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Krishna in heroes square: devotees of Krishna and national identity in post-communist Hungary

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Abstract:

In the present research note I deal with two different Krishna-admiring new religious communities in Hungary: the Hungarian Vaisnava Hindu Association and the students of Govinda Maharaja led by Attila Bakos. I focus on the way they intend to find their place and role in current Hungarian society. I concentrate on their relationship with national identity, as the situation of national identity is an important issue in post-communist Hungary. I demonstrate that the two religious communities aim to combine Indian spirituality and Hungarian national identity. The Hungarian Vaisnava Hindu Association attempts to create a cultural context for the original Indian teachings by keeping some of their religious ceremonies special: they use folkloric elements, like pieces or motives of folk costumes, folksongs, and traditional Hungarian musical instruments. The other community aims to re-interpret Hungary's official history and to prove that Hungarian cultural traditions and Indian spirituality are not alien to each other. I rely on various interviews with members and analysis of the communities' publications.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1353790042000266345

Publication date: October 1, 2004

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