Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The meaning of home

I always thought the generic house we all drew as children was some inherent, life-has-one-door-and-two-windows, a-chimney-and-an-attic typo in our artistic renderings of life. Similar to the stick figure representation of people. Today, if prompted to draw a house, I will infallibly revert to my inner 5 year old and whip out an exact replica of that model and even worse, I will feel compelled to add an apple tree with an owl hole. I've never even seen an owl in real life.

I thought it would be interesting to see how the children would draw "home". In hungarian, when speaking of "your house" you say otthonod or "your home". Not apartment, not house, but rather, home. I like that. But even here, in Hungary, where 2/3* of the population live in communist housing like this:

The children in Jules' class all draw the aforementioned house when asked to draw their homes. Except of course, my George. You knew there had to be a catch, right. She apparently, has changed her mind as to what "home" is: last year it was the requisite house despite never having lived in a house and now it is the sweetest representation of the crazy-14-billion-people-could-totally-fit-if-only-all-our-apartments-were-stacked- on-top-of-each-other, "personal space is for pussies"** type propaganda that has everyone (still!) living, sleeping, and eating in 3 rooms.

But I digress, the point was supposed to be the entertaining rendering of home as perceived by George.


She would make a great pr person for the communist propaganda. "But look, beds in the staircase, beds in the kitchen, beds fit ANYWHERE. The cold is for pussies, y'all. And look how many people fit in each apartment. You only need to eat and sleep there; whaddya need privacy for? You got a front door, close it."

I love that despite the apartment building as "home" (which is an accurate representation of where we live, except for the beds in the hallway.) we still have a kick ass apple tree with an owl hole. And not one attic window, but nine. Nine, read 'em and weep. How many you got?


*I totally made up that statistic, by the way. I have no idea what percentage of the population reside in apartments. Furthermore, I can't be bothered to do more than generalize. But believe me when I say these are everywhere.
**I doubt Stalin's campaign was ever quoted as sayin personal space is for pussies, but I did watch a very convincing propagandist documentary, Budapest Retro regarding this living arrangement. Something about how convenient it is to hang your chairs on the wall because you need to unfold your couch to sleep in your living/dining/bedroom. I understand the theory behind Ikea ever so much better.

1 comment:

Food Mum said...

That apple tree must be in the universal child consciousness. My children also do them loaded under apples, with heaps of apples on the ground and cascading from the tree.