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Hungarian cultural heritage featured on new coin

The National Bank of Hungary (MNB) is issuing a series of silver collector coins to highlight the importance of preserving intangible cultural heritage. The first coin in this series was the commemorative coin for the “Busó festivities” in Mohács which was issued in 2011. The series continues in 2013 with a silver coin presenting the Hungarian táncház method. Thirteen years ago, in 2003, the UNESCO adopted the international convention for safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage, which was ratified by Hungary in 2006. The goal of the convention is to protect and preserve oral traditions and expressions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events and traditional craftsmanship. In 2009, the traditional “Busó festivities” of the town of Mohács were the first Hungarian custom inscribed on the representative list of intangible cultural heritage – this was the theme for the 2011 issue of the first of the cultural coins series. This was followed in 2013 by the “táncház method” which was inscribed on the register of best safeguarding practices, as a Hungarian model for the transmission of intangible cultural heritage. At the beginning of the 1970s a revival of the Hungarian folklore movement spread to all branches of traditional arts, but among these the most unique and original phenomenon was the ‘táncház’ movement or method, which rapidly spread beyond Hungary’s borders and became international. The secret to the success of this method is the high degree of development of Hungarian folk music and dance, its vibrant condition, scientific study and the organization of special education based on the above. This method provides modern people with access to intangible cultural heritage, in the form of music, dance, poetry, and folk traditions and handicrafts, as a complex, recreational, community-based, educational event. It draws directly on the living traditions of local communities and on archive sources, whilst at the same time continuously cooperating with researchers studying such. The coin, struck by the Mint of Hungary and is designed by András Szilos. The obverse of the coin bears the motif of an embroidered tulip, while the back shows a pair of dancing young people and children dressed in traditional Hungarian folk costumes.