THE STORY OF A TEDDY BEAR / Bernadett Molnár
One morning when I awoke in my room at the children’s home – I was placed there temporarily because of my family background – it occurred to me that I would like to learn the sign language. A friend of my educator helped me get into the sign language course organized by the National Association of the Deaf, where I started to discover an interesting world. After graduating from the workers’ secondary school, I applied for a position as educator in the Budapest School for the Deaf. I was hired at once, and I worked in the nursery school and in the boys’ dormitory.
On my first day at the nursery school I felt lost: I had never worked with such young children before. Later I watched my more experienced colleagues and learned from them. But at first I stood uncertainly in the room full of small children. Suddenly, a little girl took me by the hand, and pulled me over to the table with an encouraging look. Her name was Szandika, and she was a sweet little Roma girl with shining brown eyes. We played all afternoon, smiling, without a word.
Days, weeks, and years passed, and slowly I discovered the world of the deaf. I became a substitute mother to an orphan child, Kristóf; the school and the nursery were my second home. Szandi and Kristóf were in the same class at school, thus it was natural that I celebrated every event with the children, carnivals, birthdays, St. Nicholas’ Day, and Christmas. Every Christmas I prepared little presents for the children and my colleagues. They were my family, and the real Christmas was the one I spent with them.
When I delivered the presents, I signed to the children that I had met Santa Claus, who said that he saw that they were good, and sent presents to them.
Once, there was a small package for me under the Christmas tree. Szandika jumped in front of me and she signed, smiling: “I also met Santa Claus yesterday afternoon! He said that you were good, and he sent you a present.” The package held this sweet little teddy bear.
In the afternoon, when Szandi’s mother, Erzsi, arrived to take her home, I thanked her for the present. “Do not thank me,” she said. “I did not even know what she was up to. She went to a nearby shop with her sister yesterday afternoon, and she returned with this bear. She bought it with her pocket money. It was she who wrapped your present, she did not let me help.”
It is not only Szandika who is a special person for me, but also her mother. She is raising her four hearing-impaired children alone, and she uses a special form of sign language with them, which differs from the standard one. Most parents do not want to learn signing because the deaf child is a burden to them. They do not communicate with the children, nor wish to learn about their silent world.
Köszönet a tárgykölcsönzőknek és történetmesélőknek:
FISCHER ÁGOTA ÉVA
FÜLÖPNÉ WELTZ MÁRIA
HÁTSZEGI GÁBORNÉ, JULIKA
HELLER MÁRIA (RÓZSA PÁL)
HELLER SÁNDORNÉ, MÜLLER ANIKÓ
KÁNAI GYULÁNÉ PEREDY GIZELLA
LEÁNYFALVINÉ GORDÁN ILDIKÓ
TERÉNYI ISTVÁNNÉ SULLAI VINCENCIA
TÓTHNÉ RUDI MARGIT
Köszönet a kiállítás létrejöttéhez nyújtott segítségért
TÓTH GERGELY MÁTÉ
ELEVEN EMLÉKMŰ CSOPORT
HERITAGE CONTACT ZONE
HUMÁN PLATFORM EGYESÜLET
OPEN SOCIETY ARCHIVES
Castrum Peregrini, Amszterdam
Asociatia Timişoara Capitala Cultural Europeana, Temesvár
Eleven Emlékmű / Humán Platform, Budapest
Etz Hayyim, Hanía, Kréta
European University Institute, Firenze
Culture Action Europe, Brüsszel