Sunday, January 18, 2015


A few weeks ago I was talking with a Qatari friend of mine who owns a farm. He was mentioning that he was expecting a delivery of goats that he was looking forward to. I asked him what was so interesting about the goats and he told me that they were “Heidi goats”.

“Wait a sec”, I said, “you mean Heidi, the old children’s story of the Swiss girl in the mountains?”

He nodded.

“So, you're familiar with the story of Heidi??”

“Oh yes”, he told me, “it was a popular story when I was a child.”

Needless to say I was not expecting that. Heidi was popular in the Arab world??

Well it turns out that Heidi is known throughout the world, not just Europe and North America. In the 70s there was a Japanese anime of Heidi which was very popular, and to this day many Japanese tourists visit the area of Switzerland depicted in the book.

The Japanese appear to like Western tales of childhood innocence, a similar phenomenon occurs in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island due to the Anne of Green Gables books.

The Japanese anime was then exported to the Arab world where it became popular with children in many countries. I asked a couple other of my Qatari friends and they too remembered the show.

So for your "what the heck?" of the day, here's the classic Swiss tale of Heidi, as animated by the Japanese -- dubbed into Arabic. Enjoy.


Anonymous said...

When I think of Heidi I always focus on the New York Jets. Many years ago they were broadcasting a Jet game on the same network that was scheduled to broadcast a made for TV version of Heidi. The Jets were losing by a couple of touchdowns with only a couple of minutes left on the clock. They cut off the game at that point to broadcast Heidi. The Jets then came back to win the game (shades of this pat weekends Seahawks-Packers game). Nowadays they let the games run out before going to the scheduled shows. Strange how certain things bring up certain memories.

Glen McKay said...

Clearly Heidi is far more important than sports, I thought everyone knew that. ;)