Over 300 people gathered on Saturday in Glendale at the Soleri Amphitheater (Glendale Community College) to celebrate the Hungarian culture and learn about this small country that gave so much to the world like vitamin C, the Rubik’s cube, holography, Pulitzer, or Mariska Hargitay.
After both the American and Hungarian anthems, Dr. Reka Vicsacsan-Nagy, president of HCAP, emphasized in her welcoming speech how important these community events are. Besides providing the opportunity for local Hungarians (or those visiting) to gather and get to know each other, this is also a great chance for Hungarian organizations and businesses in the area to showcase themselves, exchange contact, knowledge, and experience. Last but not least she talked about the association’s goals to be an advocate for building dialogue between different nationalities through this event. The event intends to be a tie between the different ethnic groups and the Hungarian community. Thus everyone who attended the festival, including non-Hungarian speakers, were able to learn about the culture through the different entertainment that was provided as well as the exhibitions at two different tents.
Ray Malnar, Vice-Mayor of Glendale, who welcomed everyone on behalf of this community, also emphasized the importance of preserving one’s culture and encouraged everyone to take part in these activities as well as the life of the organization.
This event adds to the colorful social life of Glendale and our board does hope, that with this initiative we can start building the dialogue that is so much valued by our organization.
The entertainment was built around the forth mentioned goals: it gave a glimpse of the old Hungarian heritage through folk music and games performed by the children of the Napocska Hungarian School, folk dances brought to us by the Eszterlánc Hungarian Folk Ensemble from San Francisco Bay Area, ancient drum beats by the Turul Drummers, whip cracking by Szilvia Bartha; then it transitioned into presenting the modern, through performances like fencing (a sport that has been practiced by Hungarians for many years and in which they are excelling) by the Phoenix Fencing Academy, followed by the Silentium Valley Band concert that gave an insight to a more contemporary Hungarian music and had the crowd party for well over an hour. Last but not least, Dani from the Carefree School of Music showed us how he incorporates our heritage into the curriculum at their school and encouraged kids to study music, which actually Hungarians are also really good at thinking back to the achievements of Bartók, Kodály, or Liszt not even mentioning contemporary world renown musicians like the popular Balázs Havasi or the jazz pianist and composer Daniel Szabó.
Special thanks go out to everyone who made this event possible: our team and their families for the hours of selfless work, our sponsors for the generous donations (Mind and Body Kids, Birch Manufacturing, Edit Vasadi Photography, A-Mia, Magyar Marketing, Folkology, MHFolk, and Bethlen Gábor Alap), individual donations by many members of the community, our volunteers who offered their precious time to help us create something memorable, and last but not least our wonderful performers.
It might not have been your largest or most perfect event (more so because of the wind), but we learn year by year and use that knowledge to give you a better experience every single time.
We do hope that you enjoyed spending your afternoon with us!
If you would like to give us some feedback, or you would like to be part of the organizing team for next year’s festival, perhaps volunteer your time on the day of the event, please send us an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Together we grow stronger!
Együtt erő vagyunk. Hálás köszönet mindannyiotoknak!
Photo Credit: Edit Vasadi Photography