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What about Europe @ Sziget?

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By Senka Korac, Babel Belgrade Europe and Sziget are similar – you can enjoy the benefits of it only if you're on the inside. This simple, but profound thought was shared with us today by Zoltan Balog, Hungarian Secretary of State for Social Inclusion at the opening of Europe Meeting Point venue at Sziget festival. Still, this could be disputed.

While Europe is not currently living it's finest days, the same could not be said for the Sziget festival. With a 19 year old tradition, this festival keeps bringing worldwide famous and not so famous musicians to Obudai island located in the middle of Danube river. Arriving to Budapest on day 0 of Sziget festival, we had to face the stream of people going to and from the Metro station. When asked if it was because of the rush hour, Andras, president of Babel Hungary Association, simply said „No, it's Sziget“. That answer no longer seems surprising since I later discovered that Sziget has over 350,000 visitors each year for the past decade.

Cafebabel is located at the above mentioned Europe Meeting Point. You could say that we have a high-class company since our tent-mates are representatives of European consulates and embassies, as well as members of AEGEE Budapest. Next to our tent there are Corvinus Association of Foreign Affairs and Culture, Pillar European Club and a Rolling Memorial bike set up in the memory of all Roma people who died because of their origin. Although several visitors gladly hopped on a bike, not a lot of them spent their time at the Europe Meeting Point. Not even a contest in drinking and recognizing Balkan drinks helped to increase the number of people at this venue. After all, who cares about Europe while you're enjoying the benefits of Sziget?