HUNGARY IS TINY, BUT HAPPY VIETNAMESE DIASPORA

Thứ hai - 16/04/2007 10:35

Bài viết về cộng đồng Việt Nam tại Hungary và báo NCTG, của học giả Hữu Ngọc (Hà Nội).

(VNS) Of the communities formed by some three million overseas Vietnamese in ninety countries around the world, the community in Hungary is relatively small and has a short history.

The Vietnamese community there began to grow in size in the 1990s, following the collapse of the East European bloc, and now consists of some four thousand members – students, post graduates, guest workers and their families. Prominent among the community, which is located mainly in Budapest, are some 200 holders of university degrees or higher in mathematics, information technology, physics, economics, medicine and pharmacy. These professionals work for government agencies and private companies. Others are engaged in trade; some run large and successful businesses.

Small and young as it is, this diaspora is homogenous, closeknit and peaceful. Vietnamese people have learned how to blend into life in their host country while remaining faithful to the traditions of the old country. This image is reflected in Nhịp Cầu Thế Giới (Bridge to the World), a five-year-old community magazine published in Budapest. Its articles, sometimes pulled from the Hà Nội press, are useful to readers. One article explained in detail the procedures to obtain a driver’s license, another reported on why it was not possible to carry both a Hungarian passport and a Vietnamese passport, and still another provided tips to those who had houses to sell.

Hungary’s politics, of course, are of prime importance. A preelection debate between the  prime minister and his predecessor was given extensive coverage. Prominent coverage was given to Prime Minister Gyurcsany Ferenc’s visit to Việt Nam in July 2005, the first visit made by a Hungarian government leader in 33 years. The visit was made at a propitious moment when Hungary had just become a member of European Unio and Việt Nam was intent on pushing ahead with international integration. The visit helped show Hungary’s willingness to help Việt Nam develop economically. In addition to longterm programmes, Budapest increased its ODA to Hà Nội 2.5 times and accorded Việt Nam a special grant of US million for the construction of a coal-fired power station in the central region.

Despite their successful integration, expats’ attachment to their home country pervades columns and literary pages. Said Nguyễn Văn Tuân, a scientist of international renown at the Medical Research Institute of Garvan: “I left my native country not because I wanted to forget it or deny it. An obsessive feeling of nostalgia persists in me. This feeling, in fact, is common to all of us: a man is but an entity permanently tied to a determined place and his presence cannot be separated from a concrete place… These ties cause regret and these concrete places can be summed up in two words, quê nhà (native land)”.

Hữu Ngọc


 

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