Continuing our series about Hungarian communities living in the United States, this time we are writing about Texas.
Did you know that Budapest has a sister city in Texas? Fort Worth has been Budapest’s sister city since 1990. The two cities are still actively working together: Budapest welcomes middle school students from Fort Worth every year. They get to live with Hungarian students and learn about our culture, history and traditions. There are many other programs that the two cities are organising together; there is an International Leadership Academy in Fort Worth every year and students from Hungary are always welcome. Just like students from the Texas Christian University are welcome in Budapest.
There is also a town called Buda in Texas, 21 km from Austin, although there is no reliable information about what it might be named after, whether it has any connections with the Hungarian city or if it is just a coincidence.
If you are in central Texas and would like to be a part of a great Hungarian community, contact the Csárdás Hungarian Dancers in Austin.
Not everyone in the troupe is Hungarian, but they are all invested in Hungarian traditions. They perform at many local festivals and events and they also offer free basics classes in the evenings. They have an extensive repertoire that consists of Hungarian, Transylvanian and Slovak folk dances.
The Metroplex Magyar Cultural Circle was founded for the promotion and preservation of the Hungarian culture, language and traditions in the North Texas area. It organises a number of events every year that brings together the Hungarians from the area. Sometimes they have volunteers who offer free language classes or folk dance classes. At other times they organise concerts, conferences or different festivals. If you look at their website at magyarszo.net, you can see pictures of some of the past events, like the commemoration of the 1848/49 Revolution, the May fest or a Hungarian style Mardi Gras party.
The Hungarian community in Texas has been doing some beautiful 1956 commemoration events, both in 2006 and in 2016. They remember the revolution by organising masses, symposiums, exhibits and discussions with history experts.
There are many Hungarians who have been living in Texas for a while now, but there are also those, who just visit for a few months to volunteer and help the local Hungarian community. This is what László Aradvári did a few years ago. You can read a Hungarian article here about his time in Houston and Dallas. His job was to teach Hungarian folk dance and Hungarian language classes for those who were born in the US and did not speak Hungarian very well. He also volunteered at many local cultural events, gave speeches about Hungary, taught our culture and traditions. You can watch a beautiful video here that he made about Hungarians all around the world speaking about their heritage.