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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Hungary, Lesson 4 - 1848 Revolution Day
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class - Holidays in Hungary Series at HungarianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Hungarian holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 4. 1848 Revolution Day. In Hungarian, this is 1848–49-es forradalom és szabadságharc.
Sándor Petőfi, rosette, Young Men of March, National Museum. Do you remember these words from the history of Hungary? I certainly hope so! These are closely related to today’s topic, the revolution and freedom fighters of 1848.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?
The three colors of the Hungarian flag are red, white and green. Do you know the significance of these colors?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
The Hungarian revolution started on March 15, 1848 and the subsequent fight for freedom, in Hungarian szabadságharc, was a significant part of the wave of revolutions that engulfed Europe in 1848. This revolution was one of the most significant events in recent Hungarian history. At the time and as an independent state, Hungary was a member of the Habsburg Empire, but with severely restricted rights. These restrictions were demolished by the Young Men of March, in Hungarian márciusi ifjak, led by, among others, the poet Sándor Petőfi. They forced the Habsburg court to accept the so-called twelve points, or 12 (tizenkét) pont, which was a summary of the demands of the Hungarian people, such as freedom of the press and an independent government. As a result, the first independent government of Hungary, lead by Lajos Batthyány, was established.
There is no Hungarian who can’t recite a few lines of one of the poems of Sándor Petőfi, the "poet of the nation". One of the most significant poets of Hungary, Petőfi lived for only 26 years. During his short life he wrote more than 1,000 poems, among them the "Song of the Nation" which in Hungarian is Nemzeti Dal, written on the Eve of March 15. This poem, similar to the poet, became a symbol of the revolution. He was a flamboyant, revolutionary person, who lived and died for his homeland. He died on the battlefield on July 31, 1949, in Segesvár, when the revolution was put down by the Habsburgs with the help of the Russian army.
March 15, the anniversary of the revolution, is a national holiday. Remembrances are held all over the country. Politicians or politikusok currently in power try to use this occasion to obtain the support of people wearing the rosette, or kokárda. Since the aims of the revolution and the following fight for freedom represent values that speak to the hearts of all generations, many political parties use these slogans to try to win the sympathy of the populace.
Some people believe that the rosette worn by the Young Men of March and still favored by the people is actually incorrect, because it runs counter to the rules of reading rosettes. The first rosette was made by the lover of Sándor Petőfi, who was Júlia Szendrey, and she believed that the red on the outer circle is nicer, although not in accordance with relevant rules.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
The three colors of the Hungarian flag are red, white and green. Do you know the significance of these colors?
Red stands for strength, white for fidelity, and green for hope.
Did you like this lesson? Did you learn something interesting?
What’s the most significant national anniversary in your country?
Leave us your comments at HungarianPod101.com, and we'll see you in the next lesson.