PM Viktor Orbán said in his speech in Tusnádfürdő, Central Romania, on 23 July that “we [Hungarians] are not a mixed race, and we do not want to become a mixed race either”. That statement was followed by a considerable outcry in Hungary and abroad. But is the Hungarian prime minister right? Are “Hungarians” really “racially” intact? Are there other “races” the Hungarians could have mixed or did “mix” with? Here is what history says about these questions.
Public outcry followed Orbán’s speech
As we reported earlier, the Hungarian prime minister said in his Tusnádfürdő speech that there were two worlds. The world of Europeans mixing with non-Europeans is the “mixed-race world”. Meanwhile, in our world, European peoples are intermixing, working and moving with each other. “We, in the Carpathian Basin, for example, aren’t mixed-race people, but simply a mix of the peoples living in their European homeland,” Orbán said. In more fortunate times, these peoples merged into a unique Hungaro-Pannonian “sauce”, creating a new European culture.
The statements were followed by a huge international outcry apart from the objection of the Hungarian opposition parties. Even Orbán’s old ally, sociologist and PM commissioner Zsuzsa Hegedűs, resigned after hearing the speech but later she changed her mind. Meanwhile, the Embassy of the United States of America wrote that they condemned “all ideologies, policies and rhetoric that promote doctrines of hatred and division”.
“Speaking of race. Many different species populate our planet. But there are only one species that lives on this earth, walking, working, talking and sometimes thinking: Homo Sapiens Sapiens. This species is one and indivisible. I commend the above to your attention,” Hungary’s Chief Rabbi said in his post. Meanwhile, Russian TV received the Hungarian prime minister’s speech well.
Here come the races
It is a scientific truth that humanity’s genome is 99.9% identical. As one of the geneticists put it: if we were to talk about the differences between the people living on Earth, we would only have 4 seconds in a day to do so. In the remaining 23 hours, 59 minutes and 56 seconds, we should talk about the similarities.
A UNESCO statement on racial classification differentiates three primary races:
- Caucosoid-White (European, EuroAfrico-Asian)
- Negroid (Africa, Asia, Pacific Islands)
- Mongoloid (Asia, Pacific Islands North and South)
These main groups are divided into “sub-races”. In the Caucosoid-White, there are the following ones:
- East Baltic
Undoubtedly, we do not know too much about the prehistory of the Hungarian people. However, Historians agree that the tribes conquering the Carpathian Basin in 895-896 came from somewhere in Asia. Therefore, they were already “mixed race” when they arrived. During their long march to the West, those people met, fought, joined, made alliances, and married, at least with Turkic and Finno-Ugric peoples.
Hungarians mixing continuously with other peoples
Furthermore, the Carpathian Basin was not empty when they arrived, led by Árpád, the conqueror. Historians say that hundreds of thousands of people lived there, most of them of Slavic origins. The Hungarians conquered the territory and mixed with these inhabitants of the land and, of course, other neighbouring people of the region.
Hungary was under the occupation of two great powers in the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The Ottoman Empire brought here not only its troops, but many different people settled in the territory of the different vilayets created on the occupied lands. After the Habsburgs took the Kingdom of Hungary, they relocated a lot of Germans and gave them lands in many parts of the country. Meanwhile, many Armenians settled in Transylvania, while the number of Jews exceeded 900 thousand by the end of the 19th century.
Multiethnic country, foreign troops and servicemen
Furthermore, the Kingdom of Hungary was a multiethnic state where half of the population did not regard themselves as Hungarians. No one can suppose that the number of marriages between these ethnic groups and the Hungarians was zero. Moreover, Soviet troops occupied Hungary in 1944-1945. Moscow’s army stayed here until 1991.
Some Soviet soldiers coming even from the farthest eastern parts of the Soviet Union, married Hungarian women and settled in Hungary to start a family. Currently, there are NATO troops in many military bases in Hungary, where soldiers from almost every part of the world serve. Of course, some of them do as the sipahis or Soviet riflemen did decades and centuries before.
Not to mention those who were born somewhere abroad, but work, live, marry in Hungary. For example, the Somali supermodel, who was sold for some animals and money in her homeland at the age of 14. Now she regards Hungary her home.
Thus, Hungarians cannot be regarded as “racially intact” people. The conquerors of the Carpathian Basin were already “mixed-race” and “mixing” only continued through the centuries.
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