Sziget Festival Day 5 Passports, blind rock climbing and the Hungarian alphabet

Day 5! Already over half way through our festival experience. I’m not going to lie, we were feeling it a bit at this point especially with the heat!! Day 5 didn’t initially have to many plans attached to it. So we decided on a bit more exploring of the island and finishing off getting all the stamps for our Sziget passports. This meant heading over to the West side of the island to check out the Xs camp and activity zone. (Xs short for extra special.)

Part of Sziget’s love revolution policy was ensuring the festival was accessible to everyone not just the able bodied. So not only was regular camping provided but also camping for those where accessibility is slightly less straightforward to just putting a chest height tent down and a bed. The Xs camp zone had easy access toilets, showers and tents for those that needed them. So wheelchair’s didn’t need to try and climb stairs. The festival also offered volunteer service from the The Mozduljunk ki organisation to help those with disabilities. On top of that there was also wheelchair and moped rentals. Assistance for the blind and specialized shuttle services to and from town. For more info check out Sziget’s webiste;

All of these services made the availability of an amazing festival so much more inclusive and enjoyable for a great many people. Along with the Xs camping zone there was also an entire activity zone dedicated to awareness for able bodied people about everyday struggles we take for granted. Such as the blindfolded maze. Each person was given a blindfold and a stick and asked to go through the maze, sounds straight forward right? It wasn’t to bad apart using the barrier to guide yourself through the maze while trying not to step on anyone else’s toes or bumping heads, that was until I got to a tunnel… The occasional person ended up back at the start because they totally missed it and those that did find it had to carefully figure out how long it was. Needless to say everyone who went through came out with a renewed appreciation for their sight!

Photo: Dianne de Kievit / Festileaks

Another of the sight or lack there of activities was blindfolded rock climbing. Royce and I since being in Evesham have refreshed our climbing skills and thought this would be cool to try. Or would’ve been had either of us not been wearing jandals. Royce went first as he has much more callused hobbit feet then I do. He painstaking swung his hand back and forth to find holds on his way up. Little by little hands and feet found holds and Royce scrabbled to the top. I on the other hand put my harness and blindfold on, took jandals off and put my hands on the wall, swiped found a hold and swiped again, two holds good start, foot.. Oh dear, oww! Bare foot rock climbing is not something I plan on doing regularly. I muddled my way part way up the wall but had to bail because not being able to see along with soft feet just wasn’t a happening thing.

From there Royce had a go at wheelchair basketball, which naturally is harder then it looks. Then we headed over the the Hungarian language tent. There where two Hungarian ladies on the tent teaching anyone who wanted to learn, a bit of their language. Royce and I since being in Europe have fallen in love with language, the ways in which it ties with culture and the intricacies other languages capture which English cannot. Coming from New Zealand and only knowing English I have come to be a little embarrassed by my lack of knowledge. New Zealand has two spoken languages and NZ sign language as official languages. Yet all I know is English. I know smatterings of words in Maori, but coming to Europe, meeting 3 year old’s that speak and understand 4 to 5 languages. Meeting people whose grandparents are some of the sole remaining native speakers of indigenous northern Scandinavian languages, and simply being around populaces where knowing more then one language is considered normal. I have come to realization of how intricately linked language and culture is and how important it is to speak and learn and cherish the languages we have, because you simply can’t replace them when they’re lost. I have been badly learning Spanish for the past 2 years through phone apps and I plan to learn Maori when I return to New Zealand. I feel learning the native language of my home is an important step to better understanding my own culture and the people within it.

While on the stall we learnt some Hungarian. Discovered their alphabet has A LOT more letters then English, but in a way that makes sense! All the vowels are separated up so each letter has a specific sound. When you read a word there is no guesswork, you know exactly how the word should be pronounced. We also got chatting about Maori, as I said I am not conversational but both Royce and I know a few words, and New Zealand uses many words in our everyday language without even thinking about it. I grew up with things like;

Haere mai, come get your kai!” or “Come here, come get your food.”

Be good or the pirihimana will get you.” “Behave or the police officer will get you.”

e tu” “stand up” or “e noho” “sit down”

This is all everyday language and only a handful of the many words that is thrown into everyday life. It’s all things I don’t think about, such as my go to greeting being “Kia Ora:” Which is “Hello.” The ladies in the tent knew English already, so it was really nice to be able to share something new with them as they did with us. We told them a little about the culture and we talked about words that English doesn’t do justice such as; Whanau which means family, but it’s more then that. It encompasses every person who is apart of your community. It’s the people that aren’t blood but are still family. It’s one of my favourite words and the English translation simply cannot accurately describe the depth of the word. I think that’s amazing, I love the uniqueness of languages in this way.’

The rest of our day was fairly relaxed on our way to camp ended up stopping in on a Extinction Rebellion talk going on near the Reggae stage. That was a fairly heavy and involved discussion about how much time as a planet we don’t have left to fix things. Like literally less then 18 months! I only stopped for a short time but it was enough to put a somber outlook on the future. When your being told that recycling and changing your eating and lifestyle no longer matters. That unless the world governments do something drastic we are looking at literal extinction of the human race as we know it! It’s a bit of a shock to the system to say the least, and a blatant reminder on how fragile our way of life is. Like language, culture, community and civilization can be wiped out so easily if we don’t appreciate it and take steps to to ensure its survival. If you want to learn more about extinction rebellion click the link below.

The reggae stage

Thanks for tuning in to day 5 of Sziget festival, I hope you have been enjoying hearing about what we got up to and our thoughts around it. Please leave us a comment and tell us what you think. Also hit the like button if you haven’t already and subscribe for more out the gate adventures. Next week on the travelling shepherds Sziget diaries is a little Hungarian history and Florence and the machine!

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