “no, I do not want to hear that word again.” And we should just listen and do what they asked! It is not even a difficult something!
You know, when my first African-Hungarian son was born 12 years ago, one of my friends came to visit and said “wow what a sweet little N baby!” I just looked at her and said “please, never ever you use that word again”. And she turned into red and apologized straight, saying she did not know that the word is bad. And right from there, she and her family never used it. That tells me, that if these my fellow wives would tell the same to their own family, asking them not to use the word again, the family would not! They would understand! But we? Instead of listening to what our husband says, we shhhh him out and tell him to accept it! And most of the times he does!
You know, most of the times we white wives are criticized badly, we are not considered as 100% wives, the black community here will just wave and wait some years and they know that most of us are gone. And I was always feeling hurt about it, but do you kow what? Many of us are really guilty as charged! We are not trying for our husbands at all!
Just imagine, shortly the children come, now how do we teach these kids? The father is trying to make them proud of what they are, while the Eastern block mother will say, if your grandpa is calling you N, it is ok! So let us say we live in Austria, and someone calls our husband and child the word, what should we do? Ah maybe we go to them and ask, please are you Hungarian? Because if you are, then hello brother, but if you are not, then I am calling the police? How do we even think that one word is not ok in Eisenstadt, but we walk a few kilometers to the east and it suddenly becomes even a praise in Hegyeshalom? What is even wrong with us? We so do not understand and do not even try it at all! And we are totally confusing our children and maybe they will not even know when somebody insulted them! And they will have to learn it from books or strangers that they were supposed to learn at home!
And for me to hear this word at an African festival! With this explanation! From a fellow Hungarian!
I am so painfully ashamed of my people.