Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Letter from Terezia

'Here is Terezia's letter - I've tried to translate it very exactly although is wasn't easy.' Judit

Dear Tina and Amari,

I'm writing this letter on the 19th January 2011 with love and with all the warmth of my heart. It's been a long time since we met that first time (September 2008) and your friendship touched me deeply. This friendship is a great happiness for me - I give thanks to God for this long-term and eternal friendship. Thank you for everything.
You know, in Hungary I havn't got any real friends (maybe only one) your kindness and respect makes me learn English: in the half-term exams I get good marks in English both written and oral.
Thank you for the photos - they prove our real friendship. I hope your honorific friendship will remain for a long time.
Greetings and kisses. I miss you and feel sorry that we can't communicate to each other because I can't speak English.

Bye, your friend

Terezia, Sajokaza July 2009

Terezia is the first Roma woman we met on our research trip to Hungary in September 2009. We could communicate only through gestures, the ceremony of coffee making and home-made cake, and the warmth and desire to be friends. She made us welcome and introduced us to her family in their impoverished home in the Solyom Settlemt in Sajokaza.
Terezia is one of the few adults in Sajokaza to have embraced the concept of education and learning as a tool for a better life. Supported by the Jai Bhim School she has won accolades for her achievements in reaching high school levels of attainment. She has also brought up four sons and a daughter single-handed since the premature death of her husband and is a member of the Sajokza Women's Commitee.

Terezia, Sajokaza September 2010

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The 'Gentrification' of Budapest's VIII District

Like many ordinary, residential but also poorer areas of major cities, eg Berlin, Budapest is undergoing a major transformation driven by economic pressure. The VIII District was traditionally settled by crafts people, (market) traders, artisans and Romani people many of them musicians. Due to its central location it represents attractive and valuable ground for city development and foreign investment under the guise of 'gentrification.'
Many local people, the majority of them Romani or older Hungarians are forced out of their houses some of which are developed others demolished.
Even the Roma Parlament at Tavaszmezo lost its vital advocacy centre in a beautiful listed building well frequented by local Roma. Now they are forced to travel for legal advice on the pressing issues of housing and employment to the new offices on the outskirts of the city.
Such development gradually forces out the original inhabitants, draws in more affluent elements of society and changes the whole character of the district forever.

The VIII District of Budapest is to the right of the Duna (Danube)
the pink bit on the right between the first and third bridge

Prater utca

Baross utca

Girls in 'the Hood'

Kisfaludy u


Tavaszmezo ut

Angels of the VIII District

Futo u. An old style courtyard being encroached on by new development.