The photographer girl couldn’t escape the folk tradition of Easter watering. After toxic red smudge, rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons now she got a splash from the watering buckets – not a small portion of it.
Bernadett Szabo is one of the photojournalists working for Reuters news agency’s office in Hungary. We have been covering different events together for years now. One of these is the Easter watering in Holloko. This is an age old Hungarian tradition of fertility. Boys and girls keep the tradition alive by reenacting it in folk dresses every year at Easter time on the streets of the old village. Nowadays in the cites boys mostly use small portions of parfumes, but the original tradition was using buckets full of (usually cold) water and girls got soaked through.
Detti was greeted in the village as an old friend having been there every year for the folk festive. Being a girl of course means everyone wants to splash some water on her, but mostly she got away almost dry with only a few drops being poured. The two cameras hanging on her shoulder usually wins the sympathy of the guys to skip the splash. Last year I missed the chance to photograph her poured by a glass of water what she didn’t forget until now.
This year she got watered at home by his boyfriend with a siphon. But she had no idea how this day will end for her in the countryside. After finishing the shooting in Holloko she let herself be persuaded and put the cameras into safety to stand in the center of attention and waves of water.
After she got soaked it became obvious she wasn’t as prepared as one might expect from an accomplished photojournalist. Though she has rubber boots, gas mask and even a ladder in her car’s trunk, she didn’t bring a change of clothes with herself. Thankfully weather was fine and we got home safely and it was warm in the car so she didn’t get ill after this wet adventure.
Her smile wasn’t fully honest after the splash but somewhere deep within I think she enjoyed it. My advice is however not to get close to her with any water to pour on her, she knows the lesser known part of the tradition: on Tuesday after Easter the girls may drop water on the boys – and I’m sure she will do it…