New program reconnects youth with their Hungarian heritage

A new program initiated this year by the Kossuth Foundation, the Balassi Institute, and sponsored by former New York Governor George Pataki and his family to give second, third, and fourth generation Hungarians a chance to learn and appreciate their cultural heritage. This program offers Hungarian youth an opportunity of a funded summer excursion to Hungary including extraordinary cultural experiences. I believe the need to ensure that the next generation of Hungarians (including those who do not speak the language) will be a fundamentally crucial element in preserving Magyar heritage around the globe. There are approximately 6 million Hungarians outside of present-day Hungary and around the world. Programs of this nature will go a long way to uniting global Hungarian communities in common purpose. The program is available to Canadian applicants as well.

Here is a brief description of the details of the program and its objectives from ReConnect Hungary:

ReConnect Hungary provides the gift of a peer group, heritage and cultural immersion trip to Hungary for American-Hungarian young adults ages 18 to 26 in order to strengthen participants’ personal Hungarian identity through connection to the country, culture and heritage. In Summer 2012, twelve individually selected, young American-Hungarians will begin a two-week journey of rediscovery together. You will learn about your Hungarian roots–culture, traditions and history–in a totally new way.

The program is sponsored by the Washington-based Kossuth Foundation and covers round-trip airfare between New York and Budapest as well as two weeks of programs, which include educational lectures, meetings with business leaders and visits to government offices and cultural attractions.

The experience helps young Hungarian-Americans understand their heritage and the current contribution Hungary is making to the U.S. and the world. You will gain a deeper understanding of your Hungarian heritage while enjoying a living culture. Not only will your pride in Hungary’s historical significance, rich past and impressive accomplishments grow, but you will experience current-day Hungary as you connect to young Hungarians. With unmatched access to decision-makers and industry leaders, you will see first-hand the trends, innovations and ingenuity driving the country today.

True, Hungary is the land of your ancestors but it is also on the cutting edge of ideas, technology, inventions; music and art.

ReConnect Hungary –Hungarian Birthright Program is a public-private partnership between the Kossuth Foundation of Washington, D.C. , a non-profit institution, and the Balassi Institute of Hungary, the country’s official promoter of Hungarian culture abroad.

If you so choose, there are several methods in which to support the work of ReConnect Hungary. Please visit their website for more details.

Visit ReConnect Hungary’s website at:

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