Say You Want A Revolution?

Cooking for the Revolution I was preparing a slide show of my neighborhood and also my visit to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Libraries but this seems more timely. I even found a short film clip from the news which includes a video of what we experienced and another protest we missed. It is almost as good as being here except unfortunately for you no sausage and beer with it. To begin at the beginning, after being warned by Zsusza and others not to go out of my neighborhood or anywhere interesting on this national holiday, the 160th anniversary of the failed Hungarian Revolution of 1848. I was suprised when Zsuzsa called me & arranged for me to meet her near the National Museum. I took the bus across the bridge to downtown which was really neat because the Elizabeth Bridge and the Szechenyi Bridge were both closed to cars.

We started at the National Museum where activities had just ended but a band was playing national songs that sound like a less energetic version of John Phillip Sousa marches. We wandered to the poet of the revolution 160years-005.jpg Sandor Petofi’s statue is and then to an area where you could hear the mayor’s speech. There were also activities like a horse guard demonstration, clowns on stilts, many Hungarian crafts for sale and of course beer and sausage.

I’ve never felt so safe, the security guards were big and numerous. 160years-031.jpg

The protesters tried to break-up the Mayor of Budapest’s speech. Rather than cutting it short he went on and on. Zsuzsa says- “More like an American than a Hungarian.” I wasn’t bored, between listening to the rioters whistles and jeers and watching the security guards run around in their riot gear there was always something going on. We really couldn’t see anything described in the news article just the mayor’s supporters who seemed to be unfurling more and more Hungarian and Budapest flags as the speech went on. I’m sure it was a select crowd of supporters and friends. We observed this from our little area set aside for festivities surrounded by a temporary fence and a security guard every two feet or so. They only allowed in the people who weren’t protesters. Zsuzsa just had to taunt the protesters as we entered. It’s a very Hungarian thing to do and only in Hungry could you drink a beer surrounded by guards while you watch a protesters try to cause a riot at a political event or so it seemed to us.

Zsuzsa started laughing when the protesters shouted en mass. Her translation was “Impeach everyone!” Sorry I didn’t get any really exciting pictures but I’ll attach my slideshow.

The video in the news seemed more real than being there. 160years-051.jpg

Guess I should mention the rest of the pictures are from the family activities on the blocked off Szechenyi bridge. Kids had to participate in singing the revolutionary song, reciting the poem, hearing about the printing press, for some reason race to pile up a rope and so on to get their revolution passport stamped.

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