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Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Hungarian Revolution

My Dad sent me an article earlier this month which basically discussed that Washington D.C. is going to have a memorial for the fallen heroes of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Having Hungarian roots and actually meeting several Freedom Fighters (Hungarian Revolutionist) through my Nagypapa (Grandfather), I think this is pretty damn amazing.

For those who know nothing of the Hungarian Revolution, wikipedia link explains it as, "The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was a spontaneous nationwide revolt against the government of the People's Republic of Hungary and its Soviet-imposed policies, lasting from 23 October until 10 November 1956." The site further went on to say, "Over 2,500 Hungarians and 700 Soviet troops were killed in the conflict, and 200,000 Hungarians fled as refugees. Mass arrests and denunciations continued for months thereafter."

Obviously the result was not what Hungary had intended it to be (at least for a while), but their sacrifices were great. They fought for their homeland because they saw a better tomorrow for their country. A better tomorrow, is something most Americans can easily identify with.

A Freedom Fighter once told us a story to my family of how a group of men were taking a bunch of women and children to the Austrian border. While they were walking, they saw a bunch of Soviet troops. Fearful the troops would open fire at them for whatever reason they deemed necessary, the men carefully moved themselves to the outer circle of the group essentially shielding the women and children. Much to the amazement of the Hungarians, the Soviet troop paid no attention and they were able to flee to safety.

I've only been to Hungary once and was a little girl when I went. Although I am proud of being an American, Hungary to me has a strange draw because of my roots. I know very little of the language, but know the cuisine and as a child frequented tons of Hungarian festivals dressed in my little folk costumes (it was customary 99% the people did this). My favorite dance was the Czardas, which is a dance where it would go slow to fast and then repeat back to slow again. I loved how my dress twirled out as we would almost get thrown going round and round!

Don't I Make A Cute Little Hungarian?

Close to the dance we would do...less uniformed though.

I kind of see the Hungary as a whole as part of home. Is that weird? I don't feel that way as much about being part German or Scandinavian. I suppose a big part of that is my upbringing. When I see things (however surprising it may be) like a Hungarian memorial, I can't help but be proud and think of my Great Grandfather Mikhail ("Michael" whom my son, Dad and I are named after). I just feel a connection and think how wonderful he would think this memorial was or how my Nagypapa and Nagymama would have found that to be real "swell".

Ég veled! (goodbye for now)

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