The Chinese Version of Cinderella...and Diversity
Mar 23, 2021
The Chinese "Version of Cinderella" is actually one of the earliest versions, written in the 9th century. Yeh Shen, "Ye Xian," was created long before the version that we and most of our children know of.
There is a version of Cinderella in almost every culture and country. Hundreds were created before the French version that the Disney version that many of us know was adapted on.
Why is this important? Because although Yeh-Shen came before "bippity boppity boo," many schools only highlight the Disney version and use it as a topic of discussion. Girls and boys grow up believing that just as "Cinderella" was the most beautiful chosen to be queen, that this is "the standard."
If you are an educator, ask yourself, "How many versions of Cinderella do my students know? Perhaps we can talk about the Cinderella in each of our cultures."
South Korea- "Kongi and Potgi"
Malay-Indonesian - Bawang Putih Bawang Merah tale
Vietnam- Tấm Cám
Comment below with your culture/country and version of Cinderella.
BTW: You can also do this with Romeo and Juliet.
Moral of the story: Don't allow Disney and privilege to determine who is seen, heard, and loved in your classroom.
By the way, my favorite version of Cinderella is.... hee hee I'll save that for my next post. Tell me yours! And if you only know of one version, well...we're all learning and growing, right?