They teach love and respect for adults. Why Roma fairy tales break down stereotypes about “poor parenting”

Ромські народні казки - як спосіб виховання дітей.

Fairy tales are an important part of child-rearing because they convey traditional values, teach moral principles, and teach social skills. The little ones do not understand semitones, so fairy tales are perhaps the easiest way to convey information about good and evil to them in the form of a game. Folklore creates an image of what an “ideal person” should be.

In society, there are many stereotypes that the Roma raise their children “in a wrong way” and impose immoral values from childhood. Contrary to stereotypes, completely different narratives prevail in Roma fairy tales, which teach patience, ingenuity, love of justice, respect for elders and family.

The main characters are often resourceful and intelligent, have a great flair

for music, blacksmithing and for horse riding

Roma folk tales often recreate the period of nomadism by romanticizing it. For the most part, the plots are based on mythical creatures: woodsman, mavka, death, luck, etc. In the stories, the main characters are often resourceful and intelligent, have a great flair for music, blacksmithing and horse riding, which is what they earn a living from.

The fairy tale “Як лісовик із табором подружився” tells about a talented Roma girl, who without being afraid of the woodsman, sang him a song. Having fallen in love with the girl’s voice, the woodsman stopped harming the Roma and allowed them to stay in the forest. After that, he fondly joined the evening gatherings of the Roma and listened to their music by the fire.

Roma fairy tales glorify nature, especially the animals that mythical creatures protect

At once several fairy tales that we have managed to find were about respect for nature, especially for animals. People who are mistaken in their attitude are often opposed by mythical creatures who protect nature. Omens often appear in such fairy tales: “It is well known that the swallow is a household spirit of a bird and is sacred to the home. God forbid someone destroys the swallow’s nest – then life in the house will not be possible.” In the Roma folk tale “Swallows”, a Roma woman who ruined a bird’s nest was cruelly punished by the housekeeper.

Many fairy tales have their roots in different traditions, which helps children to learn about the heritage of different peoples. For example, in Roma fairy tales written on the territory of Slavic countries, appear relevant mythological creatures, also omens and proverbs are used. They can teach children to respect different cultures and traditions, understand and accept diversity, and help to develop cultural tolerance.

Romantic subtext — the heroes classically overcome all obstacles on the way to happiness with their loved ones

Many fairy tales have ambiguity, which teaches children various moral principles, such as justice, mercy, kindness, tolerance and respect for others. These principles help children develop ethical standards and behaviors that are important in life. Common narratives about self-sacrificing love, romance. How the heroes surrender to their feelings, meet their soulmate and overcome all obstacles on the way to happiness.

In the fairy tale “The Hero Guvalik and the Beauty of Velevuma”, there are situations that teach children social skills, such as cooperation, communication, and to interact with others, helping those who need it. Such stories can help children understand the different social roles and interactions with other people that occur on the way to defeating evil. In the plot, one’s own security and love are at stake. In this way, fairy tales shows children the importance of love and honesty. The main character discovers his love and is ready to do anything to protect his love from evil. It teaches children that love for their family can be a motivation and help them overcome any obstacles.

They distort negative qualities and prioritize material values

Fairy tales can teach children life lessons. It says how to behave well in difficult situations, overcome trials and how to make important decisions. They can also help children understand that life can have its difficulties, which help us grow and become stronger, to look at ourselves from another side. Folktales develop emotional intelligence, that is, the ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions, as well as to understand the emotions of other people. They teach empathy, compassion, help them understand cause and effect relationships between situations and people’s feelings. In the fairy tale “How the lady was punished for her greed”.

One of the heroines, despite the agreement, did not want to share the earnings and was left with nothing. Heroes of fairy tales who show greed and self-interest often find themselves in difficult situations that can lead to them losing everything. It teaches children that greed can lead to self-destruction and suffering.

Stories about greed and its consequences teach children the importance of having a healthy attitude towards money and things. Children learn that money and things are not all that matters in life, and that moral values should not be sacrificed for them. Roma fairy tales do not always romanticize the main characters. In fairy tales, the Roma mostly appear as characters facing difficult conditions due to their nomadic lifestyle. However, their ingenuity and cunning enable them to overcome their difficulties while maintaining their own values. Nevertheless, Roma folk tales, like the creativity of other peoples, are based on plots that have a moral. In other words, they teach common principles of social living and attitudes toward spiritual and material things.

Polianska Ruslana

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