Headline, January 08 2022/ HOPE : ''' '' FAIRIES FATEFUL FANFARE '' '''



SOME VERY BEAUTIFUL AND BRAVE AND BRIGHT STUDENTS - from the world over, - US, and Germany and on and on, came over to pay respects. And then so much of the world expressed great honours and great wishes.

ESTEEMED leaders, Corporate heads, Organizational heads, Grandmothers, Mothers, Parents, Professors and Teachers, and the illiterate, and the lost, and the suffering, and the torn, and the poverty soaked, and the hopeless and the helpless, joined the chorus. I said to them :

''God bless Ya all! Soon, very soon, The World Students Society Fairies led by Rabo, Haleema, Dee, Armeen, Hussain, Vishnu, Salar, Sahar, Ahsen, Sannan, Hamza, Bilal, Zaeem, Toby [China], Ghazi, Mynah, Maria, Hannyia, Merium and Sofia and billions of students the world over, will build a new and a better world for you all, based on humanity, dignity, justice and delight.''

THE BIRTHPLACE OF HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN - WHO was born in 1805, is an inconspicuous one-story yellow house in the small Danish town of Odense. 

As the son of a shoemaker who died prematurely and a laundress who could neither read nor write, no one could have predicted that he would become one of the world's most famous fairy tale authors.

His stories are still popular today. From The Ugly Duckling to The Emperor's New Clothes, the tales have inspired many film and theater adaptations, including Disney films, such as the popular Frozen franchise, which borrow's from Andersen's The Snow Queen.

Fairy tales are trending

Countless films, video games and novels have in recent years contributed to reviewing well-known fairy tales by classic European authors. In Disney's Maleficent [2014], the wicked fairy godmother from Charles Perrault's fairy tale Sleeping Beauty is turned into a tragic central protagonist, portrayed by Hollywood star Angelina Jolie.

For her novel Six Crimson Cranes [2021] Japanese-American author Elizabeth Lim combined Andersen's fairy tale The Wild Swans with East Asian folklore - and created a bestseller. But the trend is not new, points out German author, editor and fairy tale expert Christian Handel : ''Fairy tales never disappear,'' he tells DW.

Classic European fairy tales such as Snow White by the Brothers Grimm, Cinderella by Charles Perrault or The Princess and the Pea by Andersen are actually based on much older sources, explains Handel, who adds that many of these stories already existed in written form at the time.

The widespread belief that the Brothers Grimm collected and wrote down old folk tales that had until then primarily been transmitted orally is therefore just a myth.

Myth of the 'folk tale'

The Brothers Grimm ''sold their fairy tales to the outside world as something other than what they really were,'' explains Handel. Many of their sources were written, and above all of international origin.

For example, before Brothers Grimm included Puss in Boots into their compilation of fairy tales in 1812 century, Charles Perrault already had a version written in French at the close of the 17th century, while an even older written Italian version dates from the 1550s.

Contributing to this cultural crossover was the fact that the city of Kassel, where Brothers Grimm lived, was under French occupation during their lifetime. While Andersen did not claim that his stories came from popular oral sources, he still used culturally diverse and older tales and themes, adapting them to the values of his time.

''His typical hero or heroine is a God fearing good person who is then rewarded,'' summarizes Handel. ''Ironically, the original stories weren't Christian fairy at all; they were just reworked that way. 

When we read Snow White today, we think we already know how the story goes. Most people are not even aware that there are very different versions ancient versions of the fairy tale around the world,'' explains Handel.

21st century fairy tales

It is precisely this international aspect that is at the centre of the current fairy tale trend, explains Handel. What might be perceived as controversial modern transformation of classics, simply amounts to the same thing Andersen and the Grimms did - redesigning stories to adapt them to the values of the time.

Today, the myth of the national ''folk tale'' is no longer central to these stories; it is rather their intercultural and  international origins that is in the spotlight, points out Handel.

Many modern fairy tales focus on characters who are not white or male. Powerful female protagonists such as Elsa from Frozen [2013], a Black lesbian youth in Kalynn Bayron's novel Cindrella is Dead [ 2020 ] or a gay prince couple, as in Handel's novel Rowan and Ash [ 2020 ].

But there is also some resistance to this, which is particularly vocal on social networks, reports Handel.

For example, Disney's announcement that they would be casting Black actor Halle Bailey in the lead role of their live action remake of The Little Mermaid sparked backlash online.

Fairy tales bring hope 

The fact that fairy tales are so familiar contribute to their charm, explains Handel, which is also why some people are irritated to see them change. But such updates which integrate modern values are essential for the survival of fairy tales, adds the expert.

If a new version of a fairy tale is controversial, it is because it demonstrates the values of a society that are changing.

That might also explain why fairy tales are being revisited now - to be updated with today's ideals. This ability to change is actually one of the reasons why fairy tales survive, believes Handel. But despite all transformations over time, fairy tales remain universal because ''they clearly show that you can personally change something in your destiny.

In almost all fairy tales, the heroine or the hero has to be active in some way for their fate to change.''

And Handel adds, ''I believe fairy tales survive because in most cases they give hope. They often contain moments of wonder and carry with them the hope that something better will come.''

With Most respectful dedication to DW, The Express Tribune, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society :  wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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