Emese Varga

Emese Varga’s path from Budapest to New Jersey and Boston reflects her strong commitment to preserving Hungarian culture and fostering community bonds. Born and raised in Budapest, Emese taught classical guitar in the early 1990s. She later joined her husband, Tamás Badics, who was studying at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Emese became active in the New Brunswick Hungarian community. She studied early childhood education which she used while teaching at the local Hungarian kindergarten. She also taught for a few years at a Montessori School where she gained valuable experience. 

Once Emese’s family settled in the Boston area in 1995, her passion for teaching and love of Hungarian heritage motivated her to galvanize the local Hungarian community by leading a monthly educational and social program called “Kuckó” for families with young children. The Boston Hungarian community very quickly grew and began to feel like family. In 2000, alongside fellow visionaries, Emese co-founded Boskola, a Hungarian Saturday school for children to learn and embrace the Hungarian language, culture, and community. Among the initial attendees were her three bilingual daughters – Dora, Emese, and Julia, of whom she and her husband are exceedingly proud. Presently, nearly one hundred students are enrolled in Boskola. 

Emese’s engagement extended beyond the classroom walls. Serving on the board of the Hungarian Society of Massachusetts for more than ten years, she demonstrated strong commitment to community development. She has organized cultural festivals, teacher’s conferences for professional development, and numerous culturally enriching events. She created the annual Boston Hungarian Heritage Day nearly 10 years ago, which to her enjoyment has blossomed into a lively festival attended by hundreds of visitors from diverse cultural backgrounds every year. Organizing this event has given her a special opportunity to learn, appreciate, and share the complexity of Hungarian heritage.

From Budapest to Boston, Emese’s story is an inspiration to all who seek to honor their roots while nurturing the spirit of togetherness that transcends borders and generations.