The safely cradled Hungarian language
The exhibition not present questions, nor does it seek answers, but merely wants to present and introduce people, sceneries, items and traditions. The topic inspires visitors to think more deeply about it, by putting the language into focus, which due to historical reasons, has remained free of language reforms. As Hungarians, we are in a privileged position, in that we can encounter and converse with our language in spoken word, from nearly 500 years ago. We wish to impart this experience, among others, using the audio materials of our various installations.
The exhibition can be divided into four sections, showcasing a unique cross-section of human existence, from birth to death, in light of the Csango culture.
In the classical sense, the Hungarians living in Moldavia, Gyimes and Barcaság may be referred to as csángó, the meaining of which term already refers to the spatial movement of the ethnic group in question: a Hungarian ethnic group with a distinct structure. The word csángó is presumably a derivative of the csang–csáng verb, meaning ’stroll, bum about, wander, stray, leave’.
The name first appeared in 15th and 16th century records as a proper, personal name (1400: „Georgium Chango”; 1556: „andreas chango… et Michael change”), and its occurance in the 18th-century written sources became more common as a folk name (1782: „Csángó Hungarians”).
The csángó folk name first appeared in a letter written by parish priest Péter Zöld plébános in 1772 to the commander of the first Szekler Border Regiment: „Hungaris in Lonkaresidentibus, et Csángódictis”. According to the sources, the csángó ethnonym was used in the validation of an external aspect – where appropriate its value judgement – thereby identifying a person and then an entire ethnic group. It is perceptible that the entire meaning reflects a stigmatizing, pejorative attitude, and undoubteldy comes from and external perspective.