With bread baked from Hungarian and American flour, Hungarian Americans in Washington DC celebrated 20 August with the ‘Bread of American Hungarians’. At the celebration held in the Kossuth House in the US capital, members of the community mixed wheat from various regions of the Carpathian Basin with grain grown in America, symbolising the dual connection of Hungarian Americans to Hungary and the United States.
The Kossuth Foundation, the organiser of the event, joined the ‘Bread of Hungarians’ programme this year, through which wheat from various parts of the Carpathian Basin made their way to the American capital.
President of the Kossuth Foundation Sándor Végh emphasised that the goal of those living in the diaspora is preservation of their culture, for which all conditions are present today, and the guarantee of which is the community. The community is there, as evidenced by the shared celebration in Washington, the community leader noted, adding that the wheat grains that arrived from Hungary in 2023 signify the same unity as the Hungarian soil sent 121 years ago to the Hungarian Americans of that time from the territories f historical Hungary. In 1902, the mother country sent a decorative flag made through public donations to the Hungarians who had migrated to America, and the ornamental sphere of the flagpole contained Hungarian soil.
The ‘Bread of American Hungarians’ was blessed by Judit Mayer, the lead pastor of the Hungarian Reformed Church in Washington. In her festive sermon, the pastor explained that Saint Stephen chose ‘bread and peace’ as his motto, and the elapsed year of 2023 confirms that this is a more powerful and functional slogan than the motto of Roman emperors, ‘bread and circuses.’ She added that peace has often cost the Hungarian people dear, and
the peace of Europe has often been secured at the price of Hungarian blood being shed.
Nevertheless, the Hungarian people are still alive, and although not physically united, still live together in spirit, as demonstrated by the bread and the mixed wheat.
The Hungarian Embassy was represented at the event by the new community diplomat for diaspora affairs, Zsuzsanna Fekete. The festive programme was enlivened by live music preformed by the Szikra band, a folk music ensemble composed of local Hungarians, and the Tisza Ensemble, a dance group founded in 1982.
Hungarian Conservative/Kossuth Foundation/MTI