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?”
“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.