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article imageSouth Africa's Hungarian community recalls 1848 Revolution Special

By Christopher Szabo     Mar 18, 2012 in World
Pretoria - The Hungarian community of South Africa’s economic heartland, Gauteng Province, has commemorated March 15th, a national day and the anniversary of the revolution which threw out feudalism in 1848.
At the Hungarian Embassy in Pretoria, Tibor Nadj recited the stirring poem, Nemzeti Dal (National Song) which, in part, led to the Revolution of 1848 against Hapsburg Absolutism. The poem’s refrain, which was soon picked up by the crowd back then, but again in 1956, goes:
Esküszünk,
Esküszünk, hogy rabok tovább
Nem leszünk!
Tibor Nadj recites Petőfi s famous poem.
Tibor Nadj recites Petőfi's famous poem.
In translation, it could be rendered:
We Swear!
We Vow!
That we won’t be slaves
Any more!
Another recitation, that of Petőfi’s Európa Csendes, Újra Csendes, starts with the words:
Európa csendes, ujra csendes,
Elzúgtak forradalmai...
Szégyen reá! lecsendesûlt és
Szabadságát nem vívta ki.
In translation, it says:
Europe’s quiet, quiet again,
It’s revolutions have died down
Shame on it! It’s gone quiet and
Has not attained its freedom!
The poem was written after all of Europe’s 1848 revolutions had been crushed by Absolutist powers, except that of Hungary. Of course, Hungary had raised an army and was fighting, not at barricades, but in regular battles, though outnumbered. Hungary did in fact defeat Austria, but could not overcome both Austria and Russia’s might.
Béla László, Hungary’s Ambassador to South Africa, reminded those assembled of the courage of the revolutionaries of 1848, led by Lajos (Louis) Kossuth. He also reflected demands by Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, that the country be treated fairly by the EU, and not as a second-class nation.
The EU last week slapped sanctions on Hungary for not exceeding an austerity target of 3 per cent of GDP, while Spain was allowed much more leeway. It was running a deficit of 4,4 per cent, but was allowed to go up to 5,8 per cent.
While the EU has claimed this as even-handed, countries in the region, including Poland and the Czech Republic, as well as Austria, have questioned the fairness of the decision.
The assembled guests then lined up for the most important part of Hungarian culture, the cuisine!
More about Hungary, National, Day, 1848, South Africa
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