1848. In the current political climate, it's a day that prompts several political demonstrations, bussing in of demonstrators from the countryside and an increased reaction of blatant prejudice. This can be seen on the streets, trams and throughout the city.
Today we encountered some Roma racism that made us get off the tram a couple stops early and catch the next one. Passing one of the major squares we saw people setting up for the Jobbik Party rally. Their supporters gathered on corners here and there baring political symbols from the days of World War 2 that scare everyone outside of Hungary and some Hungarians too. Being that it's election time in Hungary right now, Budapest is in high political fervor. Today that fervor crept out from the corners it sometimes hides in. This political atmosphere makes me feel like I'm back in time in the first half of the 20th century. I imagine the political views of many Hungarians today are somewhat the same as they were back then, and we know how that ended... the genocide of thousands of Hungarians.
On this holiday new laws also came into effect... You can no longer take pictures of people in public unless you have the consent of those in the photo. That means when you're at Buda Castle or Parliament or any other beautiful site in Budapest, you can't snap a photo if someone you don't know is in it. You have to first ask their permission. Really? Great for your tourism industry Hungary.
So happy Hungarian Revolution Day. Hungary, I urge you to remember your leader, Kossuth Lajos, who led this revolution and actually hoped to make a multi-ethnic federation along the Danube. He fought for minority rights in Hungary. This is what I choose to celebrate on this day... equal rights for all people in Hungary.