... a fairy tale... is a fairy tale... is a fairy tale...
Tuesdays and Thursdays forenoon, I usually spend a couple of hours at something called “Café Welcome”. It´s not a cafeteria per se. People can’t just drop in, buy themselves a cup of coffee, or a latte or something, sit there for a while and then leave.
Instead, it is a gathering place for women from different countries. We talk! We communicate!
We have a good time!
Tuesdays comes a woman from the main city library. She brings a book, she reads something – not anything long. And then we talk about the text and can express thoughts about it. On the whole, it’s supposed to train the women with other native languages to speak in Swedish, and increase their vocabulary as well as the courage to actually open the mouth and say something in Swedish! In a women-friendly surrounding, where everyone can relax and just enjoy the moment. And no one is forced to be here.
It’s just lovely! So much I’ve learned during the time I’ve participated in this! BUT! Nota bene! I don’t teach Swedish, like a schoolteacher! I’m just being there. Talking sometimes. Listening. Learning. Hopefully giving something positive back. Literally – participating!
This woman from the library, on the other hand, is supposed to give positive influences in talking and understanding Swedish. Not only the language per se but also the world around us. Our habits here in Sweden, our culture. And we get so much back about their cultures and habits, and their experiences before moving here and how it is now.
Today this Librarian had brought a book with fairy tales. A bit odd fairy tales. They are very short and ends abruptly in a dilemma. Actually – a really mind blowing problem. Then, we were supposed to discuss this dilemma. Which of the suggested solutions to the problem would be best? Or?
Before I give you a summary of the story, I'll just say we had a lovely, energetic, giving discussion afterward...
In the story, there is this young, poor man who lives with his mother. She is old, and not well at all. As a matter of fact, the son is taking care of here. Even feed her. That’s how feeble she is.
There is also a King who has a daughter. Well – there is a princess.
One day the princess meets the young man, and they fall in love – and get married.
(As I said, the tale is really short. Here we could have heard a loooooong tale about how they met, all the troubles due to she being a princess and he being a common and poor man. Even though he was also young and beautiful…
In that imaginary story (my imagination, thought about this part later), there was a revolution or something else really nasty occurring, the king was killed, the castle burnt down – and the princess fled from that blond, obese, egotistical and arrogant, small-mouthed conqueror with pig-eyes before he could lay his hands upon her – and he didn’t bother much despite the fact she was young and beautiful. There were lots of other young and beautiful women to chose from… )
In the librarian’s story; when married, the princess began to take care of her mother-in-law. (And where did the husband/son go?) But one day, while the princess was feeding her, the old woman bit the (former) princess in the hand! And kept biting her, wouldn’t let go!
The princess cried and screamed and tried really hard, but couldn’t get free. The people in the town heard her of course and came, wondering what was going on. Also her husband came, and he was thinking really hard on how to solve this problem. Since his mother refused to open her mouth and let go of the hand, he saw only two possible solutions. Either he had to cut off his wife’s hand, or break open his mother’s mouth.
He just couldn’t decide.
The old people in the city urged him to cut off the wife’s hand, and the young ones urged him to break open the mother’s mouth – and he could do neither. They asked a judge in the city for advice, but he was also unable to come to a solution….
Here ended the story, as with a big question mark.
What do you think? You, who just have read this all the way down the blog. Do you have a solution to this dilemma?
We, who sat there around the table with coffee mugs and chocolate toffees in front of us, had a great discussion – and one of the women, one of those lovely, intelligent, well-educated, humorous, gorgeous women, came up with a brilliant solution!!!
I might tell you tomorrow – if you want me to.