Hol hit, ott szeretet
Hol szeretet, ott béke
How béke, ott áldás
Hol áldás, ott Isten
Ott szükség nincsen.
Where there is faith, there is love
Where there is love, there is peace
Where there is peace, there is blessing
Where there is blessing, there is God
Where there is God
There is no need.
Background about Informant:
She was born and raised in Hungary, but moved to the United States in 1997. She is knowledgable of her roots and has lots of wisdom to share about its’ cultural traditions. She comes from a religious background in Catholicism and is experienced with Hungary Catholic practices and beliefs.
“In Hungary, entering a household is considered scared and thus its’ sacredness is embodied in the Házi Áldás (House Blessing). It is often seen in embroidery, carved in wood, and other traditional arts.
In bonds with Hungarian Catholicism, it is meant to serve as a list of virtues to living a pious life under God’s blessings.
It is also a statement of wisdom that reflects familial bonds and a connection to past cultural beliefs tied with religion.
In the past, people would hang this on the wall to preserve their faith in God. It began only being used in civic houses, but eventually it even started appearing in peasant households and farmhouses.
The power of the text allowed people to believe that God would bless the people in the house if the text was present. It is traditionally placed in kitchens.
Lots of people still sell them today at craft fairs and mostly to tourists.
It’s not really used as much as it was in the past and today it’s used more for decoration, than for spiritual purposes.”
In my research and interview, I was able to learn more about the history behind the Házi Áldás. Having Hungarian roots myself and a Házi Áldás in my own kitchen, I’ve always wondered what its’ purpose has been. Since my informant is religious and grew up in a Hungarian Catholic household, she was very knowledge about the context behind the Házi Áldás rich history. Hungary has a history of being religious and attributing to its’ history it was no surprise that people dealt a great deal of value to such texts, but it was interesting to learn about how it shifted from civic houses to the poorer population, because even so today most of the poorer population are the ones contributing to the religious life in Hungary.
I also found the shift from the Házi Áldás as a sacred text to now a symbol of craft and tourist souvenirs. It highlights the disconnect between Hungary’s traditional past which suffered a lot because of its’ Communism past where a lot of these traditions are not practiced or valued because of its’ censorship under particular leaders. But overall, I was very ‘blessed’ to learn about the history behind the Házi Áldás and its’ shift from a valuable text of great importance to now being found in every gift shop available, a path that many of these relics are finding themselves headed towards, opening eyes to how Hungary is trying to preserve their past.
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