Thursday, November 11, 2010

Parks, Puppets, Parliament & Pinkos

Let's start with the pinkos... Here is the Soviet War Memorial,
commemorating the Soviet's expulsion of the Nazis from Hungary
Claudia did not know what to think when she saw...
... a group of Hungarians who gathered to commemorate the Soviets.
She was just so happy to have her Daddy back.
But, being the red blooded American she is, she kept a cautious watch.
... and played with the leaves, of course. Oh, we are are glad Rusty is back.
So happy! Here's me interrupting the train fun to get Claudia to smile for a pic.
She calls trains "Choo choos!" She loves them. Strangest piece of playground equipment.
Its this little cup thing that swivels & rotates.
She loved it. LOVED IT!
Might have to get one installed in our front yard.
Hungarian Parliament
Russell was most impressed with the remote control cars & motorcycles
being raced in front of Parliament.
Here's the flag with the hole in it.
I've given the history below if you're interested.
Ahh, the puppets. We went to the famous Babszinhaz Theater.
Claudia sat still for the whole show.
Check out some posters from one of Babszinhaz's first shows in the 60s.
Pretty violent, huh?
I think that puppet on the left is strangling another puppet! Yikes!
Don't worry, though.
We saw Puss in Boots.
No violence, just lots of laughs.
Claudia with her Puss in Boots playbill.

CAUTION: This post is dripping with Hungarian history. I find it interesting though, so read on if you are interested too. Dear ole Daddyboy returned from Dallas last Saturday! We did some touristy stuff upon his return. First stop was the park at Szabadsag Ter (Liberty Square). It's one of the most tranquil parks in Budapest and Claudia loved the playground. The square is also home to the Soviet War Memorial, which commemorates "Liberation Day" - April 4, 1945 - when the Soviets forced the Nazis out of Hungary. Hungarians are somewhat torn over this monument, as the Soviets later subjugated the Hungarians and dropped the Iron Curtain on the country for several decades. A few blocks up from Liberty Square, you'll find the Parliament building. In front of Parliament there is a flag commemorating the 1956 Uprising wherein Hungarians rebelled against Communism and removed the communist seal the Soviets had added to the Hungarian flag. The revolt resulted in a massacre of many protestors. The Iron Curtain was not lifted until about 1991.

Here's the delimma that plagues Hungary. Do you (a) commemorate the Soviets for liberating Hungary from the Nazis or (b) sweep them under the rug for later oppressing the Hungarians for a better part of the twentieth century? As you can see, some people still gather and pay hommage to the Soviets. Of note, Hungary also has several monuments to American icons, including George Washington (the ultimate rebel!) & Harry Hill Bandholtz (US officer from WWI who protected Hungarian art from being looted during the war).

On a lighter note... we went to a Puppet Show on Sunday afternoon. It was at the Babsinhaz, an amazing puppet theater that has been in operation for over 60 years. They do two performances daily, to audiences of 300+. Their theatrics were slightly more elaborate than my Spring performance of Noah's Ark. We'll definitely go back for another show.

5 comments:

  1. I read your blog every time you post but to forget to comment. It looks like there is SO much history and interesting things to do in Hungary. I get a lesson every time I read it! It's great! What a cool thing for your family to experience!

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  2. I love all the history and your photos.

    And wow, domestic abuse must have been a hot topic in puppet theatre in the 60s. Those posters are disturbing!

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  3. I'm so glad y'all like the history. I'm captivated by all of it. Especially the WWI & WWII history. The violence of historical Hungarian puppet theater is also very important to document. =)

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  4. You guys are so stinking blessed. How exciting to live in such a beautiful and historic city. CC is going to so cultured when you guys get back. She may even give Don a run for his money - I'd pay to see that. That puppet show looks so cool.

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  5. Thanks, Kelly. You are so right. When I start missing home, I remind myself that this IS an adventure and an opportunity. As for CC, she is totally emersed in Hungarian culture and now speaks fluent Hungarian. =)

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