It's the New Year, and I have a dream, and all that...
I have this utopian vision in which people get over their need to be intolerant dicks who see everything through nationalistic spectacles. (I mean those that are intolerant dicks who see everything through nationalistic spectacles anyway. The others who are not can just be as they are, safe in the knowledge that they haven't incurred my meaningless wrath).
Anyway, to the idiots who insist on making everything into some national dick waving contest:
Let me let you into a secret: There is absolutely no difference between Hungarians and Romanians, aside from the fact that they speak a different first language (and there are a few nurtured "cultural" differences). That's it. In fact anyone who is from Transylvania is pretty much guaranteed to have both Romanian and Hungarian ancestors, that's just the way it is.
The history of Transylvania is one of diversity and different groups. Can't people be proud of that rather than find it as a reason to be irritating intolerant bastards? It makes me so tired.
Can't you celebrate the diversity? One of the greatest ever heroes of Transylvanian (and Hungarian) history is Matyas Kiraly (Matthias Corvinus). He's a great example of a Transylvanian having (as he did) a Romanian father and a Hungarian mother. Everyone should celebrate him, but instead Hungarians want to pretend that the Romanian side didn't exist and Romanians (or at least Gheorghe Funar) want to dig up his statue. This kind of wankery goes on all the time.
The whole area has been home to Romanians, Hungarians, Szekely, Germans, Jews, Armenians, Rroma, Csango, Serbs, Slovaks, Ukrainians, etc etc etc for centuries. This seems to me like something to be proud of. The fact that a lot of these groups have gone or are nearly gone now is the real tragedy.
Romanians: When two people whose first language is Hungarian speak to each other it is entirely normal that they do so in Hungarian. It's not some massive insult to the nation. Swiss people, for example, seem to be able to manage to deal with the fact that some of their countrymen speak a different language from them, why can't you? It's not treason, it's talking.
Hungarians: If a Romanian comes into your shop or your cafe or whatever and wants to buy something, or ask a question or whatever, why can't you just behave like an adult and respond in Romanian? You know you speak it. It's not clever and big to pretend you don't. It's stupid. I speak the world's worst Romanian, but I reckon I could manage to sell someone a loaf of bread. I know you can do it.
Now, I know a lot of people will tell me that I just don't get it. I just don't get the history, I don't get the pain that one set of people have suffered at the hands of the other. I don't, in short, carry around some massive nationalistic chip on my shoulder. That's true. I don't. I do have my fair share of chips, but I don't have some kind of historical grudge against some people whose only crime is to speak a different language from me. I know there's history, I know there have been bad things done to people for terrible reasons, but taking it out on your neighbours - who were not involved in any of these crimes - is not really going to solve anything. Let it go.
Hungarians: Transylvania is in Romania. The only way that it won't be in Romania in the future would be through some absolutely catastrophic event which would definitely be a very bad thing. Get used to it, and perhaps even enjoy it. The land is the same, the people are the same, it's just governed by some people in a far off city beginning with Bu- and ending in -est, so in fact very little has changed. (And yes I know the current government in that city are utterly shit, but even then they are marginally less bad than the current government in Budapest. So, on balance you're ever so slightly better off, anyway)
And if somebody Romanian acts like an wanker, it's because they are an wanker, not because they are Romanian. Likewise if a Hungarian acts like a dick, it's because he's a dick not because he's Hungarian.
To give an example, it seems that the nationalities of the two main protagonists in the story of Basescu vs Arafat are being presented as an issue. They are not. Basescu is a twat because he's a twat not because he's Romanian, and Arafat is one of the good guys because he's one of the good guys, not because he's Palestinian. (Or, if you wrongheadedly see things the other way round, nationality still doesn't come into it)
Even in the case when people allow nationalism to drive their thick-as-pigshit-ness, that still doesn't come down to their nationality. The bloke from here who hanged an effigy of Avram Iancu last March 15th? Those Noua Dreapta scum who showed up here a month ago on December 1st to spread their poisonous bullshit? Those people are arseholes pure and simple. The fact that they hang their arseholery on nationalism doesn't make them arseholes because they are Hungarian/Romanian. It is just because they are braindead fuckwits.
(Romanians: Here's a little test for yourself: Every time you feel the urge to go off on one about Hungarians, first do the following. Imagine the situation in question pertains to Romanians living in Northern Bucovina, and see if this changes your perception. If a Romanian in Cernauti speaks Romanian to his neighbour, or doesn't proudly hang the Ukrainian flag outside his house, do you feel he should be criticised for somehow being anti-Ukrainian)
Basically, nationality is not a factor. You are of course more than welcome to identify yourself as being part of a national group (I don't really understand that either, but I recognise I'm very much in the minority in that), and even if I wanted to I couldn't stop you from making nationality part of your identity, but it's not a factor in anything else. If someone disappoints you or annoys you or makes you angry or challenges you or arrests you or attacks you or pleases you or intrigues you or says something interesting or turns you on or makes you feel good or whatever, their nationality is not the first thing you should focus on. It's not even the last thing. It has no bearing on anything.
I know this sounds like some naive Rodney King-esque plea, but really can't we all just get along? And I'm not talking about tolerance, if that's the best you can do, you probably shouldn't bother. You, we, are all the same. Celebrate that fact. But if you can't do that, just moan about each other out of range of me. You're making me really tired.