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The Slow movement was created as an alternative to our busy lifestyles. Its goal is to encourage people to live in the moment instead of always being in a rush. Although in our language, slowness has a negative connotation the movement aims to change this. They would like to prove that there is good slowness as well: if we slow down at the right moment, everything goes better. If we focus on the right moment and do not only rush through them, then we can be much happier, healthier and more positive at the same time as being able to create deeper relationships with others and with the nature surrounding us.
The Slow movements started in Italy, the Slow Food was the basis of everything. An Italian gastroblogger was protesting against the opening of a McDonalds and at the same time, against fast food. The protest went so well that 3 years later, in 1989, the foundation document of slow food was created in Paris, which is against fast food and supports slow meals, the indulgence in tastes and the purchase of products from local producers. This was the beginning, but a lot of other areas followed, like reading, design, child-rearing, travelling and media consumption. The movements exceeded Italy and today, it has followers gathered in smaller communities in a lot of countries like the USA, Japan, Germany, Norway and even in Hungary.
The Slow Cities (Cittaslow) movement was founded in 1999, also in Italy. It comprises settlements whose population does not exceed 5.000 people. Its goal is to slow down the rhythm of the place, putting more emphasis on the people. They try to motivate people to relax, deepen their relationship with nature, therefore, more and more green areas, parks and bicycle paths are created. Thereby, they improve the quality of life, protect the environment and promote a healthy lifestyle. Nowadays, there are Slow Cities in other countries as well, in Hungary, Hódmezővásárhely was the first one to be nominated as one in 2010.
During the summer of 2012, a few young people realised that they were overwhelmed and they wanted to do something against it. They knew that the fast pace can be useful in some situations, but it is not needed in every case. They realised that overwork can lead to stress, it reduces the feeling of happiness, has a negative impact on health and all this results in the feeling of being burnt out. They try to live in a way that places them and the focus on the quality of their relationships into the centre. They would like to find the balance and encourage others to do so as well on their website and on their Facebook page.
The newest initiative of the Slow Budapest is to promote the giving of time as a present instead of unnecessary objects for Christmas. By doing so, we can spare hours spent shopping, not to mention all the money. Christmas is starting to lose its true meaning and is becoming commercialised. The event of Slow Budapest on the 30th November was organised to try to change this. The participants could write down their wishes on a board and the organisers took a picture of them with it. They could forward these pictures to their friends who will now know how to surprise them. The event can be accessed here.
Translated by Judit Molnár