The when I started writing this text was

The first thing that came to my mind when I started writing this text was
Jung’s idea of a collective unconcious. He believed that there is a collective knowledge
that is known by every human being (unconciously, of course) and is beyond our
personal unconcious. In this text I will present two examples
about collective memory in Hungary and hope to get a full picture about the
phenomena.

Collective
memory (Roediger & Abel, 2015) is a recollection of past events shared by a
group of people, a society or a community. According to Maurice Halbwachs (Gyáni, 2012) collective memory is a particular
knowledge that is not based on the rational information, therefore it confronts
the classical historian way. These collective memories have an impact on
the present, modify the society, influences the collectivities, the rules and
thinking of the people (Basabe, 2013). Although, the studying of collective
memory had been a topic of humanities, recent researches on the common memory
have become empirical and can be studied objectively (Roediger & Abel,
2015). Collective memory could be best measured and studied through the
memories of wars. National cultures have been formed, shaped and developped by
inter- and transnational impacts of cultural exchange and as a result,
politics, socio-economy and culture have a legacy in the European collective
memories (Spohn, 2016). Collective memory as ‘the memory of the society’ deals
with how social groups (f. ex. a nation, certain group of people) remember,
rewrite, acknowledge the past actions. The recent researches have spread into
three directions (Basabe, 2013): 1) how was the social past constructed in
order to serve the present social attitude and norms, 2) what are the factors
that allow a society to be amnesiac and social events in the past to be
forgotten in the present (the events are safe from disappearance and have a former
effect on the collective memory if they were emotionally touching, had a
personal impact on the people, happened in one’s adolescent or early adulthood
or they made changes in the society), 3) what are the factors that lead
repressed.

In Hungary (Gyáni,
2012) WWI and the Treaty of Trianon was/is a serious issue. The treaty defined
the new borders of an independent Hungary. 72% of the pre-war territory and 64%
of the pre-war population was lost according to the statement, moreover Hungary
had to pay war reparations for the neighbouring countries. On the whole,
Trianon has an outstanding position in the Hungarian national identity called
the Trianon-syndrome. Politicians, mostly the extreme right-winged party
misuses this common memory and promises the people to fight for the lost
territories of the Hungarian Kingdom. Suprisingly, almost after a hundred years
this ‘plan’ is still working among thousands of people.

According to
a research (László & Fülöp, 2011) on national identity and victimhood
emotional pattern of the collective victimhood plays a main role as part of the
national identity. Collective emotions appear when our group receives positive
or negative impulses. In this study Hungarian participants were faced with
short intergroup stories of conflicts from the Hungarian history. Half of the
time they were victims while the other half of the time they played the
perpetrators. After each story the test persons had to choose two emotions from
a list of emotions, one for themselves and one for their groups. The similarity,
the quantity and the correlations between felt and attributed emotions were
also measured and analyzed.

            Consequently, collective memory is
figured by past events and the emotions we link with these acts. Collectivities
are part of the common sense, they are strong and change slowly, such as
stereotypes and norms of a country or society. We have to control these
collective memories so they will not do the same with us.

 

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