Enriched of their ancestors’ cultural identity 15 American and Canadian students of Hungarian heritage are eager to join their home communities as the 3rd year of the ReConnect Hungary – Hungarian Birthright Program concludes. The program is a public-private partnership between the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation of New York and the Hungarian Government.
During the 2-weeks long journey the group, aside from the great touristic and culinary joys the country can offer, met Hungarian decision makers (Zoltán Balog, Minister of Human Resources, Árpád Potápi, State Secretary for Hungarian Communities Abroad), designers and startuppers at Budapest’s Design Terminal, Gábor Bojár of Graphisoft and Aquincum Institute of Technology, visited a young Hungarian community in Subotica, Serbia and experienced firsthand the future of Hungary’s farming culture at the biofarm of Matthew Hayes, professor of the Szent István University.
Finding out about the history of the times of their ancestors, the group visited the House of Terror Museum and the Holocaust Memorial Center.
Participants of the program, who applied from all over the United States and Canada in order to strengthen their own ties to Hungary and fill their national heritage with meaningful experiences are returning with colorful plans of further engagement. Many plan to join/re-establish the Hungarian clubs in their area or university, embrace business and political ties between their country and Hungary or come back to study in Hungary.
The program was initiated in 2012 by the former governor of New York State, George Pataki and his daughter, Allison Pataki and has been financed every year since then by the Hungarian state and donors of the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation.