ReConnect Hungary is the first birthright program for young Americans and Canadians with any degree of Hungarian heritage to explore their their Hungarian identity in a meaningful, unique and fresh way. The trip was a resounding success this year as well: 13 young Americans and Canadians discovered Hungary and its wealth of historical, traditional, cultural, and culinary treasures through a colorful variety of programs. The program was organized by the Kossuth Foundation. In 2013, the ReConnect Hungary program was fully funded by The Hungary Initiatives Foundation.
The Hungary Initiatives Foundation is the proud sponsor of ReConnect Hungary 2013
In 2013, 13 young Hungarian-Americans travelled to Hungary through the ReConnect Hungary program with the dreams, hopes, and mission of reconnecting with their mother lands. The diverse group hailed from far-flung regions of North America, including Hawaii, Montreal, Toronto, Florida, Washington DC, and the greater New York area. After first meeting up in New York for a send-off dinner hosted by ReConnect Hungary’s Patron, Governor George Pataki, and the Program’s Ambassador, Allison Pataki, they landed in Budapest on July 3rd. During the next two weeks, the participants were provided a total Hungarian experience balancing exposure to history, culture and current-day trends and innovations all in the context of a fun, informative and inspiring visit to Hungary. The participants met prominent public figures, and inspiring young leaders who explained the potential of the Hungarian economy; discussed the Hungarian government’s new vision and policies for the HUngarian diaspora, deepened their knowledge of Hungarian history and culture by visiting several museums and landmarks in Budapest and Szentendre; attended the annual Royal Palace Games and Medieval Fair of Visegrád; immersed themselves Budapest vibrant day and night life; were taught traditional folkdances, visited Komárom ad Dunaszerdahely and met members of the Roundtable of Hungarians, and explored the beauties of Lake Balaton.
After this once-in-a-lifetime experience, the ReConnect Hungary group and their two guides returned home on July 17th with wonderful memories and a stronger Hungarian identity:
“I am very grateful I was chosen to be a part of the 2013 Reconnect Hungary group… Now that I reconnected with my Magyar roots, I definitely want to go back to visit Hungary very soon.” – Avigail Tóth, 27, NY
“I think it is important to support ReConnect Hungary and make the journey possible for other young people, because everyone should be able to connect to their heritage before it gets lost through generations.” – Karen Alldridge, 21, AZ
“I loved seeing the place my grandmother grew up and now I understand why she spoke so fondly of it… ReConnect’s impact varies immensely on each individual. Everyone from my group has walked away with something different… I definitely feel reconnected to my Hungarian side now.” – Lenore Bawden, 21, Canada
For more information on the ReConnect Hungary program, please visit their website:
The best moments of the 2013 ReConnect journey: