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Hungarian Treasure - 2014 Festival

My name is Daniel Demeter, my father is Thomas Demeter, 1956 refugee from Hungary after the Communists crushed the Revolution.  I have never attended a Hungarian Heritage Festival, and I heard about it by chance from another first-generation Hungarian friend of mine when we were discussing the importance of passing on what our parents have instilled in us.  I immediately jotted down the date, and called my dad excitedly about it!

We live in Santa Barbara County, and Hungarian gatherings are irregular due largely to aging and younger offspring not carrying the torch.  Everyone seems to be "too busy" these days to host and organize such events.  If I had the time and resources, I would make it my career!!!  That is why I felt it incumbent of myself to write this letter to the Foundation.

The Festival to me was many things.  From the minute we arrived and I heard Hungarian being spoken, I immediately felt at peace listening to a language I rarely get to hear anymore.  To hear my father converse again in Hungarian almost brings tears to my eyes.  I unfortunately do not speak Hungarian (my father married an American, and my vocabulary is very limited) however, I grew up listening to Hungarian as my father conversed daily with my grandmother and his brother (my uncle).  My grandmother lived with us, so I got fed the best Hungarian food I took for granted growing up.  The food at the Festival was another Hungarian treat my father and I enjoyed greatly.  The music, dancing, Hussars, cultural displays, conversations; just being part of a rare Hungarian gathering became sacred moments of pride, joy, identity, observation, warmth, friendliness, and of a kindred spirit.  It is hard to believe in all my Hungarian studies, life, and interest, I never heard of this Festival!

EVERYONE wanted to know how our father / son trip went (me being the Hungarian torch bearer in my family).  Suffice it to say, there will be more Demeter's at the next Festival!  I would like to send a special thank you to the elegant Magda, the docent attending the indoor exhibits.  I enjoyed greatly talking to her about Hungary, crystal, porcelain, and history.

Thank you Hungarian Heritage Foundation of the San Francisco Bay Area for hosting this Hungarian Treasure.

God Bless You,

Daniel Demeter
Santa Barbara, CA

Hungarian Heritage Festival

Hungarian Heritage Festival strives to keep the Hungarian culture alive in San Francisco Bay Area.

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