It's a Small World!

László Oroszlány

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.