On Universal Children’s Day, my heart goes to Costanza and to all the children of the world, and of all times, and to the child I was once, and – luckily – still am in a few blessed inspired moments of my life (like when I play puppet theatre with my daughter, usually playing all roles, from the wolf – my favourite – to Little Red Riding Hood, or when we play “the concert”: I dance, Costanza plays a little guitar out of tune, and Walter sells the tickets – usually old stickers – to grandpa and grandma, and to “aunt Chicca” – sometimes, to tell the brutal truth, Walter has to dance, while Costanza and I play the flute and the tambourine, but luckily no proof of that can be produced – I mean pictures or videos…).
Ayway, 2 books mean childhood to me:
1. The adventures of Pinocchio (Le Avventure di Pinocchio) by Collodi, the book my father used to read me at bed-time, reading himself to sleep – sometimes – before I closed my eyes (now that it is me to fall asleep while telling bedtime stories to my daughter, I can understand why my dad used to fall asleep – on the topic I suggest a hylarious politically incorrect book by Adam Mansbach: “Go the F* to sleep”). Going back to Pinocchio – sorry but I never really liked Walt Disney’s Pinocchio, whereas I love Comencini TV Serial “Le avventure di Pinocchio”, with the great Italian actor Nino Manfredi and the less great Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida (Lollo, for her admirers)
2. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, hence my sheep collection (“Draw me a sheep”) to whom one day I may devote a post.
I think one day I’ll learn The Little Prince by heart.
In the meanwhile, let me copy and paste a few lines for you – even if you probably are sick of reading quotes from the book on practically everything: T-shirts, note-books, bags, and on and on.
“I have lived a great deal among grown-ups. I have seen them intimately, close at hand. And that hasn’t much improved my opinion of them”.
“Grown-ups love figures. When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essentail matters. They never say to you, ‘What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?’ Instead, they demand: ‘How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?’ Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him”.
“If you were to say to the grown-ups: ‘I saw a beautiful house made of rosy brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the roof,’ they would not be able to get an idea of that house at all. You have have to say to them: ‘I saw a house that cost $20,000.’ Then they would exclaim: ‘Oh, what a pretty house that is!’
“To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world”.
“You have hair like the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat…”
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye”
UNIVERSAL CHILDREN’S DAY
Universal Children’s Day takes place annually on November 20th. First proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954, it was established to encourage all countries to institute a day, firstly to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children and secondly to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world’s children. It was also chosen as the day to celebrate childhood.
Children’s Day was first celebrated globally in October 1953, sponsored by the International Union for Child Welfare in Geneva. The idea of a Universal Children’s Day was adopted by the United Nations GeneraL Assembly in 1954. November 20 is also the anniversary of the day when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1956. Convention on the Rights of the Child was then signed on the same day in 1989, which has since been ratified by 191 states.
World Children’s Day is currently observed every year on the 20th of November.
Today, World Children’s Day is celebrated in more than 100 countries.