Unification News for November 2002

Hungarian Mr. and Miss University Beauty Pageant

by Gyorgy Kozma

In the history of the Hungarian Mr. & Miss University Beauty Pageant we reached a turning this fall with the 8th pageant, with three different TV channels interested . local city TV in Budapest, a national commercial TV station called RTL Klub and a national satellite TV channel broadcasting to Hungarian minorities in neighboring countries.

The RTL Klub TV has a ‘real life’ program where they let people decide whether an event is positive or not. Accordingly, they came to our CARP center at breakfast time on the day of the Pageant to meet the participants and follow their day through until the farewell party. Finally from the whole day of filming they had to cut a 3-4 minutes report.

There were many challenges during the preparation of the event. For example we first planned to hold the pageant a week earlier in the same culture house where Hyun Jin Nim spoke in 2000, but had to change the place and date at the last moment because it was needed for the local elections. In the last moments we could find a smaller place, well-known from the communist period and very run down. But brothers and sisters worked so hard to make the stage beautiful that even the reporters were amazed.

Based on the previous years experience we had decided absolutely to not organize the pageant between 23rd October and 4th November, which spiritually is a very difficult period in the Hungarian history. In 1956, university students rebelled against communism and demonstrated in front of the Parliament. The army without any words just shot them. Then on 4th November, 1956 the Re Army entered to Hungary. But as it turned out we had to hold the pageant right in the middle of this time anyway. That was the least of our difficulties!

We tried many ways to promote the event, with posters at universities, lots of university newspaper announcements, by visiting smaller Christian denominations and a folk-dance group, sending out materials to martial art groups or other talent-groups, all areas we had been successful before. But this time, no one responded. Finally all six finalists came through direct personal relationships, including several who had earlier studied the Divine Principle with us.

We included education about Service for Peace, and all went together to a Blind Children’s School where we made a culture afternoon, teaching songs and practicing Won Hwa Do together. We also took participants to an exhibition about North Korea which proved a good starting point to discuss the work of True Parents for the unification of North and South Korea.

For the first time in the history of our domestic pageant we held a nicely prepared welcome party; where the judges could meet the participants and could have personal conversations. These judges included several participants of earlier Pageants, including Mr. Hungary 93 and Miss Hungary ’97. Our photographer was Mr. Hungary ’97 and one of our MC was Mr. Hungary ’94.

The winners are invited to represent Hungary in the 2003 Mr. Miss University Contest in Seoul, Korea

Also for the first time, we had a national folk costume parade and entrance on the stage. For the question-answer session we let the judges to set personal questions to each participants based on their written material and speeches. This was much more interesting that the usual over-prepared questions!

Although there were many struggling, tensions and sometimes resentments among the leaders and staff, but at the end everybody was liberated, joyful and happy. This was a ‘sweaty’ project, but brought unity among CARP members. As always, the main lesson is to witness, and witness more!

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