Farmers in Hungary
Farmers in Hungary – 1903 Photo:

Controversial learning material has been noticed in the homeland studies book of Ferenc Bánhegyi for children of the 5th grade at elementary school. A whole chapter is about the old rustic life, introduced in a one-sided idyllic way. 

This is not the first time that people got upset by the controversial lines of Ferenc Bánhegyi’s homeland studies book, published by Apáczai Kiadó (publisher) – based on the report of (news portal). Last time, many people were outraged by one of the instructions of the book:

“If you are not baptised, ask your parents why they have not baptised you.”

Earlier history books of the same author have been withdrawn because they introduced Adolf Hitler as an appealing historical figure. They also made connections between the crimes of the leaders of the Council Republic (communist dictatorship of Hungary in 1919) and their Jewish origin – according to Népszabadság (newspaper ceased in October 2016). This time new details of his book provide a reason for scandal. 

Children of the fifth grade learn homeland studies from the book of Ferenc Bánhegyi in Hungary

On page 12, children can read a chapter about life in old villages. According to the book, work used to have honour, children were not choosy, and they were not allowed to talk back to their parents. “Children who were raised this way knew their role precisely in the community of the village. Divorce and domestic violence were not common at all and

the number of crimes was not as high as today.”

Even if the people were mainly poor, they learnt how to live decently, to work regularly and they tolerated all the difficulties of life – says the book. 

Rustic life
Rustic life in Hungary – 1906

After the works of Zsigmond Móricz (famous Hungarian writer), romanticising rustic life should be subtly worded – e.g. in domestic violence. 


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