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Fairy tales and global village

Europeans vary very much. Well, I think that's really remarkable that in a relatively small continent if not the smallest one in the world there are so many substancial differences among people (surely there is nothing wrong about that). My theory is that there is no other continent in the world that on such a small piece of land the differences among nations are the most significient. I refer to all kinds of distinctions among Europeans like cusine, human temperament, the way we look and act, punctuallity, cultural manners, holiday celebration etc. Certainly if I were to name all the differences I am aware of in topical order I would have to write that story for a very long time but that's not my purpose to name them all.

If I wanted to focus on the reasons why we differ that would be a massive work adequete for a serious university assignment. That's not my intention either however there is one aspect or factor I would like to touch upon and elaborate on it a little.

A fairy tale ! Magic story featuring imaginary creatures with superhuman power living in the wonderland that is one type of a fairy tale. We can read them in books or watch them in TV. We all had our favourite ones and those we easily agreed our parents to switch a channel while they were on.
Do fairy tales help to understand each other better in Europe/world?

Fairy tales are hot and loveable topic to discuss among people no matter their age, political preferences and the football club their follow. Besides they always play the same role in people's life eventhough that life is far more mature and serious. They were written and then adapted to be produced as TV programmes or the other way round to amuse and to teach children - to make them sensitive for human misery and to tell them that giving and sharing is of far more value than receiving etc.
Below you see the fairy tales book of Hans Andersen I have bought in Odense (he is considered by many to be the best fairy tales teller in the world)

There are at least three times in our lifetime we extensively watch cartoons and read fairy tales and tales right for children. First when we are children, then we get back to them after a few yeagrs when we become parents and our children put a constant pressure on us to keep the tv children channel turned on. Finally when we reach the point when our children have their own children and as a result we become grandparents. I think, well, I assume that in that case our grandchildren have always a final say with a consequance of fairy tales/cartoons being read or watched most of the time :-) People sometimes say that grandparents are to spoil their grandchildren not to give them proper manners and education - that's the job for parents!

When I was a child Poland was still behind the iron curtain and the fairy tales I read and watched were mainly locally written/produced. Well, there were number of tv cartoons from Czech Republic/Hungary and Russia on Polish television that we all enjoyed very much. Certainly we also listened to our parents reading us Hans Christian Andersen, Tove Jansson (below you see the book I have bought in Helsinki) or the brothers Grimm tales with great pleasure.

Travelling the world is the way to get to know a history and herritage of each country. To me fairy tale writers contribute very much to the process of bulding country's image abroad but what is even more they help to understand various aspects of social life and hierarchy, customs and their local meaning and many, many more. In a longer run the fairy tales might fight sterotypes and make people united one day (maybe that was be too optymisitc to say).

Over last 50 years or more the fairy tales travelled the world helping us to learn more and understand better our neighbouring countries being a serious factor to diminish the differences between cultures and nations.
Do you know the easygoing Moomintrolls or a cartoon featuring advantures of a small mole? What about 'The snow queen', 'The ugly duckling', 'The wild swans' or 'Cindirella'? Yes, we know them all.

Wherever I go (Finland, Denmark, Czech Republic) I always try to buy a gift for myself that is a book with local tales or a masqute representing a key fairytale character. If there is an opportunity its really worth to visit a museum of a famous fairy tales writer (below you see me o the doorway to the museum of Hans Christain Andersen) - that would be my recommendation.

As I have become a father recently I noticed one more phenomenon regarding cartoons and fairy tales. If we say that 50 or 40 years ago fairy tales traveled from one country to the other to amuse children around the world that would be true for sure. However nowadays we are familiar with global cartoon productions. 'Teletubbies' is a unique cartoon that is broadcasted worldwidely and always being received everywhere with great attention and addiction by some children. Well, I think that example supports my theory that fairy tales/cartoons help to create a global village and mutual understanding in the world :-)

Posted by tomik 06:44 Archived in Denmark

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