Preparing Ourselves


Tomorrow will be the national holiday of the 1956 Revolution. Some articles have already debated if there would be any kind of riot this year, because since 2006 each national holiday was a potential source of danger, the political situation was so tense, that I don’t really believe Hungarian authorities were ever able to guess in the last years, if they would have to use tear gas the next time or not… This far speculations and reports say this year October 23 memorials would be peaceful, even if some far right groups announced that they would also rally.

Generally, this holiday is considered something to be proud of, as Hungary had been one of the first countries that had tried to secede from the USSR. I remember some years ago I had to write an article about Vietnamese press in Hungary and one Vietnamese journalist working here mentioned that in Vietnam which is a socialist republic, this Hungarian October 23 revolution is still considered as a counterrevolution officially. While we in Hungary changed the political system in 1989 and October 23 can be officially celebrated as a ‘normal’ revolution since then. It’s funny how history changes with political regimes.

These posters celebrate that the ‘Hungarian Republic is 20 years old’ (actually that’s the title for the exhibitions on the street). The two lines literally translated: ‘Live the freedom, live the republic!’. I was always wondering why is it forced to invent or reuse slogans for national holidays that sound totally out-of-date. I never hear people talking about our ‘republic’. Is somebody out there who still uses this word in everyday life? I hear people talking about Hungary, our country, homeland and such. The word ‘republic’ is not that strongly related to Hungarian or Hungary like for the Czech when talking about the Czech Republic.

By the way, this year I heard politicians talking about our democracy, that turned 20 years old. I think that sounds better, and worth the discussion. Republic became a form of a state without any serious meaning for the citizens, but the word democracy symbolizes the change of the system, the new system, the differences, the difficulties, etc. Something that we have to (or we feel we have to) fulfill with a common, Hungarian meaning. It’s already 20 years old!

I have to announce that the old Soviet cars’ exhibition has already been put to Blaha Lujza Square but they are cordoned down till October 23. And should be remembered the 2006 riot when somebody stole a T-24 tank from an open-air exhibition like this.

There are a few places in Budapest where images of the revolution, or 1989 are projected on buildings. This one is still at Blaha Lujza Square.

And a last note. The posters are illustrated with poppy-flowers that are in blossom in summer. I love poppy, that’s the most beautiful flower in Hungary, but for me it’s a bit confusing to see a summer-flower at an almost winter exhibition.


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