So this month Around the World in 12 Dishes is visiting Ukraine. I am behind in writing the intro and cooking something, but imagine my surprise when choosing a story at random from The Magic Egg and Other Tales from Ukraine by Barbara J. Suwyn I found a Cinderella tale. Hazel and I have been enjoying stories from this book each night. I pick one at random to read to her as part of our bedtime stories.Since today is the day I usually would share our food from the Ukraine, I thought we would share the Cinderella tale called "The Golden Slipper".
With so much happening in Ukraine right now, it is hard to really learn about it since the borders could be changing any day. However, Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the largest country completely in Europe. It has been inhabited for at least 44,000 years and is the prime candidate for the domestication of horses. The capital is Kiev and its religion is primarily Eastern Orthodox Christianity. This religion shows in its arts, literature and culture.
On August 24, 1991, Ukraine successfully declared its independence. The first presidential elections were held in December 1991. Ukraine has since experienced several revolutions and is currently in one. (Source)
Now onto our story. In this version of Cinderella, it starts with a couple who have two daughters. The youngest daughter, Hanna, is favored by the father and the oldest daughter is favored by the mother. The father suddenly dies and the mother and oldest daughter make Hanna do the chores. The mother resents the time Hanna spent with her father. The grandmother protects Hanna for a bit but eventually becomes sick. On her deathbed the grandmother gives Hanna a seed for a willow tree. She tells her if anything bad happens to plan the seed and water it. The tree will help with whatever she needs. Hanna puts the seed in her pocket. Then the grandmother dies. Now the mother and sister are horrible to Hanna. One Sunday they put on their Sunday best and tell Hanna they are going to mass and she must husk the rye, clean the house and cook their dinner before they return. Hanna is so sad that she cannot go to church. She goes to the spring to get water and begins to cry. Then she finds the seed in her pocket and remembers what her grandmother said. She plants the seed and waters it with the water in her bucket. Nothing happens, so Hanna cries some more and eventually falls asleep.
|Source: By Geaugagrrl (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons|
This version reminds me a bit of one of the Irish versions since it was at mass the prince saw the Cinderella character and it took three weeks for him to use pitch to get the slipper. The golden slipper was seen in the Vietnamese and Egyptian versions of the story (both with the same title of "The Golden Slipper"). It is interesting to see how the story changes through the different regions of the world.
For more Cinderella in different culture posts:
- Angkat: The Cambodian Cinderella
- Abadeha: The Philippine Cinderella
- Golden Sandals: A Middle Eastern Cinderella Tale
- The Golden Slipper: A Vietnamese Cinderella Tale
- Chinese Cinderella Tales
- The Korean Cinderella
- Kongi and Potgi: A Cinderella Tale from Korea
- Kao and the Golden Fish A Cinderella tale from Thailand
- The Gift of the Crocodile: A Cinderella Tale from Indonesia
- My Cinderella Pinterest Board