Curse of Turan

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The Turáni átok or the "Curse of the Turan" is a concept among superstitious Hungarian people, which theorizes Magyars, the residents of Hungary have been under the influence of a malicious spell for many centuries. This curse is said to make them less successful and less happy than people of an otherwise talented nation should be. Few Magyars know this myth today, and even fewer believe it. It is said Hungarians can only be happy when they are once again united; this stems from Atilla's death centuries ago when his sons divided his lands.

The superstitious blame many of their woes on the Turáni átok. This often includes the following:

  • The country's former high suicide rate, eg. in the 1980s. In this decade Hungary was not ranked less than third in suicide statistics and often topped the chart.
  • General pessimism of the Magyar people. Some scientific polls purport to show that Hungarians are indeed the most pessimistic people in Europe (and maybe the entire world) and residents of much poorer countries (e.g. Romania, Serbia) have brighter world-views
  • The low birth rate among Hungarians. Many right-wing politicians complain about threat of a "nation-death". They worry that the Magyars will soon disappear from the face of Earth, as most couples have only one child or none at all. There have been many government programmes to encourage conceiving three or more children, but they have met with little success. In contrast, the one million Roma people living in Hungary often have five to ten children ("purdé" as called in their Beás language). Some xenophobic and neo-Nazi voices in Hungarian media speculate that the Romas will be the local master race by 2050 and Magyars will be exterminated. As in most countries, the Hungarian general public tends to ignore these extremists.
  • Hungarian people sometimes stereotype themselves as being reserved, unfriendly or unskilled at pastime and recreation. There is an infamous general belief that Magyars are often sad even while making love. The Hungarian national character is somehow bipolar, struck between the Catholic and the Protestant mentality with a great conflict of values.
  • The problem of in-fighting and the inability to co-operate effectively has plagued Hungarian politics for many centuries. After the formation of Austria-Hungary in 1867, leaders in exile would start to attack each other almost immediately, instead of working in unison to trump up foreign support for the Hungarian independence cause. Even now, after a promising start in democracy, Hungary is gradually losing the race to attract foreign economic investments because local political parties are unable to forge the kind of national political consensus that allowed countries like Slovakia to introduce sweeping tax reforms and competitive market economy measures.
  • Being hit hard and often by historic troubles, for example foreign military occupation (from the Ottoman Empire starting in 1526), and being forced into a large oppressing empire (Austria-Hungary between 1867 and 1918)
  • It is sometimes jokingly said that Árpád's tribal leaders were either silly or badly drunk when they decided to settle in the bowl of the Carpathian Basin. The territory of Hungary has been a traffic junction (so to speak) for invading armies in the 1100 years that have passed since the settling of the Magyars and few years have passed that did not bring severe war, destruction or oppression.

[edit] References

hu:Turáni átok

Curse of Turan

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