Arpad Janos Potapi - Photo: Facebook

Potapi addresses diaspora Hungarians in Sweden

Hungarians living in Sweden will remain ambassadors for their country throughout their lives, Arpad Janos Potapi, the state secretary in charge of policies for Hungarian communities abroad, said at an assembly of the Association of Hungarians in Sweden (SMOSZ) in Halleberga, Sweden, on Saturday.

The state secretary was visiting the community on the occasion of the organisation’s 50th anniversary.

Founded in 1974, SMOSZ keeps alive the heritage of the 1956 uprising, helps Hungarians living in Sweden preserve their language, culture, identity and traditions, and creates a cultural bridge connecting Hungarians in Sweden and the Carpathian Basin, Potapi told MTI by phone.

In recent years, Hungary’s government has done a lot to ensure that the Hungarian community in Sweden can grow and strengthen, Potapi said. He cited the renovation of the Hungarian House in Stockholm, the support of Hungarian weekend schools, and the purchase and expansion of the youth camp in Halleberga.

There are about 33,000-35,000 Hungarians living in Sweden. They started moving to the Kingdom of Sweden from the 16th century and their emigration accelerated from the 20th century. After the 1956 revolution was crushed, Sweden took in 9,000-10,000 Hungarian refugees. They established their secular organisations and the Catholic and Protestant congregations. From the 1980s, 7,000-8,000 Hungarians fled to Sweden from Ceausescu’s regime from Transylvania and found a new home there.

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