”One and a half million of our people staggered out to America” – lamented Attila József* in his great poem Hazám (My Homeland). The great wave of emigration he refers to was in the first decade of the 20th century and now the grandchildren are coming back to discover their cultural roots.
In the small village of Szendrő in North-eastern Hungary not far from the Slovak border a local museum called AMERIKÁS HÁZ opened a few years ago furnished with household objects and clothes reflecting the lifestyle the emigrants left behind. The word AMERIKÁS refers to a Hungarian who emigrated to America with a purpose to earn enough money to buy a construction plot and build their own house upon their return. However, only about a quarter of them returned for good, the rest stayed in the US.
No wonder this museum is in Szendrő, a picturesque village in the Bódva river valley since a large proportion of those adventurous but poverty stricken in the feudal society of the Hungarian countryside came from this region.
The Fungarian team feel rewarded by constructing the DISCOVER YOUR CULTURAL ROOTS section on our webpage – http://fungarian.hu/find-your-roots/ – since we have had more than a dozen visitors this year, grandchildren and great grandchildren of these uprooted people. Such meetings are always emotional in a way and most memorable for us. We keep welcoming guests with Hungarian ancestry and happy to organize tailored programs for them or just to have a meaningful conversation about family history.
SOURCE PHOTO: http://www.szendro.hu/kepek/pedellushaz/index.htm
*The Hungarian original:
”… s kitántorgott Amerikába
másfél millió emberünk.”