M – 1995 – Temerin
First year student of mathematics and volunteer at the Office for Youth, Temerin.
Q: Tell me, what kind of a feeling is it when you feel ‘at home’?
A: The important difference is that at home I know everything, and I feel at home when I’m with friends. And I’m ’at home’ when I’m really at home, not at school or some other place. I feel ’at home’ only at my house.
Q: Yes. Is there any other place where you feel you completely belong? Or do you feel like that only at home?
A: I feel at home when I’m somewhere with my friends too, or when I’m at the Youth Office. That’s one of the places where I also feel at home.
Q: And what is the completely opposite feeling of that? When don’t we feel at home at all?
A: I don’t feel at home when I’m at the doctor’s or in similar places, like the Municipality.
Q: Could you describe that feeling to me a bit closer?
A: I feel bad and uncomfortable in such places. That’s usually a situation in which there’s either something I don’t know or I can’t explain the situation or what I need. That makes me feel bad. Those places are not like home. They are far from it. There are some rules there and I don’t like that.
Q: You don’t like rules? You think that rules are mostly bad?
A: It depends when.
Q: When are they good? Do you think sometimes rules make us be something we’re not?
A: I think rules are necessary in general.
Q: Yes, of course, I agree.
A: It’s not good if we all just do anything we want. That’s why rules have to exist.
Q: I agree. Tell me, what is tolerance?
A: So, for me tolerance is when people accept people as they are. Like if you won’t talk to me if I don’t speak Serbian.
Q: Did you ever find yourself in such a situation?
Q: Yes? Could you tell me something about it or…?
A: A few years ago I was on a field trip with an association for persons with disabilities. There was this one girl there that wouldn’t talk to me. I didn’t speak Serbian that well at the time.
Q: And how did that make you feel?
A: I felt bad, because even then I could somehow explain what I wanted to say, but she just said she didn’t understand anything.
Q: And what kind of opinion did you form about her then?
A: I realised that she’s not really… That she’s not… I forgot the word.
A: Just because I couldn’t speak Serbian that well, she didn’t want to communicate.
Q: So, how tolerant do you think people are?
A: That’s a difficult question.
Q: Yes it is.
A: There are tolerant people. I think that those who went to high school are more tolerant than the ones who didn’t because they have an education.
Q: You think that education is important?
A: Yes, definitely.
Q: Tell me, concerning tolerance, since there are people of both Hungarian and Serbian nationality in Temerin, what’s the situation like down here?
A: The situation is such that we have people who wish there was only one nationality here and there is one group of people who wish that Vojvodina becomes a part of Hungary again. We were taught that, I don’t know if it’s true, that Vojvodina used to be a part of Hungary once upon a time; part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire actually.
Q: Do you think that our nationality has an impact on our identity, on who we are? Does it define us?
A: I don’t know.
Q: Do you think that a Hungarian person has certain characteristics just because he’s of Hungarian nationality?
A: I think it only defines your mother tongue.
Q: Do you think there are people who think that nationality actually defines us? Have you ever come across such people? No?
Q: That’s nice. I know of some incidents here, right? Some fights. Do you know something about it?
A: Unfortunately I do.
Q: Would you tell me something about it?
A: I won’t name names or something like that, but I know a boy. He was at a coffee shop. I have to say that he was Hungarian. When he wanted to go home, he went off with his friend. They went together a couple of times, and some boys came at the coffee shop once and told everyone that he and his friend communicate in Hungarian. Those boys came to them and told them some ugly words and they’ve hit them hard just because they were speaking Hungarian.
Q: How does it make you feel to hear such a story?
A: First I feel…
Q: It makes you angry?
A: It makes me angry. I think that those boys who hit them are not tolerant at all and that they don’t accept people who are different from them.
Q: Yes, someone who’s not like that. And since we are talking about it, it seems there are groups of people. How does it feel to belong to a certain group?
A: I don’t understand.
Q: You have friends here, right? You come here to the club, you socialize, right? How does it feel to be a part of a group, a community, with a certain group of people?
A: I feel good because I know they’re not nationalists. And they are people who in general have understanding if someone is different than them. So, that group that attacks – they’re all the same, and we feel good here. Together we plan how we want to spend our time.
Q: When you see that someone is not a part of your group, do you try to make that person a part of your company?
Q: How do you feel when someone new comes by?
A: I feel good because I’d like to have more and more of us here. I like to help new people to get involved with us.