„What graph do ethnographers draw?”
What graph do ethnographers draw? – sounds the funny question, to which there is no good answer, since in terms of graphics, no graphs are drawn. The original meaning of the word ‘ethnography’ of Greek origin is ‘folk-scribble’, in other words ethnography in a broad sense is a discipline that researches the culture of different peoples. In Hungary the discipline of ethnography deals with the research of a social group called peasantry. The social group of the peasantry mainly dealing with agriculture played a significant role in the social and economic development of the country up to the middle of the 20th century.
The elements of traditional peasant culture, namely folk dance, folk costume or folk music gradually became spectacular elements of the Hungarian identity in the last century. But behind these elements the person was always there who experienced these traditional elements, while he ensured the subsistence of himself and his family, celebrated the special days of the year and payed special attention to the turns of human life. In these circumstances human life was guided by so many rules, principles and norms invisible for outsiders.
Although we are in Budapest, at the heart of the city centre, our visitor’s centre intends to give a taste of this enormous world, the world of the traditional Hungarian peasant culture. The task of ethnography in the 21st century is to provide a challenge and points of interests for the present for the development of the future, while relying on the past. This is what the Urban Betyár Visitor Center promotes. It shows what is behind the scenes, it calls attention to the colourful Hungarian cultural heritage and it assists everyone who would like to discover the past, present and future of the elements of our ethnographic heritage.