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HAAW’s remembrance of March 15th with the participation of Seattle’s Hungarian community

By Helen Szablya

We remembered our homeland’s great National Day via live Zoom on Sunday, March 14th.

The excellent remembrance, interpreting the voices of March 15th, was organized this year by our President Daniel Takács, our Vice President Ákos Bőhm, the Scout troop Fekete István No. 45, led by Csaba and Enikő Orbán, the Forever Young Group, the Seattle-Pécs Sister Cities Association, the Forgatós Folkdance Group, the new Hungarian Mobile Library, and the Hungarian School.

While singing the Hungarian Anthem, we saw images of the events taking place in Hungary against the background of a swaying Hungarian flag.  The singing of the American Anthem similarly projected our adopted country’s images and flag for us.

Daniel Takács and Ákos Bőhm greeted the assembled audience appearing in great numbers by that time on Zoom. 

A brilliant performance was given by the world-renowned pianist Angelo Rondello.  Mr. Rondello is the founder of the wonderful musical exchange program between Seattle and its sister-cities.  In the name of the Seattle-Pécs Sister Cities Association he played Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude, and in remembrance of fallen heroes he performed Liszt’s The Funérailles. 

 „Magyars Rise” or „National Poem” by Sándor Petőfi was the next presentation read by Helen Szablya, our former Hon. Consul General. This was dedicated to the Forever Young, showing how it was delivered many years ago in schoolrooms back in Hungary.

The Hungarian school, taught by Gergely Németh, participated in the remembrance with two videos. One showed the children’s class demonstrating what they have been learning about March 15th, 1848, Széchenyi, and Kossuth. They were adorable!  The adult Hungarian class recited in Hungarian another of Sándor Petőfi’s poems ”Feltámadott a tenger”, ”The sea has risen”.  Márta Horváth, founder of HAAW, then read it in English while watching the event with her cute little grandchild.

The next video showed the scout troop making the traditional red, white and green ”kokárda”-s, ”cockade”-s, while answering questions about the Hungarian Uprising of 1848 in Hungarian. The Orbán couple and other leaders have been doing excellent work organizing activities that delight the children, while keeping alive their Hungarian language and traditions.

Representing the Seattle-Pécs Sister Cities Association, Hajni Takács shared a colorful power-point showing how March 15 has been celebrated in Hungary throughout the years. 

News of the Hungarian mobile library was presented next. Chief Librarian Bernadette Dosa read from a novel by Mór Jókai about March 15th: The Golden Man. She announced that on March 15th the catalogue of the library will be posted. Books may be reserved and then collected whenever the mobile library is parked closest to our homes. This is one of our dreams finally come true! Let’s use the opportunity to read Hungarian books!

The following number was an excellent video created by the Forgatós Folkdance Group, led by Flóra Carlisle Kovács.  The video was edited flawlessly, and showed the creation of all kinds of dances and dancers in an artistic collage. Thank you!

Our ”Kopjafa”, which found a place in Katalin Pearman’s house (the Honorary Hungarian Consul) was duly remembered. According to tradition, wreaths were placed on it during a festive, well organized ceremony. 

Last of all we sang together the ”Szózat”, which is considered our second National Song after the Anthem.  Daniel Takács, our President, and Ákos Bőhm, our VP, adjourned the meeting with additional greetings. Thank you to all those who made this possible.

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