Introduction of the new Cultural Chairperson of the association
Let me introduce myself. My name is Borbala Gorog, Bori. I am the newly elected Cultural Chairperson of the HAAW. And now I’m going to tell you how I got here, to the Evergreen State.
My story began on a winter night, a couple of days before Christmas, when I was born in beautiful Budapest. My family lived in Buda and I have always felt lucky to be surrounded by nature. Ever since then I have been devoted to the protection of the environment.
I started my music studies at the age of ten in a so-called choir school. The founder of the school combined the music education methods of Zoltan Kodaly with the British cathedral choir schools. We had special classes such as voice training, music theory, choir singing and instrumental music. We sang at church services too. We had a tremendous number of concerts and we traveled through Europe. I loved these tours as I have always loved seeing life. The love of choir singing and music is rooted deep inside my heart. I sing in choirs wherever life brings me. It gives me much pleasure that my 5 years old daughter also started singing in a choir recently. I do believe that the musical education of the children not only develops their cognitive skills but nurtures their souls. That is why I have started Bobita baby-and-me classes at the Hungarian School here, in Seattle.
But let us return to Hungary for a little bit. I graduated college as an elementary school teacher with a music major. Interestingly I have never taught in schools but the love for children and the importance of their education is essential for me. I mostly worked for non-Hungarian companies and I was always enthusiastic about the new cultures I got to know. It felt as if I were traveling the world without leaving the country.
Then in 2012 I met my future husband and in just a couple of years we were on our way to the USA with much excitement and a dash of angst in our heart. We found ourselves in the middle of the colorful and rousing Big Apple. Luckily the Hungarian community welcomed us with open hearts. Later I began teaching at the Hungarian school of New York City (AJMOI) and became a board member as well. When our daughter was born we loved attending the Bobita baby-and-me classes so much that I decided to learn the program from Ildiko Nagy. When our son was born in 2020, we were facing big decisions regarding our life in NYC that was hit hard by the pandemic. Our small apartment was functioning as an office, a daycare and a home all at the same time. It was time for us to sail quieter waters so we moved to Seattle in 2022.
The HAAW and the Hungarian Scouts of Seattle helped us settle down in the new environment. We are hoping to be active members of this very special group of people. I am leading the Bobita baby-and-me classes and also teaching the youngest class at the Hungarian School of Seattle. I currently serve as Cultural Chair at the Association and I am overlooking the Scouts’ treasury.
When we moved to the US in 2016, leaving our friends and family behind, we decided that we will make the most of our stay. We respect and honor our new home country and are grateful for all we can learn. We love Hungary and the Hungarian people, we treasure our Hungarian culture. Some say Hungarians don’t stick together but I experience the exact opposite here. The tireless and keen work of the members makes a wonderful community that we can all belong to. I wish all the best for the members of the Association and the whole Hungarian community!