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Thread: Russian fairytales - pre 1991

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    Russian fairytales - pre 1991

    Hi, To what extent would a child growing up in the 1980s Russia (pre-1991) have had any exposure to traditional fairytales, like Vasilia the Beautiful, the Firebird, The Snow Maiden, Father Frost etc? Were there books you could buy of these fairytales during that time in Russia? Would there by any oral tradition of passing down from grandparent to child, for example? Thanks!

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    I`m 33 years old and I can talk only about myself, but I can ask late some other people. I liked those fairytales very much. And I saw them on TV. And I think anyone could see those video. One of them is here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C85L5rK32tU As you can see it was made (or shoot may be) in 1939. And I have found an article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Rou It is about great Soviet film director. You will see here his famous films. I love them very much. And sorry for my mistakes.
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    > Were there books you could buy of these fairytales during that time in Russia?

    Of course.
    Very important difference of 1980 in USSR in comparison with today was serious lack of TV content.
    There were 2-4 TV channels (depending on location), almost absence of stand-alone movie players and TV cartoons were rare and desired. Something about 10-20 minutes per day on state TV on regular days.
    So, role of (more accessible) books in entartaining was more important and wide than now, especially for children.
    For example library of my childhood includes classis russian fairytales, classic world fairytales (Hans Christian Andersen for example), more modern things like soviet translation of Wizard of Oz, The Wind in The Willows, many others and even first volume of Fellowships of the Rings. Even if you won't buy books you can freely go to the library and have as much books to read as you want for symbolic payment. One can't say that everybody read then, but more than now.
    Oral tradition doesn't apply in my familiy to long fairytales, only short ones in very young ages. But parents read books of long fairitales often to children who can't read.
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    Почтенный гражданин Soft sign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calandra View Post
    Were there books you could buy of these fairytales during that time in Russia?
    Yes, traditional Russian fairy tales were very popular in the Soviet Union. (Fairy tales of other ethnic groups of the Soviet Union and foreign ones weren’t unknown too).

    Quote Originally Posted by Calandra View Post
    Would there by any oral tradition of passing down from grandparent to child, for example?
    I am by no means an expert, but I suppose that the oral tradition in its classical form became nearly extinct and ousted by the book tradition in the beginning of the 20th century with the coming of universal literacy.
    Please correct my English

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    Nowadays, we read less, and content is consumed in other shapes:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oLmhE1xzCA

    P.S. Libraries were free, of course.
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

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