International Firgun Day

“International Firgun Day”, is celebrated yearly on July 17, where people share compliments or express genuine pride in the accomplishment of others on social media. To help promote the holiday, MadeinJLM holds an overnight marketing hackathon at the night before July 17 and an online automatic Firgun-generating tool in several languages, called the “Firgunator”

Firgun (Hebrew: פירגון) is an informal modern Hebrew term and concept in Israeli culture, which describes genuine, unselfish delight or pride in the accomplishment of the other. Another definition describes Firgun as a generosity of spirit, an unselfish, empathetic joy that something good has happened, or might happen, to another person. The concept does not have a one-word equivalent in English. The infinitive form of the word, “Lefargen”, means to make someone feel good without any ulterior motives. This absence of negativity is an integral part of the concept of firgun.

The word can be traced back to the Yiddish word “farginen” (a cognate of the German word “vergönnen”). A relatively modern addition to Hebrew, the word was initially used in the 1970s, and gained momentum in subsequent decades. According to Tamar Katriel, professor of communications in the University of Haifa, Firgun differs from giving compliments, since is “about an affinity that is authentic and without agenda”. The concept of firgun can be found in Talmudic Hebrew as “ayin tova” or “ayin yafa” – “a good eye”. Those phrases are not commonly used in modern Hebrew.

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