WHO ARE THE HUNGARIANS? (Cs. K. Gy.)
When we speak of Hungarians as a people, whose members live all over the world today, we must first clarify who we can call “Hungarian”.
Hungarians do not have precisely definable physical characteristics by which they can be distinguished from other European peoples. However, anthropologists have found evidence indicating that our forbearers were of Finno-Ugric origin, and that they eventually formed relationships with East Asian, and later Turkic and Iranian, peoples.
„Being Hungarian is not a question of body or blood: it is a state of the soul,” professed the outstanding Hungarian ethnographer István Györffy. The closer we examine the nature of this shared “state of the soul” the more we come to realize that it is an amalgam of thousands of components nourished by several sources: The mutual language, a shared fate and history, collectively developed traditions and customs, religious and cultural life, the characteristics of the landscape, upbringing – everything that is a part of the soul, that is unified and indivisible.
The nation is an intellectual creation, historical destiny, the common cause and responsibility.
The more one examines other nations the more one realizes that all peoples are genetically mixed. For example, modern day British are a mix of ancient Britons, Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Normans, and Vikings. The ancestors of modern day Spaniards were the ancient Iberians, Latin peoples, Goths and Moors. Germans also distinguish between Prussians, Bavarians, Austrians, Saxons etc. And so we could continue with all Europeans peoples, among whom we would not be able to find a genetically “pure” group in terms of origin. As a result of conquest and colonization, the British and Spanish also have linguistic relatives outside of Europe in America, Australia, Argentina, and Cuba, to name a few. Most of these groups have become independent states or nations during the course of the 19-20 century.
There are Hungarians living all over the world, all members of the same people. The Hungarian nation, created within a community of shared culture and fate, is unified, albeit parts of it live scattered all over the globe.