The World of Fairy Tales and Fairies in my Socialist Childhood - Iveta Silova



hello my name is you betta I was born in 1973 in a small town in Latvia I grew up listening to all kinds of fairytales Latvian and Russian fairytales Brothers Grimm Pushkin but probably most important of all the fairytales that my grandmother used to tell me almost every night my dad loved reading fairy tales to me as well and he always shows the most beautiful illustrated books to read and then one day we bought a record player and I suddenly had access to so many more fairy tales from all over the world my favorite record was that of Alice in Wonderland I would put on big bulky Soviet headphones on my head and it would immediately disappear into completely different world that particular record had a really unique combination of music and narration and it would immediately take you away I would close my eyes and immediately imagine find myself in a completely new world in a wonderland and then we would take fairy tales outside and every some of my friends and I would build sand castles and roads for our Flower Fairies and we spend a lot of time drawing fairy tales scenes from fairy tales and different fairy tales creatures both at home and in preschool and this is when I ran into some problems at one point I realized that my preschool teachers were not happy with me being so intensely focused on fairy tales and drawing princess and fairies all the time when all the other kids were drawing more realistic Soviet life for example hydroelectric stations and tractors and collective farms so they had to speak with my parents and my parents had to speak with me and asked me to be more cooperative and to follow teachers instructions and to draw what she asks us to do and said fine of course I can try to do that I can be more cooperative and was my best intentions I went to schools the next day it was raining outside and when we came to preschool and the lesson started the teacher asked us to draw the rain and I saw it ha this is so easy and I immediately got to work and I drew a ferry holding an umbrella with raindrops falling on it my teacher was so angry and upset with me when my parents came to pick me up that evening she stormed up to them was the drawing in her hand as a proof of my disobedience and she said why can't she be just like all the other kids and I stood there quietly really scared not really sure what to think and what will happen next and I looked at my parents and my parents stood there quietly for a second they looked at each other and they suddenly burst out laughing and at that moment I knew that it was my small victory I realized that there were still a space for fairy tales and fairies in my socialist childhood thank you




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