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Gypsy people and the revolution. It is a rarely mentioned topic, but it reveals such treasures and self-sacrificing destinies that can truly unite us.

The ’56 Revolution is a historical event that I can’t break away from due to my personal involvement. At this time of year, there are a lot of young people, workers, peasants, intellectuals, artists to whom we owe so much. Among whom there were Roma people too. I would like to pay tribute to them with this short writing.

The Roma heroes of 1956 came from the most difficult backgrounds, as they had nothing to lose but their lives. The ever-swelling crowd chanted, "Who's Hungarian is with us!" And Roma youth chose the frontline instead of standing on the outside. Like everyone else, they too identified with the "Russians, go home!" slogan. They wanted change, right away. The less daring helped the cause of the revolution by hiding fugitives or organizing further actions. The active participation and selfless advocacy of Roma youth is one of the moments that also makes ’56 a pure revolution.

Everyone needs heroes and role models. The example of heroes motivates us to want to become better people. I was able to experience the exceptional, transformative power of all this in my private life and work. Hungarian history, art and culture abound in iconic figures, whom we can call for help even in the most difficult times, if we need a point of alignment. But what about our Roma compatriots? This is already a much more difficult issue to approach…

The author is the head of the MCC Roma Talent Program, a social worker with 30 years of experience.

Photo: Our Heroes - Paintings by István Szentandrássy.