The Hungarian Heritage Museum possesses three amazing handmade ‘diszmagyar’ dresses (Hungarian court dress) donated to the museum by their creators, Kato Papp, Emoke Jordan, Vivian Jordan and Erika Vamosi. The Torontonian Hungarians forced into emigration by the Soviet communist invasion of Hungary proudly wore these dresses at their social gatherings as expression of their devotion to their country and culture.
The diszmagyar, or Hungarian court dress has its roots in the Hungarian folklore, it is the symbol of national unity and independence. During the 17th and 18th century the Hungarian nobility borrowed numerous elements of the traditional folk costumes, incorporated them into their attire thus advocating their national pride. The ‘diszmagyar’ flourished in the Period of Reforms and after the Revolution of 1848 failed to succeed, when Hungary once again became a colony of the Austrian Empire. These were the times when not only the higher nobility but the civilians, young and old, men and women wore the ‘diszmagyar’ as the emblem of their passive resistance against the Habsburg oppression.