Hungary forbids bathing in burkinis – two women were kicked out from the Széchenyi bath
444.hu writes that, on October 9, two women wearing burkinis were asked to leave the pool by staff members in the Széchenyi bath, on the account of violating the policy of the bath.
Two women, aged about 30 and 70, spent some time at the Széchenyi bath in Budapest, when after an hour they had to leave. The female guests wore burkinis, which are swimming suits covering the whole of the body and mainly worn by Muslim women.
A reader of 444 told the site that it was two female staff members on order who kicked the bathers out, while they actually seemed to disturb no one in the pool. However, Marketing and Sales Director of the bath, Szilvia Czinege said that, in the early evening hours, a guest complained about two woman not wearing appropriate suits in the bath. Therefore, they were asked to keep themselves to the policy.
The policy’s swimsuit rule can be found printed at the pay desk, saying that the pools may not be attended in a clothing which – due to its size – might be problematic in terms of public health, water quality, or accident prevention. So, only swimsuits with a bottom part of a maximum of knee-length and an upper part with which the shoulders can be covered, but not the arms, are allowed.
It is though not available on the site of the bath, neither in English nor in Hungarian, which makes it quite difficult for people to become aware of the rules before going there. 444 mentions that budapestigyogyfurdok.hu shares a policy statement, in effect from May, which does not explicitly mention burkinis but can be applied to those as well.
The whole problem with burkinis appeared in France this summer, when several beaches started to ban women wearing this type of swimsuit. Those for the ban say that there is no room for swimsuits related to politics or religion at the beach; while those against the ban claim that there is no explicit definition for a burkini.
Moreover, according to the complaints of Muslim women, the ban comes handy when people want to send them away from the beach, whatever it is they are wearing.
Copy editor: bm