Ce treaba au ungurii cu martisoarele?

Dragele noastre cititoare (şi dragi moldoveni 😛 ),

Unele/unii dintre voi v-aţi saturat de primit mărţisoare, altele/alţii, nu… Dar pun pariu ca nu veţi refuza o poveste multiculturala despre acest “nimic” magic.

Mai ales când povestitorul este Kesztió (Limba Cailor) :

Acum câteva zile, am auzit la un post de radio în maghiară o emisiune gen Vocea ascultătorului. Ştii, când dai telefon şi spui lucruri deştepte de tot în eter…

Întrebarea era:  care-i faza cu mărţişorul ?

Erau maghiari clujeni şi cam 3–4 voci susţineau la unison că e un obicei românesc şi noi (ungurii) nu avem nevoie de „sărbători de import”.

Tipul care modera emisiunea a ascultat totu’ cu politeţe, nu a zis nimic. Dar după ce telefonul a încetat să tot sune, a citit un articol al unui mare scriitor al maghiarimii ardelene. Să fi fost Kányádi Sándor, să fi fost Fodor Sándor, e mai puţin important.

Scriitorul nostru prezenta în detaliu un obicei deosebit de frumos (! ) la români, numit mărţişorul. Şi sublinia: ce frumos că acest obicei a prins rădăcini şi la unguri!
A adăugat că, totuşi, mulţi maghiari susţin că e un obicei „străin”. Dar, dacă e să ne călăuzim după această logică, de ce avem un alt obicei şi mai străin, bradul de Crăciun, de origine germană?

Nici un telefon după această fază

Asta este întâmplarea pe care Kesztio mi-a spus-o pe messenger şi nu m-am lăsat până nu i-am smuls acordul să o public şi aici.

Faină poveste, dar, cum un mărţişor se simte prost sa stea singur la pieptul vostru, la fel şi istoria noastra ar vrea să i se alăture altele.

Asa ca dacă ştiţi alte întâmplări în care au fost implicaţi talismanul cu şnur alb-roşu şi doamne/domnisoare/domni de diferite etnii din România, oferiţi-ni-le în dar. Că şi eu vă ofer ceva 🙂 :

Publicat initial pe 1 martie 2010.

Update 2 martie: Cum se zice „pe ungureste” la martisor? Márciuska
[pron. intre marţiuşco si marţiuşca]


19 gânduri despre “Ce treaba au ungurii cu martisoarele?

  1. Shame on whoever made the statement about „Martisor” being a foreign holiday which we need not import. That holiday is very much a part of my upbringing and I often tell my magyar friends (from Hungary) what a nice holiday it is. I remember from my childhood how exciting those day were (girls finding out which one of the boys likes them, giving a nice present to a female teacher, etc.). Never once did I (or any other romanian magyar) ponder about this sort of non-sense. Learning about the history of the event is one thing, rejecting it on ethical reasons is quite another.

    Additionally, what I think makes Transylvania (and Romania as well) so special is that it has been a melting pot of different ethnicities and cultures. We need to put an end to ultranationalism and extremism and focus on building a bright future – together. Perhaps having lived in the US for the last 20 years affects my thinking in that regard – but they do set a good example to follow.

    I am happy to see so many publications (including this one) combating the separatist, old way of thinking. It’s good to know that there is a different line of thought out there – one that is logical, sensible, and constructive. There is hope yet for our country.

    • – what I think makes Transylvania (and Romania as well) so special is that it has been a melting pot of different ethnicities and cultures.

      Sorry to disappoint you but here hasn’t been any melting pot here in 1000 years of living together (melting pot in american sense of using the word)

      The Romanians and Hungarians have different identities, quite sharp differentiated- they were at war against eachother for the control of Transylvania few times in the last century.

      There is a lot of interaction, of course, and some superficial reciprocal cultural borrowing but they don’t form a nation.
      Each has its separate sense of being a group (a „race” and nation) with its own destiny.
      Though the fate of the Hungarian minority in Transylvania is practically tied to that of the Romanians they think themselves as being a part (the transylvanian part) of the larger Hungarian nation residing in the „Carpathian Basin”. (while the Romanians in Transylvania think about being a part of the Romania).

      No melting pot here, sorry. And it will never be. Just tension, „low intensity” interehtnic warfare, a controlled one since we don’t want to let escalate and end up as in Targu Mures -march-1990 when we killed eachother on the streets.

      No melting pot in the sense that the Anglo-Saxons, the Celts (Irish and Scottish people), Germans, Poles, Italians..etc.. went to America, forgot their past, their european rivlaries, and mixed, intermarried, used all English as their language and thus gave birth to the „American people”.

      There are no „American people” here. There are the Hungarians and the Romanians with the Romanians being the majority and dominating the physical and the cultural-symbolic space while the Hungarians living in their own „closed worlds” (ethnically closed) while feeling angry and resentful for their culture and language being „second status” (and being nostalgic over the times when they were the dominant culture).

      Very much alike the Whites and Blacks in US, pretty sharp distinction, no „mulatto nation” (melting pot), no nation in fact but two nations which live together forced by geography, chained together.

      • ‘No melting pot here, sorry. And it will never be. Just tension, “low intensity” interehtnic warfare, a controlled one since we don’t want to let escalate and end up as in Targu Mures -march-1990 when we killed eachother on the streets.’

        Why do you think that it will *never* be? I would like to think that we can overcome the issues dividing us, even if it is difficult and it takes a long time.

        I tend to disagree with your comparison to the whites and blacks of the United States, and specifically the reference to a mullato nation. Someone who is black or white is equally American by all standards. We are one nation with many ethnicities, and ethnicity has no bearing on nationality.

        I do believe your comments and observations are valid and rooted in reality, as far as historical record goes. But why can’t we change for the better?

        Can we hope?

        Can we try?

      • Not sure if on MRo is considered a good practice or not commenting older post, I am a newbie, hopefully you will not consider me impolite.
        I would like to add some thoughts.

        „No melting pot here, sorry. And it will never be. Just tension, “low intensity” interehtnic warfare,”

        I would like to have a melting pot here, in Transylvania, up to a certain level and of a certain kind, that I will try to describe below. I want to feel a sense of ‘together’ when I am thinking of Romanians in Transylvania and would like them to feel the same. I think that as there are now oltean and moldovan we should construct something like ‘transilvan(ian)’ in a new (old!) way. I do not want to live in ethnical warfare even in low intensity one. I do not want ‘our’ next generations to live in ethnical warfare either.

        So the answer to Gabor’s questions „Can we hope?” and „Can we try?” I think are: „We should hope” and „We must try.” I think that is the ultimate reason why MaghiaRomania exists! (Off: It’s somehow comic that in my almost the first post I am telling for people who is ‘here’ since 2 years (I think) why MRo exists 🙂 ).

        This transilvanianism is not something new, as all of us know, it’s something dormant since several decades, and it needs to be rebuilt. This is a unique mixture of sharply different identities (as Ovidiu said) and interactions. Like all systems of this kind it developed during hundreds of years and it is a complex living thing,that need to be let to live. You know that in states said to be more civilized than us, religious warfare was at full intensity, the Holy Inquisition lived its ‘golden era’, Paris was far before St. Bartholomew’s Night when in Transylvania the Patent of Toleration has been adopted.

        Nowadays we simple cannot understand (at least I hope so) how people in Western-Europe could kill each other because of their different religious expression. I think that we should get to that point, that our successors will simply not understand how Romanians and Hungarians were able to kill each other 100 years ago. And I think at that point Olahus can close down this site and start to do something more useful at that time. (Hopefully not starting a new site helping the transilvanian people understanding the not-reansilvanian ones 🙂 )

        Perhaps it is the hardest task from our lives, but nowadays young French people says that the most important and reliable partner country of France is Germany. and there is less then 80 years elapsed from the time of ‘bouche’-s. US was able to elect afro-american president in less than 50 years since the apogee of the anti-segragation movement. So it is possible, Maybe our case is more difficult than the above ones, indeed, but I think that this is the only right way. (Uhh, somebody saying ‘this is the only right way’ ended up tragically several times already in the history, hopefully it’s not the case).

  2. Thanks a lot for your comment, Gabor.

    I liked your comment, although I don’t blame the hungarians who don’t want to practice this custom. I understant them and, at least at a rational level, I don’t blame them. I think that, as a minority, you have this problem: how many influences can I receive from the majority without losing my identity? Especially regarding the traditions.

    Giving and receiving martisoare it’s ok. But what if hungarians started playing the „ţurca”? Or if little hungarians came with the „sorcova” each first of january? Would it be ok to their identity?

    So it’s good not to borrow all traditions.

    • I agree that it’s not necessary to borrow all traditions. People should be free to choose what they want to borrow and whatever their choice is, they are entitled to it. Perhaps I read into it too much, but the statement of „nu avem nevoie de „sărbători de import”” had a separatist and supremacist undertone. It would be wise for folks to be careful on how they express their opinions (especially via the media). And I’d like to see the focus on comparing cultures be a bit more balanced in the sense of pointing out similarities as often as we do differences. Our people’s cultures are really not that different. I now live and work in a place that is much more diverse.

      In any case, thank you and your colleagues for putting such a great effort in bridging the gap between the ethnicities.

  3. „I now live and work in a place that is much more diverse.”
    Is it Budapest? :))

    „In any case, thank you and your colleagues for putting such a great effort in bridging the gap between the ethnicities.”

    You’re welcome! And if you think you would be interested to write a guest post about the culture of Erdely magyars and romanians, about living together or prejudices, please tell me and we’ll speak more about it in e-mails


  4. I believe that, in today’s liberal democracies at least, we’re very free to create/select what „our culture” means. For instance- I do celebrate Valentine’s Day and do consider it part of „my culture” without thinking this somehow alienates me from „what my culture should be”. On the other hand, i can understand that there are a lot of Romanian people who don’t celebrate it and see it as „foreign”, as „not part of their culture”; culture shouldn’t be something extremely unitary imho.

  5. – in today’s liberal democracies at least, we’re very free to create/select what “our culture” means.

    I was free about that even during the communist dictatorship.
    „Culture” is immaterial, non-physical, you are always free on such matters no mater what ..die gedanken sind frei, die gedanken, die gedanken

  6. –culture shouldn’t be something extremely unitary imho.

    „extremely” not, of course, save that we talk about an „extremist culture”

    and yet, „to be is to be something”, an extremely non-unitary culture doesn’t exist, at all

  7. Ajuns la Cluj (la facultate) din Harghita, m-a prins si pe mine unda martisorilor. Mi se pare si mie un obicei frumos, nu il mai simt strain. Dar daca tot dam doar la fete/femei, atunci cred ca ar fi mai bine combinat cu 8 martie decat separat. Astfel sarbatorim femeile cam cu acelasi prilej de doua ori intr-o saptamana. Nu ca as fi invidios, dar e cam lipsit de sens.

  8. De fapt, daca luam in calcul si Sf. Valentin sau Dragobete, aceeasi femeie e sarbatorita de 3 ori intr-o luna :). Dar pe mine nu ma deranjeaza. Si eu obisnuiesc sa ofer martisoare. Sunt maghiar si prima data am auzit de martisor din surse maghiare care i-au zis „márciuska” :).

  9. Este un obicei frumos.Dar cum toate popoarele au obiceiuri frumoase, ar trebui preluate,și să sărbătorim tot anul.Obiceiurile fac parte din cultura națională,iar asta se leagă de identitatea unei etnii.S-ar putea să fie mai importantă treaba asta.

    • Ar fi absurd sa preluam obiceiurile tuturor popoarelor. Dar sa existe preluari reciproce intre popoarele conlocuitoare e un lucru natural. De pilda, din cate stiu eu, udatul fetelor de Pasti e un obicei numai printre romanii din Transilvania nu si printre cei de peste Carpati. Da, obiceiurile pot fi legate si de identitatea unei etnii. De pilda, pe fotografia postata de Olahus culorile ce domina prim-planul sunt rosu alb si verde 🙂

  10. Preluarea niciunui obicei nu poate fi argumentata rational. Adica nicio argumentatie rationala nu poate constrange pe cineva sa preia un obicei (care se situeaza in afara taramului rationalului). Kesztio e un fundamentalist din acest punct de vedere, e un panrationalist. Desi ratiunea e doar o parte a vietii.

    Daca o comunitate preia un obicei, e ok. Daca nu preia, e tot ok. Nu poate fi judecata pentru niciuna dintre variante.

    De aceea, privarera argumentativa (adica bazata pe legi) a unei comunitati de elementele care tin de identitate, nu poate fi considerata corecta (legala da, insa nu tot ce este legal, e normal).

  11. @gmaghera–But why can’t we change for the better?

    I don’t know why. I have always taken it for granted, taken it as being the natural state of mankind (and womenfolk too 🙂 )

    To my mind, the question is rather the opposite : how that the American melting pot possible ?

    My answer is that the ethnic groups which immigrated to America at one time were too small, (and America too big so they spread thin) so as to hope to maintain their ethnic-identity. In such a situation they ended up intermarrying and thus dissolving their ethnic group and their ethno-political loyalties. It was an inter-assimilation process.
    The European-Americans have intermarried to such a degree that most European-Americans don’t know their European ethnic heritage, or will recite an admixture of some sort. The conflict between different types of Anglo-Saxons that dominated US politics as recently as the Taft-Eisenhower struggle in 1952 has disappeared. It is hard to identify the old East Coast Anglo-Saxon (WASP) elite any more. They have disappeared.

    On other hand in UK the Anglo-Saxon, Irish, Scottish 1200 years old inter-ethnic games haven’t gone away :


    The same here in Est-Europe. The Romanians and the Hungarians are group which could, and therefore did, preserved their identity and, along with identity, their race based politics.

    I believe that America’s melting pot was the exception. Its peculiar circumstances led to an inter-assimilation process. And this process may be about to end in US as well as.
    Since 1970s and the rise of „identity politics”, the new immigrants in US are (in the name of the ideology of „diversity” and „multiculturalism”) are encouraged today to maintain their culture and no longer expected to „melt”. The geographical isolation of America (which helped the melting pot) won’t matter that much any longer with the modern means of transportation and communication.
    You may very well end up in 30 years with a „segmented” country, one made from dozens of ethnic enclaves each with its own rules. Just as the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires looked like in the 19th century.
    And experience all the „fun” of inter-ethnic politics which we have here.

  12. E prima oara cand ajung pe acest site si in general cred ca imi place ce citesc aici..pareri ale oamenilor, romani si unguri deopotriva (mai ales ca nu e inca nimic politizat) dar e mult mai frumos ,nu neaparat ca e mai mioritic, martisorul sau „márciuska” decat acel Valentine’s Day…Pe mine chiar m-a botezat nashul acum vreo 30 si ceva de ani asa, dar..nu prea simt sarbatoarea asta…
    In fine…voi mai intra pe aici, dar sa NU vad cearta si scandal:) si polemici inutile…

    • Bine ai venit la noi si multumim de aprecieri, Valentin!
      Incercam sa discutam contradictoriu intr-un mod civilizat, fara atacuri la persoana, asa ca, daca e „cearta”, macar sa fie fara „scandal” 🙂

      PS: Oricum, din cate am inteles, Sf Valentin ortodox se sarbatoreste in alta zi. Daca esti ortodox, poti rasufla usurat, nu ai treaba cu povestea asta siropoasa. Daca esti catolic, well… poti sarbatori onomastica odata cu ortodocsii 😉

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