B bábi, Tibor

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Brazil, Hungarians in – The first Hungarians appeared in Brazil during the 18th century. Ferenc (Francis) Haller of the Jesuit Order was active at the Maranhac Mission, North Brazil. Ignác (Ignatius) Szentmártonyi worked on mapping the Rio Madeira, commissioned by the Portuguese king. Nelson Hungria, the minister of justice was descendant of a Hungarian family. A significant number of Hungarians arrived after the defeat of the War of Independence (1848-1849). This wave was known as the “soldiers of Kossuth”. Their traces can be found in the telephone directory of Sao Paulo, where a few hundred names, such as Hungaro, Ungaro and Ungheria appear, and they still know where their ancestors came from. In Santa Catarina lived Sándor (Alexander) Lénárd, an eminent Hungarian of the 20th century. After World War I, a large number of Hungarians, about 60,000 arrived in Brazil. Most of them came from parts of historic Hungary ceded to Romania, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Hungarians in these years organized themselves into societies, even in villages, such as Árpádfalva, Mátyáskirályfalva, Rákóczifalva and Szentistván-Királyfalva. However, they are nonexistent today, their inhabitants dispersed across Brazil. Hungarian life was quite significant in Sao Paulo before World War II. During the war, because Brazil and Hungary became belligerents, the Brazilian government confiscated Hungarian properties in Brazil; but returned them after the war. A major immigrant wave of Hungarians arrived after the crushed 1956 Revolution. The estimated number of Hungarians in Barzil in 1961 was 71,000. Although official census data are not available, according to a reliable estimate, at the turn of the millennium some 80,000 Hungarians lived in Brazil. Two-third of the Hungarians lives in Sao Paulo, the rest in Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Porto Allegre and Jaragua. The center of Hungarian life is Sao Paulo, the venue of the St. Gellért (St. Gerhard) Monastery. In cooperation with it is the King St István (St Stephen) Roman Catholic Parish. On the compound of the monastery is the St Imre (St Emeric) College that used to have some 1600 students. The Social Institute, the Hungarian Women’s Association is located there as well. Sao Paulo has the Hungarian Reformed Church of Brazil, established in 1932; the Hungarian Lutheran Parish of Brazil, the latter one hosts the Béla Bartók choir. The Hungarian Baptist Congregation is also in Sao Paulo, as well as the Hungarian-speaking Jewish Congregation. Other Hungarian organizations in this city include the Hungarian House, the Kálmán Könyves Free University, The Brazilian-Hungarian Benefit Society, the Brazilian-Hungarian Cultural Society, the Transylvania World Organization, the Brazilian Hungarian Chamber of Commerce, the Hungarian Seminary, and the Mindszenty Cultural Society. There is no newspaper in Hungarian anymore in Brazil, Hungarians read the Argentine Hungarian News. The members of the Hungarian Benedictine Order, the ministers of other denominations, as well as Hungarian intellectuals played and continue to play a significant role not only in the life of the Hungarians in Brazil but in the life of Brazilian society as well. – B: 1104, 1364, T: 7103.→ Jesuits, Hungarian, in Latin America; Apostol, János, Csákány, István; Lénárd, Sándor.

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