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Péter András Kovács (KAP) is featured in two articles published by the Hungarian Charity Service of Malta Invisible orphans in his volume. Little Koko the short story recalls the scene when he and his father were sitting in the Erzsike Presszó, and while the adults were drinking, he as a child quickly got bored. The jaffa he got quickly ran out and he rarely got a second one, he sat there with his empty glass trying to get his father to go home. As this failed,

bit the thin-walled glass,

to get some attention and another jaffa while they worry about him.

If this scene is familiar to someone from your own life, then you most likely had to experience a similar fate as a child, that is, you had to grow up with a family member who had a problematic relationship with alcohol. Not everyone realizes this right away, Péter András Kovács only realized last year that what he experienced has science and literature, and there are specialists and programs that deal with this issue.

Taboo, indifference, hypocrisy

He only found out about the latter when, in a program where the participants were asked about their childhood, he dared to tell what he had experienced – he always liked such death jumps – after that he was approached by the staff of the Hungarian Maltese Charity Service, and later asked him to write short story for the upcoming volume. As a guest of the arútluK podcast, KAP says that this was the first time he wrote about this topic.

As he talks about how such families function as a fortress, and since you have to keep up appearances on the outside, the children learn that you shouldn’t talk about it internally, not even to yourself, and this doesn’t go away when the affected family member is no longer alive.

We don’t talk about it with my sister, not since then. And if you don’t talk about this, which is the most important thing, then you won’t talk about anything else. My own brother and I lived together without speaking, and to this day it’s hard to fix that

says András. Edited by Kata Hoffmann, Piroska Kormos and András Frankó Invisible orphans the purpose of the book is to talk about the problem hidden behind the curtain of shame, taboo, indifference or hypocrisy, because even at this moment hundreds of thousands of children are suffering the same story.

András’s other short story a Tear shelf is titled, and although what happened to his storybooks is quite shocking, according to him, he could have come up with stories a hundred times stronger than this, which would have had a bigger impact, but his goal was to write about everyday life. THE Tear shelf the main character is the mother, who for years “persevered” with her husband, who sent her away with alcohol – it is no coincidence that the literary perspective associated with this novella is about the need to systematically examine such families and to see who contributes to or maintains the established situation and who can really be called a victim.

More is discussed in the podcast

  • About András Kovács Péter’s upcoming new show, which will be about alcoholism,
  • about the drunken characters in funny hats, who have slipped aside,
  • about a soon-to-be-launched podcast that will address addictions,
  • about whether it is possible to forgive a father, for example,
  • and whether it is possible to talk easily about serious topics.

If you missed the previous arútluK podcast, in which Endre Kadarkai talks about the tragedy of well-known Hungarian icons, Falling Upward, you can watch it by clicking here.

(Cover photo: Péter András Kovács. Photo: Dorina Ruzsovics / Index)