Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Day of the Dead,

There hasn’t been an all saints day since we have known each other with Jen that I haven’t lit a candle in the evening as a small act of admitted ancestral worship from my side. I still remember my days in Denmark thinking how really i was getting into ancient practices and all the stuff about shamanism – which by the way I still associcate with on some level for so far shamanic way of thinking (pre-pagan if you like) is probably the oldest and most honest form of social constructivism. Back then I seemed to take it far more seriously, rediscovering something that reaches far beneath than what I can contemplate, disconnecting from my roots and past... hm... and practicing rather traditional and everyday forms of ancestral worship.

So far in this blog, supposedly about Szeged i managed to offend just about anyone and everyone. Mostly for my unabashed criticism of nationalism and the idea of nations. The trick is always finding the line, to be drawn to separate practices from one and other; this is culture, and that is nationalism. Ancestral worship, although I do not know how common it is around the Carpathian Basin all together I am pretty sure it is particularly Hungarian and is a cultural characteristic that easily slips by the eye yet is particularly uniquely Hungarian. Some ten years ago leaving everything behind I took this with me. In the last thousands or so many years neither Catholicism, the Reformed churches nor the nation state project has managed to ‘touch’ it.

Where to go from here than? Not a clue. I don’t think it really matters but I am pretty sure surprised. Especially that I am in it. About a week ago I was in Budapest and so I decided to go out to the cemetery where my grandmother was buried. It was that time of the year. And of course there is the candle every year. Well, some belief claims if you ever in a desperate need for an honest advice you shall ask you own death for it is just about the only thing in the universe that will be truthful at all times. Thinking of that talking to the dead, who have had some more subsequent dealings in the death department, besides, they also at least wouldn’t care to lie, may be altogether a good idea. But the more interesting lesson perhaps is the one about culture. It’s in the guts. The bits that you don’t notice at all. The rest probably is acquired luggage.

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