Hungaricums: Outstanding National Values that Shape the Image of Hungary and Hungarians


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


During our research, the representatives of the organizations responsible for shaping the country’s image named mainly agricultural, food and gastronomic products as those Hungaricums that can be identified with Hungarianness. Agricultural products were typically more popular among Hungarians than those Hungaricums listed as cultural heritage. In addition, among the other Hungaricums, there were often mentions of country symbols (e.g., Lake Balaton, the Rubik’s Cube or the Gömböc) that are not (yet) included in the collection of Hungaricums.


In our interviews with experts, the most frequently mentioned items were goulash soup, Tokaj wine, Tokaj aszú, Eger’s Bull’s Blood dry, red wine, products made from fattened geese, and spicy and mild ground paprika were mentioned most often. Among the food products, Tokaj wine is the best known and most popular product among the target groups of the Hungarian institutes surveyed abroad.


The Kodály Method is one of the Hungarian intellectual products that are considered Hungaricums and is highly appreciated in many countries (e.g., China, Great Britain, France).  The Hungarian cultural institutions would like to bring this long-established method of music education to as many people as possible. Based on this, the Chinese Hungarian Cultural Institute established the world’s first Kodály Methodology Center in Beijing. In Paris, the Kodály Method is also in great demand, as is shown by the inclusion of the Hungarian method of music education in the annual training program for French music teachers. In addition to the example mentioned above, the Hungarian Cultural Institute in London announced that the Kodály Method is available to anyone wishing to pursue classical music studies in London.

Ferenc Puskás (source: )

In several countries (e.g., Russia, Great Britain), the name of footballer Ferenc Puskás was clearly highlighted as the most famous Hungarian. Also very famous is the 100-member Gypsy Orchestra which, for example, is well known in Poland and Russia. In Moscow, before the coronavirus epidemic, the orchestra performed every January.


In addition to the Hungarian World Heritage Sites on the list of Hungaricums (notably the Buda Castle and the panorama of the Danube River), the country’s other outstanding landscape treasures, such as Lake Balaton, the Hungarian spas (especially in Budapest and Hévíz) and the wine regions (Tokaj, Eger, Szekszárd, Villány, Balaton Highlands), are also given great attention.


Among the tangible products, Zsolnay and Herend porcelain are worth mentioning. These are recognized products in several countries (e.g., China, Serbia, Poland, France, Russia) and are available as souvenirs in various forms.

Zsolnay porcelain (source: )

Furthermore, the reinterpretation of Hungarian folk embroidery in contemporary fashion design and applied arts is also popular in several countries (e.g., China, France).


For more information on this research topic, see the documents below:

Tőzsér Anett (2023). A hungarikumok szerepe a magyar identitás és az országimázs formálásában: Egyetemi tankönyv. Budapest: Nemzeti Közszolgálati Egyetem Ludovika Egyetemi Kiadó, 202 p. Elérés

Tőzsér Anett (2023). A hungarikumok szerepe az országimázs formálásában: Kutatási Jelentés. Budapest: Nemzetstratégiai Kutatóintézet, 49 p. Elérés

Tőzsér Anett (2023). A hungarikumok szerepe az országimázs formálásában. Polgári Szemle: Gazdasági és Társadalmi Folyóirat, 19, 1–3: 325–344. Elérés

Tőzsér Anett (2023). A hungarikumok szerepe az országimázs formálásában. Turizmus Bulletin, 23, 1: 44–50. Elérés

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