Author: Mária Urbančoková

Stories from Pitvaros
Mária Urbančoková was born 1922 in Pitvaros and was the youngest of seven children. Only four of those children reached adulthood. Three children died shortly after. Back in those days the high mortality rate of children was considered normal.
Mária Urbančoková grew up in a farmer’s family, in an idyllic environment, in which everyone respected each other. Head of her family was her father, who guided the family by strict rules. He was a curious man, he never went to church, but the Bible and the prayer book always had to be on the table. He would often read from them. If someone sinned in his house, he kindly asked the person to leave it with the following words: “In this house we don’t sin. I am not angry with you, but you aren’t welcome in this house today.” He never went to the pub, even though drinking half a litre of homemade alcohol wasn’t a problem for him; but that happened only rarely. The people respected him and for many years he was asked to lead weddings.
Mária went to a Hungarian school in Pitvaros, where speaking Slovak led to punishment. She liked school very much nevertheless. She was a good student, she liked to recite and to perform during public events. She even played in the amateur theatre in Pitvaros.
Mária loved Pitvaros, she spent her childhood and her youth there. She lived 32 years there, and for another 40 years she remembered back, with a tear in her eyes, on the tidied-up streets of Pitvaros, her school years, how she met her husband and their life together, her family and parents.
She liked to dream about Pitvaros very much. If she dreamed of her parents, or family, then she always woke up happy, smiling and remembered the dream for a long time. This led her to write her memories down on paper.
She got the chance to write them down after getting an apartment in which she lived to the end of her life. Before that she lived in her old house with her grandmother. Later she went there every Saturday and Sunday to relax, dream and start writing. She wrote one story after the other. She left us authentic memories of her Pitvaros. She wrote in a way the people of Pitvaros spoke, she described their habits and even wrote down real stories about people from Pitvaros.
Her first story was a small scene which she wrote for the senior club to perform with her friends. Later in her free time, she started writing down, or rather remembering, what she had seen and heard. She didn’t have any ambitions to become a writer, she only wanted to describe in her own words how the people of Pitvaros once lived.
The Stories of Pitvaros were published after her death by her sons with the help of Michal Kožucha, OZ Ponvagli and many people who were originally also from Pitvaros and very helpful to the editor.