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Falconry in Hungary (2010)
Falconry is strictly speaking hunting with birds of prey. In the broader sense it is a way of life, a community in which this form of hunting is the focal point.
This culture requires a love of nature and birds of prey, hunting expertise, as well as skill in training, breeding and rearing the birds. It also includes the knowledge of making and the use of traditional falconry equipment, exploration and research of falconry history, promoting and preserving the heritage, a shaping of mentality as well as teaching and transmission of the art. People involved in falconry also organize events and occasions for falconry, involving and strengthening the cohesion of local communities and raising awareness regarding the culture at such events domestically and abroad.
The tradition of falconry is thousands of years old and existed throughout a major portion of Eurasia. Hungarian falconry stems from this heritage and has become an integral part of Hungarian traditional culture and pervaded her history. During the height of falconry in the country from the 11th -17th century it also became an organic part of Hungarian national identity. Since that time the tradition has dwindled considerably in Hungary and throughout Europe, but the traditional knowledge associated with falconry lives on in localized communities and is gradually gaining popularity.