The first group of young American-Hungarians born in the United States or Canada will travel to Hungary to discover their roots in mid-August under the new ReConnect Hungary programme, the Hungarian co-organiser told MTI on Wednesday.
“ReConnect Hungary is a programme addressing second, third or fourth generation young adults with Hungarian identity living in the diaspora in the North American continent,” said Pal Hatos, the director of the Budapest Balassi Institute.
“For those young Americans of Hungarian descent their origin is a plus … which gives them all the more inspiration to explore it in depth. They are enthusiastic and grateful for the opportunity given to them,” Laszlo Hamos, the board director of the Washington-based co-organising Kossuth Foundation told MTI.
Modelled on the Israeli, Armenian and Irish “birthright” programmes, Reconnect Hungary was instigated by former governor of New York, George Pataki, who is also of Hungarian descent, five years ago.
The ten American and two Canadian young people will be in Hungary from August 11 to 27, visiting Budapest, Szentendre, Eger, Tokaj, Komarom and Dunajska Streda (Dunaszerdahely) on the Slovak side of the border.
On August 20 they will attend the national day ceremony in Parliament and meet politicians.
According to the 2000 census in the US, over 1.4 million people count themselves as of Hungarian descent.