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 Oct 20 2022

Celebrating Hungarian Republic Day with a Bowl of Goulash

23 October marks the day of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, when the people of Hungary stood up against the Soviet Union. The Revolution was an impulsive revolt that spread throughout the whole of Hungary. The nation revolted against the local government and the policies that were imposed on it by the Soviets. The revolution lasted from October 23 till November 10, 1956. Despite the revolution’s failure, it played a great role in the fall of the Soviet Union many years later.

Hungary had been under the control of the Soviet Union after the Second World War ended. Later on, when democratic changes occurred in Austria, the Hungarians were hopeful of the same adjustments.

Unfortunately, the hopes of the Hungarians were shattered after the establishment of the Warsaw Pact in 1955. To demand democratic changes in Hungary and to gain freedom from the rule of the Soviet Union, the students of Hungary held a protest in Budapest in 1956. It was supported by most people and the number of protestors grew, resulting in many protests across Hungary.

The demonstrators toppled the monumental Stalin Monument and wanted to make their demands known by using the radio. To prevent them from doing so, the first armed conflict took place at the Hungarian Radio building.

The Soviets tried to take back control by deploying tanks on the streets of Budapest. As a result, the people of Hungary rebelled against the local government until the Soviets called for ceasefire and announced to allow fair elections.

To honor this event, the so-called Hungarian Revolution, the Hungarians declared the Third Hungarian Republic on October 23, 1989. They also demanded some adjustments of the constitution, which included permitting multi-party politics, public assembly and the establishment of a power separation in the government.

The official celebration for this day was declared on October 23 in 1991 by the National Assembly.

Still today many Hungarians all over the world celebrate this day together in common gatherings with one of the countries national dishes, Gulyás. While the Hungarian goulash cooks in a pot over fire for several hours, a second national specialty shortens the waiting time: Hungary is a hotspot for grape variety. Local, Central European and international grapes are common here and also often combined with each other.

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Goulash, made from beef and vegetables, has a long history as an expression of the multicultural interaction that took place on a culinary level in the former Austrian-Hungarian monarchy. Originally, the dish, which today is described as typically Viennese, originated in the Hungarian steppes. In its homeland, goulash was known as "gulyás hús," which translates as "beef shepherd's meat." It was prepared in the Puszta in large soup pots over open fire with the addition of whole peppers, unbrowned onions, potatoes and tomatoes. This goulash recipe reached Vienna in the middle of the 19th century with Hungarian soldiers, where it became known as "Golash".


Story by Joint Support and Enabling Command

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