Accepted Paper:

Conceptions of true love and love magic among Hungarians in Gyimes  

Author:

Judit Balatonyi (University of Pécs - Eötvös Loránd Research Network)

Paper short abstract:

This presentation deals with conceptions of true love and love magic among Hungarians living in the Gyimes area in Romania. To the illustration of the Gyimesian interpretations of the romantic love I invoke a medical anthropological theory of the “love as sickness”.

Paper long abstract:

This presentation deals with conceptions of true love and love magic among the Gyimesian Hungarians. I argue that the different actors of a certain culture interpret the nature of emotional experience and define the meaning of love in different ways. I would like to demonstrate how the different categories of love are labelled by the Gyimesian community and the local Church and what are the frames in which they are considered legal or expected. In what kind of human situations are the similar amorous behaviors explained differently, get into a negative domain? I also wish to talk about the different contact-points that "love-models" - differing by generation and gender - may have with the effects ascribed to love magic. Moreover, I wonder when certain interpretations come into prominence, or rather which ways these models are adapted by the locals. To illustrate the Gyimesian interpretations of romantic love I invoke a medical anthropological theory called "love as sickness".

Love conceptions fulfill a special role in the Gyimesian community: the locals are able to organize and define their human relations with the help of contextually and culturally determined models. For instance they try to reconstruct the ruined relationship between parent and child, end/abolish unfulfilled desires, ensure the long-term survival of romantic love or just verify the social status of single persons. The subjective and mainly social interpretation of love and - related to it - ensuring the right "cultural recipes" can be interpreted as a structured tool of the social control and the local self-helping methods.

Panel P02
Love exchange and sentimental circulations: rethinking romantic love (EN-FR)