Wednesday, May 15, 2013

More on The Mystery of Pentecost (or the mystery of GP in two languages!)

Storyteller just wrote a post about Pentecost in which she describes the opening scene from "The Mystery of Pentecost" where a tower of blocks is built and then allowed to collapse. As soon as I read it, I thought, "Blocks? What the heck is she talking about?!!" 

Then, I realized that the German version of this Godly Play story must be different from the original English version. A few hours later my new English copy of Volume 4 arrived from Amazon, so that I could check my hypothesis. And yes, the original version is a bit different. Not radically different, but different.

Some of the Pentecost materials
The original English story draws a contrast between the story of the Tower of Babel in the Old Testament and the Pentecost story in the New Testament. Both are curious stories that are difficult to explain and involve "tongues". 

The German story, however, leaves out the Tower of Babel bit, and makes a stronger connection between Ascension and Pentecost. This makes perfect sense in our German context, because both Ascension and Pentecost are public holidays here. (Schools even get two days off for these holidays!) And even though everyone knows the holidays, the average person on the street has no idea what they are about. For this reason, the story can be used to teach about both of these important events.

Both versions retain the idea that Pentecost is like a parable. Hence, the red box for the materials.

I tend to like the German version better, but that's probably because I am used to it. I will definitely have to find a way to try out both versions, before I make up my mind. (I probably can't tell it to my own kids, because my son, who remembers absolutely everything, would tell me that I'm doing it wrong!) Also, I will have to ponder the connection between the Tower of Babel and Pentecost more. 

I've slowly been collecting the English Godly Play books. I resisted for a long time, because of the cost. Fortunately, I have managed to find all of them used on Amazon. I figure that since I am a GP Trainer now, I really should be aware of any differences and be able to tell the stories in both languages. 

And to my Russian-speaking friends who are currently translating stories, this is the sort of thing you have to look forward to. : ) 

Telling the story at Easter Club

. . . . . . . . . 

Obwohl meine Muttersprache Englisch ist, habe ich Godly Play erst auf deutsch kennengelernt. Ab und zu ist mir bewusst geworden, dass manchmal die deutsche Geschichten  andere Schwerpunkte haben als die englische Version.

Neulich hat Storyteller über "Das Geheimnis von Pfingsten" geschrieben und erwähnte Bauklötze, die man fürs Material gebraucht. Ich dachte, "Bauklötze? Was für Bauklötze meint sie?!!"

Ich habe dann nachgeguckt im englischen Text und da macht die Geschichte eine Verbindung zum Turn von Babel im Alten Testament. Die Pfingstgeschichte und der Turm von Babel sind beide kuriose Geschichten, die etwas mit "Zungen" zu tun hat, und deshalb diese Verbindung.

Der deutsche Text aber lässt den Turm von Babel weg und schliesst Himmelfahrt an. Das hat natürlich perfektes Sinn in unserem Kontext, wo Himmelfahrt und Pfingsten öffentliche Feiertage sind. (Obwohl in Berlin  die meisten nicht wirklich sagen können, worum sie gehen!)

Ich tendiere zu sagen, dass der deutsche Text mir besser gefällt, aber ich müsste beide Versionen mit Kindern probieren um das definitiv sagen zu können. 

Ein schönes Pfingstwochenende an euch allen!

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