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Sara Szarka: A Tough Travel on Tram 17

As we travel far and wide, we encounter different challenging situations. We might experience to be pointed out based on our nationality,...


As we travel far and wide, we encounter different challenging situations. We might experience to be pointed out based on our nationality, the color of our skin or the shape of our eyes. Along my journeys of life, I have been an eye witness and victim of multiple scenarios. However, a recent event had left its mark of questions in my mind. Working closely with people who have been part of a recent manifestation of mental poverty allowed me to interview them and deliver their feelings and interpretations on the human factor.

“First, I didn’t take it seriously, but then when I had to go back and forth to provide statements at the police station, the whole thing started coming back to me.” - starts the conversation Moses, a member of the group who experienced a challenging situation.

The team of young foreign workers is employed by a multicultural company located in the heart of Europe, Budapest. On most occasions, their work shift ends at a late hour and using public transportation can be more than intriguing - as I am sure many of us had experienced the fear from the ‘late-night night home walk’.

“Since then, I am very conscious when I am on public transport or just walking alone. I am always watching who is in front of me, who is behind me. Interestingly, before this event, I did not care about these things.” - adds the young man.

As the case was broadcasted on multiple online surfaces, The Daily News Hungary describes the happening as a ‘racist attack’ including the videotape recorded by another member of the group.

When the hour is late and people are filled with frustration, the effect can reflect in different kinds of ways. In this scenario, one reaction followed the other, and a tense scene emerged from the ground.

A local man started to throw bottles at the young group of African office workers and have shouted,

“You are guests here. You are just guests in this country!” 

As can be seen in the video, his words were accompanied by a great deal of physical manifestations. At first, the group responded with laughter, afterward the state of affairs had arisen to a higher stage.

“It’s like you are being afraid in your own self.”  -Moses adds, which can be a consequence of minor trauma.

People who have suffered denouncement and carry a sort of stigma during their lives are often followed by paranoia and a fear of certain things. This could occur for multiple reasons and in endless scenarios. Specific types of people are, for instance, fairly sensitive to other people’s stare and look.

Moses quoted an interesting fact to the story which made me think and ask further questions.

“I have been traveling since I am 11 years old, but I have never experienced a similar event anywhere else, apart from here.”

I had to reply to this statement.

“It saddens me, that this had to happen to you here. After all, we are in a central European country. Do you feel like that this is specific to this country in particular? Would you fuel social media more and say that Hungary is a racist country?” - I have asked.

“No.” - He added straight away. “I don’t think about that of Hungary. I think this is about being a person. It is about the individual. You can’t blame a whole country for one person’s deed.”

Subjects such as politics and racism are tender and juicy matters to grasp on for social media and their wanted attention. However, it is better to see behind things or statements and understand that not every approach is violent or hungry for aid.

“My best friends are Hungarian, and we spend a lot of time together. However, I have first heard of the presence of racism in Hungary.” 

As we have discussed the subject further and further, we have both agreed on the fact that denial and judgment can blossom from the lack of being open-minded. A person who has never traveled and took a look at the world and different nations or countries will likely not develop an open mindset.
Closed societies and closed hearted people barely perform acceptance, and they normally respond with two types of reactions.

One, they are either curious or two, they are rejective.

Indeed, it is challenging to adopt a hospitable approach to the harshness of life. However, it is the best we can practice: staying compassionate and humble.

The world is filled with hatred and participants who are searching for an opponent to blame and punish. Certainly, in an individual who has never traveled and experienced the exposure to different cultural differences, and situations can hardly find that out for himself. It is also crucial on how we answer to injustice and what are our instinctive reactions.

In today’s world of rotting politics and collapsing echo system, possession of open mind and selflessness is the most valuable feature one can carry. By denying to respond with hatred to hatred, we step out of the never-ending flaming circle of humanity and become isolated with our view on the world.

There is a certain matter nowadays which is getting less and less insignificant: and that is the human factor. 

How we treat others and vice versa, aligned with our responses turns the wheel of our world, and it will never be smooth if we don’t decide to listen and swim against the current of the sweeping world. It was truly pleasant to listen to a different approach and by presenting it, a distant hope for a more peaceful world arises.

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