MENU
The inauguration of the Gabriel García Márquez Park in Budapest

Living to Tell the Tale

Grab a cup of coffee and join me to evoke the writings of Colombia’s most celebrated author, Gabriel García Márquez

On April 17th, we commemorated the six-year anniversary of the death of the greatest Colombian writer who ever lived, Gabriel García Márquez. It was only a few months ago, on the banks of the Danube river here in Budapest, that we had the honor to name a city park after him. Before I start, let me say I would be lying if I did not admit that my feelings get mixed up every time I talk about Gabo, our Gabo, as most Colombians used to call him.

From the day the park was named, it has become extremely meaningful for my family and me. It feels as if it is a little slice of Colombia in this beautiful city that we are now proud to call home. We visit often, taking family and friends to walk through the gardens and admire the city while drinking Colombian coffee, of course!
In my experience as a diplomat, I have always considered the education, sports, and culture sectors as fundamental axes for bilateral relations and for achieving a much deeper understanding between different cultures. During my time as Head of Mission of Colombia to Hungary, it has not been the exception. Although, our two countries have many common fields, we certainly want to keep learning from those in which Hungary is a world power such as the environment, science, and technology sectors, in which we work harder every day. We have attended relevant meetings to strengthen existing alliances and develop all kinds of initiatives for these sectors. Nonetheless, in terms of friendship, having materialized the project of this public space has a very special singularity: it will remain forever.

Magical realism in Budapest
Incredibly, more than a year has passed since we arrived in Hungary. We settled, made friends, found our favorite places, got into a routine, and, in a matter of weeks, our lives were all drastically changed forever. COVID-19, the first pandemic of this millennium, has unexpectedly found its way into nearly every single town, city, and country on this great Earth. No one was expecting this and no one was prepared.
In Budapest’s current state, looking out the window of my residence to the eerily abandoned Andrássy út seems like a piece of magical realism that our Nobel Prize winning author, Gabo, so famously depicts in many of his books. As the coronavirus spreads, self-isolation or quarantine is one of the key strategies in ‘flattening the curve’ of infection rates. This isolation period involves individuals and families staying within their homes to prevent having physical contact with the outside world. Nevertheless, this has also been a time for many to strengthen their family ties, to reconnect – remotely – with old friends, to re-organize their homes, to realize the importance of small details in life that are easy to forget because of routines and the daily hustle and bustle we so commonly find ourselves in. The silver lining that my family and I have found in all of this misfortune is a new-found desire to make every single second in our lives count, from this day on.

Retrospective
In 1957, nearly a decade after the end of World War II, García Márquez traveled to Budapest for the first time as correspondent of the Colombian newspaper El Espectador in Paris. During his time here, he wrote the book De Viaje por Europa del Este (Travelling through Eastern Europe), where he told with precision, and a brutal handling of small details, the complex political environment of Eastern Europe during that time. His book shed light on an unimaginable world. One that the people of Eastern Europe were not expecting and did not recognize at that time.
It is hard to believe that Colombians, as well as the majority of the people of Latin America, came to learn of the heroism of the Budapesters during those trying times through the melancholic writings of García Márquez, just one year after the end of the Hungarian Revolution. Now, in a different time and under much different circumstances, we reflect on those teachings and look to the future with more force and, in my particular case, admiration for how the government and the people of Hungary have faced this time; with compassion, competence, and a respect for science that will undoubtedly save countless lives.

Convergence
In the 1980’s, I had the privilege of meeting García Márquez and his wife, Mercedes, on a sunny day in Havana, Cuba. I still clearly remember how awe-struck I was by Mercedes. Her strong soul and effortless confidence was just as impressive as Gabo’s gentle, kind and humble demeanor. I strongly believe that those two qualities, empowerment and humility, must certainly converge amongst us now if we are to overcome this dark page in our history.
Whether the time I still have ahead in the ‘Queen of the Danube’ is short or long, I look forward to the many more afternoons I will spend walking through the Gabriel García Márquez Park, coffee in hand, strolling with family and friends as we reflect on how, after all that has happened, we have re-invented ourselves as a society and as human beings.
I hope that someday my daughter, Camila, will come with her children to this very park and that they will enjoy it as much as my husband, Christophe, and I do now.
As a final thought, I invite everyone to reflect on the importance and value of yourself, your friends, and your families during this time. You are truly, as stated in one of Marquez’ most celebrated titles, Living to Tell the Tale.

Carmenza Jaramillo, Ambassador of the Republic of Colombia to Hungary

No comment yet. Be the first!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

13 − nine =

  • Top 5 Articles


  • Articles by Date

  • Hashtags

    #bag tag #Balassagyarmat #Bálint gazda (Master Bálint) #Ballet company of Gyõr #Bálna event center #Baltic Sea Festival #Baltic states #Ban Ki-moon #Bank of China #Bank transfer #Banking #Banking sector #Banking system #Barack Obama #BASF #basketball #battery production #BBC #Beer #Béla Bartók #Belgium #Benelux #Best of Budapest and Hungary #BHS Trans Limited #bicycle #bilateral agreement #Bilateral relations #Bio ethanol #Biotechnology #Bisnode Hungary #Bisserka Benisheva #BKV #BMW #BMW cars #BMW Group #Boglárka Kapás #Bond issue #bond market #book festival #book review #border crossing #BorderLINE Architecture #Bozsik Stadium #brandy #Brazil #Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) #Brexit #British Ambassador #British Chamber of Commerce in Hungary #British Council #British Telecom #Broadband internet #Bronislaw Komorowski #Budapest #Budapest Airport #Budapest Airport Co. Ltd. #Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BKIK) #Budapest Eurogames 2012 #Budapest Festival Orchestra #Budapest film #Budapest Fire Service #Budapest ghetto #Budapest Highland Golf Club #Budapest hospitals #Budapest Marathon #Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony #Budapest Millennium Underground #Budapest Opera Ball #Budapest Stock Exchange #Budapest Strings Chamber Orchestra #Budapest Week Publishing #Budapest Zoo #Buddhism #Budget policy #Bulgaria #Bundesliga (Austria) #burglary #business #Business club #Business Council for Sustainable Development in Hungary (BCSDH) #Business Council for Sustainable Development in Hungary’s (BCSDH) #Business environment #Business promotion #Business services #Businesspeople #Busójárás
    #campaign financing #Canada #Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hungary #Cancún Climate Summit #Canoe #Capital Circus of Budapest #car rental #car sales #car sharing service #Car trade #Card payments #Carl Bildt #Carnival season #cars #Cartel #Cash #CEE region #Census #Center for Budapest Transport (BKK) #Center of Excellence #Central Europe #Central European Initiative #Central European Press and Media Foundation (Kesma) #Central European University #Central European University (CEU) #Central Statistical Office #Ceremony #CERN #Cervantes Institute #Chamber #Chamber of commerce #Chang Sun Dong #Charbel Stephan #Charity #Chemical Industry #Chemistry #chess #Chief Medical Officer Cecíla Müller #Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller #China #Christian Mühlethaler #Christmas #Chung-ha Suh #CIG Pannonia Life Insurance Plc. #cinema culture #Citibank #Civil Movement #climate change #CMS Cameron McKenna #cobot #Code of Civil Procedure #Colleen Bell #Colliers International #columbia #Commemoration #Commemorative coin #Commerce #Communications #Competition #Competitiveness #Concert #Conference #Constitution #Constitutional Court #Construction industry #Consuls #Consultancy #consumer confidence index #contemporary art #contest #Convention tourism #Convertiplane #COP26 #Corinthia Hotel Budapest #coronavirus #Corporate issues #Corporate real estate #Corporate social responsibility (CSR) #Corruption #countryside #Courts #Covid-19 coronavirus #Covid-19 pandemic #Crime #Crisis management #Croatia #cronyism #Csodalámpa (Magic Lamp) Foundation #cultural festival #cultural institute #Cultural Interview #Culture #Customer service #customs service
    #e-mobility #E.ON #East Central Europe #Easter #ECOFIN #Economic forecast #economic reform #Economic relations #Economic sentiment index #Economy #Edit Herczog #Education #Egypt #Eisberg #EIT Health #Elderly home #Elections #Elections in Hungary #Electric charger #Electricity #electricity industry #Electro-mobility #Electrolux #Electronic industry #Electronic payment #Electronics industry #Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis #ELTE #EMEA region #Emergency #Emigration #Emmy Awards #Employees’ rights #Employment #Enda Kenny #Endre Szemerédi #Energy industry #energy policy #energy security #Energy supply #Engineering #Enikõ Gyõri #Enrique Pastor de Gana #Environment #environment protection #Eörs Szathmáry #epidemic #Epidemiological preparedness #Equifest #Ernõ Rubik #Erste Bank #Ervin Zádor #Esther Horvath #Eszter Cseke and Andras S. Takacs #Ethanol #EU #EU affairs #EU cooperation #EU funding #EU funds #EU General Court #EU loan #EU Presidency #EU supported projects #EuCham - European Camber #Eucham European Chamber #Euro (EUR) #Europe Day #European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) #European Capital of Culture #European Central Bank (ECB) #European Championships #European Climate Bank #European Commission #European Court of Justice #European Day of Parks #European Football Championship #European Green Deal #European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) #European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) #European Parliament #European Union #European Year of Volunteering #Eurowings #evacuation #Exchange rate #Exhibition #Exhibition site #Export promotion #Exposition #External Action Service of the European Union
    #H-UNCOVER #Hableány (‘Mermaid’) river cruise ship #Hackathon #Haiti #Hamad International Airport #handball #Hankook #Használtautó.hu #Health #healthcare #Healthcare workers #Heavy industry #Heim Pál National Pediatric Institute #Heineken #HEINEKEN Hungária #Henkel #Herbert Fisch #Herman Van Rompuy #Hidden Power #Hillary Clinton #History #Holiday season #Hollywood #Holocaust #Home office #Home quarantine #Honorary consul #Honorary consuls #Horizon Development #Hörmann Hungária #horticulturist #Hortobágy National Park #hospital #Hospitality #Hospitality business #Hospitals #Hotel boats #hotelier #hotels #House concert #Household products #Housing #Housing market #Hoventa #huawei #Human rights #Hungarian Academy of Sciences #Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) #Hungarian Ambassador to the U.S. #Hungarian Banking Association #Hungarian Chamber of Health Care Professionals (MESZK) #Hungarian cultural season #Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) #Hungarian diplomats #Hungarian economy #Hungarian EU Presidency #Hungarian European Business Council (HEBC) #Hungarian F-1 Grand Prix #Hungarian Film Week #Hungarian Foreign Ministry #Hungarian Foreign Ministry (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade) #Hungarian forint (HUF) #Hungarian gov't vs. EU #Hungarian government #Hungarian Independent Trans­mission Operator Company Ltd. (MAVIR) #Hungarian industry #Hungarian Interchurch Aid #Hungarian inventors #Hungarian Investment and Trade Agency (HITA) #Hungarian Labor Code #Hungarian language #Hungarian Medical Chamber #Hungarian military #Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (KKM) #Hungarian Museum of Science #Hungarian Museum of Science Technology and Transport #Hungarian National Gallery #Hungarian National Museum #Hungarian Olympic Committee (HOC) #Hungarian Open Air Museum #Hungarian Parliament #Hungarian President János Áder #Hungarian Press Photo Exhibition #Hungarian society #Hungarian Tourism Agency (MTÜ) #Hungarian-born #Hungarians abroad #Hungaricum #Hungaroring #Hungary #Hungary tourism #Hungexpo #Hygiene #Hyundai
  • © Copyright 2020 Duax Kft. –  All rights reserved.
    searchenvelope-oalign-justifytwitterfacebookfeedinstagrammoon-osunearth