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Innovative App Shows Places with Hungarian Connections All over the U.S.

Hungary Today 2024.05.21.

The Hungary Foundation has been a bridge between the U.S. and Hungary since 2013, and the development of the HuGo app is one of its successes. It was awarded a special prize by the Hungarian Marketing Association for highlighting places with Hungarian connections in the U.S., Magyar Nemzet reports.

According to Anna Smith Lacey, head of the foundation, there is great potential in connecting the Hungarian past and present in the U.S. As she explained, they kept coming across Hungarian traces in America during their research fellowships and funded cultural programs, but there was no common platform where one could find all Hungarian-language sites. In addition to the traditional historical hotspots, such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, there are traces left by Hungarians in every state.

One of the first historical reminders of Hungarian-American relations is the Hungarian military commander and nobleman Michael Kovats de Fabriczy (Fabriczy Kováts Mihály) who served in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.

As a historical icon, the hussar is a well-known and respected symbol of Hungarian love of freedom and heroism in the U.S.

Michael Kovats de Fabriczy (1724-1779). Photo via Wikipedia.

When the app was first developed, everyone received information from friends, acquaintances, or local Hungarian mailing lists and organizations about where a community event was taking place, where to buy Hungarian curd cheese (túró) or Hungarian sausage (kolbász), or where there was a Hungarian-speaking dentist. This database now appears on a downloadable map. HuGo is easily accessible to all Americans interested in Hungarian culture.

Uploads are made by members of the community, who can also comment and report incorrect data.

The 10,000th download was achieved a few weeks ago.

There are more than 1,700 points on the map relating to Hungary, several in almost every state. The app is used by Hungarian scholarship holders, U.S. diplomats in training, by Americans, Hungarians, and Hungarian-Americans alike.

Photo via Facebook/HuGo

The most popular of the seven categories is the historical category, but the choice is vast: from stained glass windows and memorial plaques to street names, there is a huge selection. Events and camps are the most frequently uploaded, where new content is added weekly. “No diaspora organization has access like this and many Hungarian entrepreneurs in the U.S. are also starting to use HuGo, hence we get uploads about mobile restaurants, Hungarian-speaking tax consultants, doctors, and lawyers,” emphasized Anna Smith Lacey.

The places that few people know are amazing: For example, in Oregon, a state sparsely populated by Hungarians, there is a gorge named after a Hungarian mountaineer. Furthermore, the medieval Nekcsei Bible, a priceless relic of Hungarian book art from the Anjou period, which is now in the collection of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., is a real curiosity.

The Nekcsei Bible is a two-volume sacred writ, a valuable example of the book art and miniature painting of the Anjou period in Hungary. Photo via Wikipedia.

HuGo was not even two years old when it won the special prize of the Hungarian Marketing Association. Other diaspora communities such as Spaniards, Canadians, and Australians had already approached the foundation to create a similar program.

Our goal is to reach as many people as possible and to make visible many undiscovered places and programs related to Hungary.

We have already started a HuGo guided tour in New York and would like to expand it to Washington, Chicago, Hollywood, and other major cities. We see great potential in connecting the Hungarian-American past and present,” concluded the head of the foundation.

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Via Magyar Nemzet, Ungarn Heute; Featured image via Facebook/HuGo

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