Plan - Student
Worksheet - Bibliography/Resources
EPISODE 38: Kaposvar: The
Faith of Lajos Nagy
Directed by Stephen Onda
Director Stephen Onda in his
film, Kaposvar - the Faith of Lajos Nagy, explores his own Hungarian heritage
by following the life of one of the first Hungarian pioneers in Canada's
West, Lajos Nagy. Lajos, like many of the early Hungarian pioneers, was
attracted to Canada by the picture painted by a Canadian Immigration Agent,
Paul Oscar Esterhazy.
His description of the Canadian West as a "Garden of Eden" neglected
to mention the hardships, brutal cold, isolation, and the clearing of
the land., and life was brutal for them. They did, however, leave one
lasting symbol of their pioneer labours Using the field stones from their
farms, the Hungarian pioneers, including Nagy, built a Catholic Cathedral,
which became both a place of worship and a gathering point for the community.
Onda uses the wonderful Cathedral of Kaposvar, Lajos Nagy and the annual
Hungarian Festival held at the Cathedral, as a template to tell the story
of the hardship of these early Hungarian pioneers, ancestors of many of
the people we meet through the film, who still attend this annual Hungarian
Festival at Kaposvar.
- Struggle of the early pioneers
on Canada' prairies
- The role of the Canadian
Immigration Agents in attracting immigrants
- The terrible toll of the
Great Depression on the prairie farmers
- The importance of the Catholic
faith to these early pioneers
- Sod hut
- To explore the experiences
of the first Hungarians who came to Canada;
- To investigate how Canada
attracted these immigrants to the West;
- To explore the lasting impact
of these pioneers;
- To learn about how these
early pioneers had to depend upon each other to survive the brutal Canadian
- Many of the early pioneers
lived in sod huts. Construct a model of one, and write a letter home
to your family left in Hungary, describing what it is like living in
it during the harsh prarie winters.
- Imagine that you are a Hungarian
pioneer in the 1880's. Keep a diary detailing some of your experiences
and hardships coming to Canada, and how you felt when you realized this
was not the "Garden of Eden here. Describe some of the traditions
you were bringing with you from Hungary, and which of these turned out
to be particularly hard to hold on to in a new country.
- The pioneers had to travel
the last 25 miles to Esterhazy by oxen and cart. This came to be known
as the "Red River Cart." Create a model of the Red River Cart,
and describe why it was such an effective method of travel?
- Many of the early pioneers
came to Canada on the promise of Land Grants. In return for these land
grants, the pioneers had to clear the land and start their lives anew.
Pretend you are a Hungarian family in the late 1800s who has heard about
the land grants in Canada, and have your family members debate the merits
and down sides of moving to a new country to start life all over.
- Today, Esterhazy remains
a farming community, as well as being home to North America's largest
potash mine. What are some of the natural resources which your town
or village was built around, and describe how it has affected your local
- Some "immigrant agents"
are still fooling and cheating would-be immigrants today. Do some research
through newspaper clippings about some of the recent immigration scams
- Make contact with a major
church, synagogue or mosque in your community, and research its history,
including who the people who built it, where they came from, what kind
of beliefs they had and how they raised the money to build it. If the
building has been there a long time, find out if the social make-up
and local community around it has changed over the years, and whether
or not this is causing any problems to its survival.
- Investigate whether people
in your community are trying to raise funds and/or labour to build a
new community centre, church, seniors' home, etc. If so, find out what
you can do to help them achieve their goal.