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Hungary salutes Canada

Canada celebrates 150 years as a free and democratic nation. For many people around the world, Canada is a beacon of hope, a place where people are kind and understanding. Canada's known as a melting pot of many cultures tolerant of each other.

In light of June 27th marking Canadian Multiculturalism Day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted a about Canada's cultural diversity on Tuesday morning.

"British Columbia welcomes nearly 40,000 immigrants annually, making it the most ethnically diverse province in Canada," stated Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism.

The Hungarian culture has been with Canadians for more than 130 years.

Many Canadians of Hungarian heritage remember Canada for being one of the nations that opened its doors in 1956 for political refugees that were fleeing oppression from a communist army. Almost 38,000 of those people ended up in Canada.

The single, biggest influx of Hungarians was after the revolution of 1956 when Canada received almost 38,000 political refugees at numerous Canadian ports like Montreal and Halifax.

"Canada gave hope when hope in Hungary was stolen, Canada gave peace when my country was war-torn, Canada gave the prospect of a successful life when all Communism could offer was misery and oppression," stated Bálint Ódor, Hungry's Ambassador to Canada.

About 140 children from a renowned choir group is travelling to Ontario to perform Hungarian music. The choir will be joined by 10 children from the Hungarian community in Canada, making up 150 children who will give Canadians an historic vocal musical salute for its 150th birthday.

The Szentegyháza Children's Philharmonia will perform "Oh Canada" and songs in Hungarian, English, French and Rumanian in seven cities across Canada from June 25 to July 5 as part of a Canada 150 tour.

Canada's last 130 years of history is rich with Hungarian culture, with the first settlers arriving in southern Saskatchewan in 1886.

Today, there are more than 300,000 Canadians with Hungarian origins.

"Hungary will always be grateful for Canada for accepting so many talented Hungarians over our shared history," stated Ódor. "We also remember and remind others for the historic link between our nations and the great contribution of the Hungarians for building a successful, prosperous Canada."

The Philharmonia was founded about 30 years ago in the Transylvanian Hungarian community of Szentegyháza (Vlahita, Romania) under the leadership of choir leader Sándor Haáz.

We want to hear from you!

We'd love to hear from the Hungarian community. We'd also love to hear from Okanagan residents whose families immigrated to Canada.

If you want to share your story about your family's journey to Canada, we'd love to hear it.

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