A famous Brazilian composer, Chico Buarque, wrote that Budapest is yellow. When I was there, I found a grey sky being crushed by three colors: red, white, and green. The Hungarian flag was everywhere: a reminder of how strong people are when they fight together.
Hungarian people may be known as gloomy, but seeing their celebration during October 23rd leaves you with no doubt that they are a nationalistic bunch. And they have tons of reasons to be proud. To name a few: Budapest is one of the prettiest cities in the world; they were responsible for the first moves of putting the Berlin Wall down.
This took place on October 23rd, 1956 when the people revolted against the Soviet policies, setting the path spontaneously to a stronger opposition against Communism in Europe. That’s probably one of their biggest holidays, and that’s exactly the day I fell for Budapest – in 2010.
It started as a quiet Saturday but the streets were quickly taken by crowds of proud Hungarians: old and young, wearing the colors of their country, carrying flags, chanting songs. It was like a big parade, crossing streets, squares and monuments where the uprising took place.
And after that came Szomorú Vasárnap (Gloomy Sunday). And just like in the poem, the city seemed to be mourning the death of so many loved ones. The sky was grey, but the streets were red, white and green: covered with flags and flowers. A symbolic burial of 2,500 brave men of 1956 and the commitment of today’s Hungarians that they will forever appreciate and protect what was gained after the revolution.
Even though this poem was written years before the uprising, its last verses seem to fit perfectly: Hungarians today can rest assured that, even after death, their martyrs are blessing them.