The song was not written with the intent of creating a new anthem, yet it became a national symbol and the official anthem of Szeklerland. Hungarians in Transylvania often sing the song on special occasions such as New Year’s Eve when they gather together in front of the church at midnight.
After the first world war ended, Hungary had to sign the Treaty of Trianon, giving up a large chunk of its land that was acquired by the neighbouring countries. Hence, Hungarians became a minority group on their own land after borders were redefined. Szeklers are a group of Hungarians, living in Hargita and Kovászna counties in Transylvania region, Romania. It is important to know that not all Transylvanian Hungarians identify as Szeklers.
In 1921, Kálmán Mihalik composed the song, and György Csanádi wrote the lyrics for it. This song was not created with the intention to write a new anthem, but it later became the symbol of protest against repression.
In the beginning, the song was not known by many. There was a time when more people became aware of it and began to sing it in secret as it was banned. After Northern Transylvania was given back to Hungary, the song was taught in schools between 1941 and 1944. Later, Romania got back the land permanently. During the communist era, if someone was caught just listening to the song, they were sent to jail for three months. – eszm.ro wrote.
Here, you can listen to the song and read the lyrics in English:
Recently, the song has become a highlighted national value. The Hungaricum Committee decided to include the Szekler anthem on the list of Hungarian Treasury (Magyar Értéktár). Thus, the number of Transylvanian national treasures increased to six.
“In addition to the coat of arms and the flag, the Szekler anthem is now an indispensable symbol of our regional identity. Its origins and afterlife are also legendary, it survived regimes and fashions, and it became more and more of the symbol of the Szekler people’s desire to live.” – said Sándor Tamás, President of the Covasna County Council, who submitted the proposal. He added that the anthem is a national treasure and it should have a place among the Hungarikums as well. – hvg.hu wrote.
The song is not considered an official Hungaricum yet, but declaring it a Hungarian treasure, and claiming it a national value are important milestones. Other national values that originated from Transylvania are the Nagybánya Art Colony, the Statue of Liberty in Arad, the works of Károly Kós, the built heritage of Torockó and the Freedom of Religion Act.
Source: eszm.ro, hvg.hu