What is the importance of Hungaricums?

03/12/2024

Dr. Anett Tőzser’s (researcher, Research Institute for National Strategy) article.

Hungaricum is a collective term indicating a value worthy of distinction that are unique to Hungarians and are known all over the world, and therefore play a key role in shaping the country’s image. Foreigners identify Hungarians with the “Hungaricums” that are known globally, such as goulash soup, Tokaj aszú wine or the Hortobágy National Park, the Puszta.

This kind of “branding” is not only a Hungarian phenomenon. Most nations label those values that express their identity as patriotic. Accordingly, we can talk about the treasures of Poland, Germany, Italy, France, England, etc. The difference is that these nations do not have a so-called National Repository of Values like Hungary’s. If there were a French, English or German catalogue of treasures like the Hungarian one, the list would certainly include brands and icons of these nations, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the croissant (France); Windsor Castle, the Tower of London, Yorkshire pudding (England); the German car industry, Bavarian beer, and the Cologne Cathedral (Germany).

In Hungary, Hungaricums have been officially collected since 2012, and since then there have been regulations regarding what constitutes a Hungaricum. Act XXX of 2012 on Hungarian National Values and Hungarian Hungaricums (hereinafter referred to as the Hungarian Hungaricum Act) states that Hungarian Hungaricums and national values must be collected, cultivated and preserved, because they play a key role in strengthening unity and national consciousness. They should also be promoted, as they play an important role in image-building and in addition, economic benefits can also be realized. Their role in national strategy should also be emphasized, since the target area for the collection and preservation of Hungaricums is not only Hungary, but all communities made up of Hungarian people.

The Fundamental Law of Hungary also states, based on the unity of the Hungarian nation, that Hungarian national values are unique values to be preserved, and their protection contributes to the development and consolidation of national identity.

Hungaricums are unique Hungarian products of unique quality, specific to Hungary, or unique natural or cultural values found only in Hungary (indigenous or locally bred animal and plant species, nationally known folk art, fine art, special architectural works, etc.).

Based on the instruction of the Hungarian Hungaricum Act, the executive decree stipulates the categories into which national values must be classified during the collection process. On this basis, the categories of identification are the following: Agriculture and Food, Health and Lifestyle, Built Environment, Industrial and Technological Solutions, Cultural Heritage, Sports, Natural Environment, and Tourism and Hospitality.

The Hungaricum Collection currently (as of March 2024) includes 89 outstanding national values. Most of these treasures are in the Cultural Heritage and Agriculture and Food categories.

With the decision of the Hungaricum Committee on January 31, 2013, based on Article III, § 12 (2) of the Hungarian Hungaricum Act, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Hungary are automatically included in the list of Hungaricums.

One of the most important provisions of the 2015 amendment to the Hungarian Hungaricum Act was the establishment of a foreign value collection based on the Hungarian model. For the development of the economy in the Carpathian Basin, dealing with Hungaricums at this level can make a major difference when implementing national strategic programs.

Currently, there are six Hungaricums from abroad in the Hungaricum Collection which represent the areas outside the current borders of the Hungary: the pilgrimage and shrine of Csíksomlyó, the built heritage of Torockó, the kürtőskalács (chimney cake), the Székelykapu (Székely gate), the religious peace of Torda, and the pozsonyi kifli (cresent-shaped roll from Pozsony).

For more information, see the documents below:

  • Tőzsér Anett: A hungarikumok szerepe a magyar identitás és az országimázs formálásában: Egyetemi tankönyv. Budapest: Nemzeti Közszolgálati Egyetem Ludovika Egyetemi Kiadó (2023), 202 p. View it here.
  • Tőzsér, Anett: The Role of Hungaricums in the Development of Settlements. Polgári Szemle: Gazdasági és Társadalmi Folyóirat 17: Special Issue pp. 415-430., 16 p. (2021). View it here. 
  • Tőzsér Anett: A hungarikumok hatása a települési identitásra: Kutatási jelentés. Budapest Nemzetstratégiai Kutatóintézet (2021), 62 p. View it here.
  • Tőzsér Anett: A hungarikumok szerepe az országimázs formálásában: Kutatási Jelentés. Budapest: Nemzetstratégiai Kutatóintézet (2023), 49 p. View it here.
  • Tőzsér Anett: A hungarikumok szerepe a települések fejlődésében. Polgári Szemle: Gazdasági és Társadalmi Folyóirat 18: 1-3 pp. 154-171., 18 p. (2022). View it here.
  • Tőzsér Anett: A hungarikumok szerepe az országimázs formálásában. Polgári Szemle: Gazdasági és Társadalmi Folyóirat 19: 1-3 pp. 325-344., 20 p. (2023). View it here.

Source of images:https://www.hungarikum.hu/

Dukai Edit

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