The Carpathian Mountains draw a circle around our historic homeland. During the socialist era (“Átkos”) a leader at the Hungarian Television Company asked me to change the form of the circle of the mountains in my animation movie series “Legends from Hungarian History” as the Czechoslovakian and Romanian comrades would be insulted otherwise.
Shall I redraw the mountains? - I asked. He mumbled something that at least I should use more narrow views so they do not notice… How comes? Where did Hungarian history take place? Our borders adjust to natural borders. Everything stayed untouched in the films.
They could not take away the separated parts of the country from me. True, that until the change of regime in other words liberation I had not visited any of them, except for Croatia and Austria. I did not want to feel sad. But since then! Whichever I visit I feel home. And I am at home literally, in several ways. Because of my Croatian-Hungarian grandfather on my father’s side who lived in Pozsony in most of his life, and because of his wife, my grandmother, who was born a Slovakian with some Polish blood in her veins, but her love for my grandfather turned her into a Hungarian. Because of my grandfather on my mother’s side, who had Székely and Armenian blood, and my other grandmother who was born in a Hungarian family in Csallóköz. All four of them represented separated parts of the country. The Transylvanian and Csallóköz parts of the family still live and go, they ensure that my blood goes on. Hungarians also live in other little homelands where I do not have family roots. And where Hungarians live, all those places are the extensions of my world.
My ancestors were good Hungarians or turned into good Hungarians. Like the ancient Croatians who protected the common homeland against the Turkish. Like my Austrian great-great-great uncle from Tirol, who was fighting in 1848/49 for Hungarian liberty with my great-great-great grandfather on his side, who suffered in prison for several years for doing so. Like my Polish great-great-great grandfather who was the adjutant of General Bem at Ostrołęka in 1931, and who offered his services for the homeland as a Hungarian citizen, or like the founders of Szamosújvár. They all schooled me how to be Hungarian.