Attending the Book Fair in Budapest, Hungary

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Irmeli Ivalo-Sjölie

By Irmeli Ivalo-Sjölie, Associate Trustee, Helsinki, Finland

When I heard that the Hungarian translation of The Urantia Book was ready for printing, I decided to attend the book fair in Budapest this past April. Werner Sutter and Gábor Cseh, the translator, were also there to lend a hand. Gábor is a charming young man! As you can see from the photographs, we had a commodious booth providing an excellent place to introduce the book.

One of my Hungarian friends helped with all the logistics: securing the booth, reserving our hotel lodgings, receiving the shipment of books, and so on. That part was easy! The big challenge was getting there. The eruption of Iceland's volcano, Eyjafjallajokull, had left me stranded in Chicago just a few days before the opening of the fair. I had to take an 11 hours train ride from Frankfurt to Budapest!

Being Finnish, I have a great interest in the Hungarian translation. Besides having many good Hungarian friends, the Finnish and Hungarian peoples are closely related. Together we came from the Ural Mountain region a long time ago. Then the Hungarians turned left, and the Finns continued north.

After the communist rule in Hungary, there seems to be great hunger for spiritual food. So the Hungarian translation is coming at the right time. Many visitors to our booth had been looking at the text on Gabor's website. Others have been reading the book in English. There is great interest in the teachings. What really made me happy was hearing the Hungarians tell me what a beautiful translation it is!

On the last evening, my Hungarian friend took me to dinner at an elegant restaurant. We had goose liver for the main dish. There were four little pieces prepared in various ways for an exorbitant price of fifty dollars. But it was worth it, including a lovely setting and beautiful violin music.

Budapest is a beautiful city full of history and is very worthwhile to visit.

It was a most rewarding experience!

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