Parents, teachers and students think about school like that: the bad students are lazy and the good grind their teeth and perform. In most cases it doesn’t even occur that learning might be a joyful creative activity that can even be attractive for the youth and not only for those who want to impress and perform. Yet a number of initiatives show that disadvantaged and middle class children can both learn with good spirit and perform better if we offer learning as an adventure and not a constraint.
Last night the people here noticed a strange blue glow coming from the old castle in the forest. The light show invoking alien invasion was however highlighting some of our fellow humans who live among us, yet are often treated like alien beings. On World Autism Awareness Day, blue light illuminated countless locations worldwide, from Niagara Falls to this crumbling old castle. Not so long ago, autism was considered a rare condition, while today it is recognized to affect one in 100 people, though often the symptoms remain undiagnosed. Probably, autistic people have always been among us, though in earlier times would be stuck with the labels 'village idiot' or 'eccentric genius'. Albert Einstein is assumed to have been on the autism spectrum, only back in his time autism research was in its infancy.
Like a birthday cake isn't meant to be eaten alone, or mother's day reserved for mothers only, so Roma Day celebrations are only worthwhile if it is not observed exclusively by gypsies. In fact, confined to official ceremonies and authentic, positive stereotype enforcing gypsy concerts alone, one would have a hard time presenting Roma diversity to an audience of any ethnicity. Yesterday in Budapest and across the nation, Roma Day presented a rich and varied program to universal audiences.
Velvet curtains, classy architecture, champagne at the buffet – that is how a direct marketing treatment would kick off. All you need to do is stay put in your seat, and applaud politely when it's done, like you would an acceptance speech. But is that what theater really is? Could Shakespeare, and a bunch of theater activists be right in asserting all the world's a stage, and all the men and women players?
The number of really child-friendly cafés in Budapest can be counted on one hand, making it a special challenge to get out and relax as parents and taking our boisterous kids along. HellóAnyu! (Hi Mom!) is a pro-family community space featuring diverse programs, an organic café and child-friendly interior, to enable fun for all, big or small, while maintaining a community focus.
Only a few minutes' walk from Oktogon, the two-storey HellóAnyu! building is a busy, teeming treasure trove. The place is basically a great big playhouse, with diaper changing table, study corner and yoga room facilities available as well as hot food and a range of sweets and desserts for the whole family. This special space accommodates a wide range of age groups: six-month toddlers can crawl around or doze off on the huge baby mat, kindergarten age kids have a dynamic assortment of toys and games at their disposal, school students can take their homework into a quiet nook or take tea with friends, while parents can finally meet up with their own friends and socialize.