Multifaced Hungarian Kin-State Activism in Szeklerland: Rebuilding the Last ‘Nation' Through Restorative Nostalgia and Lieux de Mémoire
Keywords:memory sites, Szeklerland, Romania, minorities, kin-state policy
This article explores the cultural dynamics of Fidesz's kin-state policies achieved in Romania between 2015 and 2020, particularly in the enclave of Szeklerland. In recent years, Fidesz's external policies constructed a transborder “synthetic home” connected to Hungary by memory spaces. Consequently, this study investigates how the ethnocultural reproduction and redefinition of the Hungarian heritage in Romania has evolved under these influences. To understand Fidesz's ethnic parallelism, this article studies Fidesz's overseas financial assistance for Hungarian cultural heritage and the actions of long-distance Hungarian nationalists from Romania. By analysing the lieux de mémoire from Szeklerland and the activities of political agents, this paper reveals how public spaces are nationalised under a Hungarian identity. This paper also shows that the dialectic of lieux, in the case of minorities separated from their homeland, features both a restorative process and commemorative rhetoric of a positive past. Finally, this paper reveals that lieux de mémoire are instrumental when synthetically reconstructing the lost home through religious and nationalist revivals.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Ionut Chiruta
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