Ava's Idaho Hungarian Connection
Idaho, land of the great and famous potatoes!
“Where would you like to live?”, the woman in New York City asked my father. My father was so impressed by the land of the “famous potatoes” he chose the Treasure Valley of Southwest Idaho to start a new life and raise his family. I have called this Boise area, the Oasis of the High Desert, my home for decades. Surprisingly, Boise and the greater Boise metropolitan area has hundreds of Hungarians. We are working diligently to contact as many of our fellow Hungarians here in Southwest Idaho as possible.
When my parents first arrived here in 1957, there were four Hungarian families in the Boise area, talk about a minority! My father built the house we occupied on top of a basement house he purchased for $1500.00 in 1962. Shortly thereafter with the help of the Hungarian “community” of four families, he completed our “above ground” house built on top of the basement house he purchased for $1500.00. I grew up in that house, married and moved to Boise. My edes anyuka and apuka have passed away. How I have longed to hear the language, eat the food learn more about my “roots” and get to know more of these vibrant and zealous people.
Out of the Mouths of Babes
The quest to find Hungarians actually began through my son. He was working with a gentleman, Janos, here in Boise and noticed he had a picture of a castle on his office wall. My son well knew I was a lover of castles and thus the conversation began about the castle: “It is a castle in Hungary” Hungary! Exclaimed my son. My mom is Hungarian!”…thus our first connection with a “new” Hungarian in Boise. From that introduction, we found more Hungarians at my son and Janos’s place of employment here in Boise. Our first “picnic” was in October of 2004, at Discovery Park with a total of 8 families.
The first step I took to find more families was to look online to find Hungarian last names, and lo and behold! I was amazed at how many names were Hungarian and that there were many folks here in the area with those names! Dogged perseverance led me to use my tools of the trade as well as the good old phone book to find more Hungarians. At our last Hungarian Dinner we had over 100 people representing nearly 50 different families from Hungary or of Hungarian descent. There are many more we know, and many who are contemplating moves to beautiful Boise, Idaho, as well as the surrounding greater metropolitan areas of Boise. Maybe it’s because Boise and Idaho especially Southwest Idaho and the Treasure Valley are such wonderful places to live, full of diversity and down home goodness.
The Future for Hungarians in Idaho
We are working on connecting with other regional Hungarians and are planning on future events with folk dancing and other interesting events and historical features.
Currently we have approximately three dinner and social events per year.
If you would like more information about Hungarians in Idaho, let me know and I will be happy to assist you.
Jo napot kivanok nektek, mindenki! Es jo elet, egeszeg es sok boldogsag nektek!
~ E’va ~ Ava Papp-Tong