Living in the northern part of the US or in Canada, it is a nice break if you can spend some time, even a short time, during the cold winter in the always sunny Caribbean. By plane from New York, you could be in the Bahamas in a little over two hours.
A few years ago my wife and I too greeted the new year there. Attending church on the first Sunday, we noted that most of the people there were not the natives, but tourists, like us. Even the pastor saying Mass introduced himself as a semi-retired transplant from the North of the US. And the concelebrating priest was a guest too, coming there every year for two weeks "from somewhere where it's very cold". But we found it unusual that -- contrary to what we were used to -- this father did not really say much, did not do any of the Readings, say any of the prayers except at the end the very short sentence: "The Mass is ended, go in peace."
Hearing that, I whispered to my wife that the accent sounded familiar.
As the people were walking out of church and went to the priests to greet them, we went to the guest father and I said to him in Hungarian: "Boldog Újévet kívánok!" ("Happy New Year!") He was quite surprised and asked: "How did you know I was Hungarian?" My standard answer to this question: ”Because you have the same accent I do.” (This way it could never be an insult.) Of course, we talked some more and learned that we have mutual acquaintances in Canada, where he was from.
According to statistics, there are about 15 million Hungarians in the world, but only about 10 million of them live in Hungary. The rest of us live in the neighboring countries ("Nagymagyarország") or anywhere, everywhere in the world. So, no matter where you are, do not be surprised if someone near you "speaks the same language"! Because
IT'S A SMALL WORLD!
László Oroszlány was born in Hungary and left the country in 1956. He came to the United States in 1959, and established a firm producing precision parts as a manufacturing subcontractor for the aerospace industry. He retired from there after 42 years. He had been President of the Lay Committee of St. Stephen of Hungary Church in New York.