When I’m writing this, the total death toll of the Sichuan earthquake is already estimated at 70 thousand, and the number of the wounded at a half million. Five million people have lost their homes, and those living in the countryside have started en masse to march toward the cities. The barrages of almost four hundred storage-lakes have cracked, and the incessant rainfall is menacing with new catastrophes.
Yesterday, today and tomorrow a three days general mourning is observed both in China and among the overseas Chinese.
I only note in passing that a number of Hungarian parties have found with a bon goût this moment as the most appropriate occasion to propose a motion, in terms of which the Hungarian parliament – alone among all the parliaments in the world – should condemn the aggression of the Chinese government in Tibet. Questions like how much justified is this in the present complex situation of Tibet – of which I would like to write later –, whether this really promotes and not rather obstructs the Tibetan case, to what extent this is a substitute action and how many things could be really done for Tibet, whether it is effective to publish such a statement alone and not in diplomatic league with other countries, why we advocate exactly this case when we bravely keep silent in every other, how much this will undermine our relations with China and how great harm it will do to our country, and whether it is really humane to do this exactly in the middle of the mourning of the other and what legitimate reactions can be rationally expected thereupon from the other – all this does not interest these gentlemen who are exclusively concerned of the domestic political consequences of their move. A move just as expensive and just as deeply cynical as many others that all our parties made in the last years, from threatenings with (hardly existing) neofascism and with the „thirty million Romanian employees” that would flow in after the opening of the borders, to the irresponsibly proposed and irresponsibly sabotaged referendum of 2005 on the dual citizenship of Hungarians living in the neighboring countries whose failure caused the largest moral and emotional rupture in the connections with these populations, and all the other moves that have been altogether drifting us toward the inevitable catastrophe.
“I would like to offer a donation for the survivors of the Sichuan earthquake.” The employee of the Chinese consulate looks stunned. “Are you Hungarian?” Whoever offers a donation to Sichuan cannot be but Chinese, even if he has a nose as long as devils. “Tui, xiongyaliren.” “Did you come from the government?” “No, I’m a private person.” The face of the boy relaxes into a smile. “There behind you to the right, there is the door. Come in.”
In the room the Consuless and two other women are counting money, the donations of the Chinese living in Hungary. They offered a hundred and fifty thousand dollars until last Friday, and the amount is continuously increasing. The Polish government gave a hundred thousand to China. The King of Saudi Arabia fifty millions. The name of Hungary does not figure in the reports. Zhen tells me that Chinese companies and private persons have collected sixty five billion dollars thus far, and aid concerts incessantly follow each other where masses strive to offer the most possible to their compatriots in need. This is how a nation looks like. “Did many Hungarians give as well?” I ask the Consuless. “You are the very first one.” “Perhaps the events are not much announced in the news”, she adds as a benevolent palliation.
We originally dedicated this money to cover the schooling of a little Tibetan boy, but we have lost the person who was the guarantee that this money would go to the right destination. It is strange that now it goes to that part of Sichuan where a Tibetan minority of several millions is also struck by the catastrophe. Perhaps right to another little Tibetan boy.