An alternative storybook portraying the heroes of traditional Hungarian folk and fairy tales as belonging to minorities such as lesbian or Roma has sparked a major controversy in Hungary after Dóra Dúró, vice-president of the far-right Our Homeland Movement, publicly tore up and shredded a copy of it.
In the book, “Meseország mindenkié” (“Wonderland Belongs to Everyone”), a dozen young authors reinterpret classic Hungarian folk tales portraying the protagonists as belonging to “oppressed minorities”. Pöttöm Panna, for example, the Hungarian iteration of Thumbelina, is a Roma servant girl.
“The Our Homeland Movement does not accept that children are being subjected to homosexual propaganda (…). Homosexual princes are not part of Hungarian culture,” Dúró said at a press conference held on Sept. 25, during which she tore out pages of the book and then placed them in a shredder.
The book was published by the Labrisz lesbian association and on its sleeve it says, “This storybook should be in every child’s room, where understanding the multi-colored nature of the world is important, where there are no taboos surrounding the children, and a room where they can walk in knowing that through their children are not only able to influence the future, but the present as well.”
Subsequently, on Saturday, Oct. 3 hundreds held a protest against the book in front of the Budapest headquarters of Labrisz.
Dúró claims she has received death threats over her destruction of the book.
“My phone is constantly ringing… Even the vicious, offensive, death threats won’t stop me. I stand by the Hungarian families and I won’t leave it without a voice if anyone wants to publish fake stories or want to make this normal, which it is not. According to our country, supporting the traditional family model is the growing future of Hungarians!” she wrote on Facebook.
Originally Labrisz ran a first edition of 1,500 copies but ironically, the controversy propelled the book to the top of the bestseller list of Hungary’s second largest online bookstore, book24.hu, where the latest installment of Welsh author Ken Follett’s Kingsbridge trilogy, “The Evening and the Morning” is seventh.
Title image: Dóra Dúró, vice-president of the far-right Our Homeland Movement, shreds a copy of the alternative LGBT storybook “Wonderland belongs to everyone”. (Youtube video caption)