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Hungarian, Settlement

The first people from Hungary to come to Alberta arrived in the 1870s. It was this first wave of Hungarian settlement that saw the largest movement out of Hungary. Out of the 640, 000 that left their homeland at this time, only 5000 made it to Canada, and significantly fewer to Alberta.

During World War I the Hungarian people in Alberta suffered internment. This means they were physically restricted and lost their right to vote. However, once the war had ended thousands of Hungarians began to arrive at the Canadian border. The new arrivals were mostly farmers and labourers, young men looking to make enough money to pay for their trip home and bring their families a better life in the homeland.

The start of World War II caused problems for the Hungarian populations across Canada. Although Hungary declared itself to be a neutral at the beginning of the war, when the Hungarian government announced its allegiance to the Axis, Hungarians across Canada who had not taken out Canadian citizenship began to feel the effects. Many were spied on, fingerprinted and treated poorly.

At the end of World War II more Hungarian people came to Canada. Many of these Hungarians were from the middle classes, had a better education and could provide skilled labour, and therefore moved to urban areas such as Calgary and Edmonton.

The history of the Hungarian people in Alberta is not without struggle. Although today the Hungarian people are not easy to spot on the street, their culture is strong.

Tradtional Hungarian Dress

Tradtional Hungarian Dress

Hungarian Display

Hungarian Display