As Zoltán Kodály also said, tradition and the knowledge linked with it cannot be inherited but each generation must learn it again and again.
This learning is founded on the lap games, songs and lullabies of childhood and continues later with making toys and games by hand and the playful and practical acquisition of the handicrafts. Nowadays this kind of knowledge needs to be taught not only to our children but also to teachers, parents and grandparents. These activities positively influence the development of a child’s personality and play an important role in improving dexterity. Moreover, games also strengthen communication and cooperative skills. Heritage playhouses fill this need and pass on this knowledge, while training courses for playhouse leaders are organised to foster the process. The curriculum of these courses includes the teaching of traditions but an important role is attributed to working with natural materials as well as to learning about and respecting our natural environment.
Traditional motifs are also an integral part of the knowledge that must be acquired in childhood and can be successfully taught with contemporary tools and games. To this end, we compiled a book of exercises based on visual skills and creativity, which is more than just a collection of games: it is also an activity book. Visitors to the present exhibition are also encouraged to take part in these exercises and games.
Today, when tradition and the knowledge of handicrafts are not typically handed down from father to son, from mother to daughter, as they were in the past, our folk heritage can be professionally passed on within the framework of the state-run system of trainings. Ten crafts can be mastered at the courses listed in the National Qualification Register, for example: lace-making, making objects from cornhusk, reed mace and straw, wood crafts, pottery, embroidery, wicker-work, carpet weaving, textile crafts, felt-making and folk leather crafts.
Handicrafts can also be learnt these days at accredited courses and workshops organised by cultural institutions, communities and civil organisations, or under the magnetic inspiration of masters with radiant personalities.
The value and significance of these trainings and the knowledge that they provide cannot be measured with labour market conditions, high student numbers, mass scale trainings and a secure livelihood. Their primary importance lies in the fact that they preserve the traditional techniques of our artisan and folk handicraft culture and form part of our cultural heritage and material mother tongue. We regard it as a great achievement that folk crafts have been preserved through professional training since if these trades ever died out, a body of knowledge that still makes Hungary a leading power would be lost forever.