Sasas Jekhvar Jekh
“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.
If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

Albert Einstein

Once upon a time …

… „Puss in Boots“, „Sleeping Beauty”, “Snow White and the seven dwarfs”, “Sweet porridge”, “The wolf and the seven young kids”, “The valiant little tailor”, “From someone who set out to learn fear”, “The frog prince”, “Hansel and Gretel”, “Mother Hulda”, “Cinderella”, “Snow White and Rose Red” …

And that are only the fairy tales of the Grimm Brothers. However, we also know fairy tales from Hauff and Andersen, Arabian fairy tales, Russian fairy tales …

They were with us when we were kids, they were told to us, we performed them with friends or watched the movies. The promoted our phantasy and creativity and mediated values. Not least, we learned our language with their help.

With limitations, Roma have of course also access to the world of those fairy tales. Unfortunately, they only rarely have their own ones. Roma fairy tales were not put down on the paper and therefore also not filmed. They can neither be found in the bookshelf nor in the library, in the book store or on the internet. The low number of still existing fairy tales are in the heads of just a few storytellers. It is only a question of time that they are also not available anymore…

Therefore, Sasas Jekhvar Jekh aimed at finding elderly Roma, particularly women, bearing the treasure of the Roma fairy tales inside themselves and who are ready to share it. Representatives of the partner organisations (partly Roma themselves) who were made familiar with recording devices and methods acted as fairy tale collectors, together with 43 multipliers who were trained in the project.

The partners from Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Turkey
implemented the following activities:

PHASE 1: Collection of the fairy tales

Introductory Training:

  • Romanes and its four main dialects
  • Definition of fairy tale categories and determination of the minimum number of fairy tales per category and country that should be collected
  • different interview, communication and documentation technologies

Collection of the fairy tales:

  • Training of 43 multipliers
  • Identification of potential storytellers in Roma communities
  • Contacting and implementation of sensitisation meetings
  • Recording and writing down of the fairy tales
  • Proofreading and translation into English

PHASE 2: Analysis and selection of the fairy tales

  • Analysis of the 139 collected fairy tales
  • Selection of the 40 fairy tales that shall be published in a European Roma Fairy Tale Book
  • Elaboration of the project brochure

PHASE 3: Designing of the follow-up project

  • Design of the follow-up project
  • Identification, contacting and pre-selection of publishing houses
  • Brainstorming on Plan B – alternative ways of publication
  • Pre-selection of appropriate Roma artists who will illustrate the book

The following concrete results were achieved:
  1. 40 Roma fairy tales (5 fairy tales per partner country) that shall be published in the European Roma Fairy Tale Book are selected. They cover all fairy tale categories and consider the heterogeneity of the Roma communities.
  2. A publishing house ready to publish the Roma Fairy Tale Book was identified in each partner country. 3. At least three famous Roma personalities from art/culture/sport/economy from each partner country have declared their readiness to advertise the Roma Fairy Tale Book.
  3. The concept for the follow-up project is developed.
  4. The project brochure containing information on the project and the involved partners as well as the documentation of the process of rediscovering the fairy tales and the development of the concept for the follow-up project is available.
  5. The involved partner organisations developed their competences for the implementation of projects in the field of adult education at the European level further.
  6. Information on the project were distributed. The according target groups were reached.

Further information can be found here.


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