Hans Brinker and the Dam

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 21
Occupation: Student
Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: April 2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Piece

One of the stories I heard, growing up as a kid, uhm… whether that be in elementary school or through my parents was the Dutch story about Hans Brinker, uhm… who is not usually named that, it is just his official title in the book. Uhm. And he’s a dutch boy that puts his finger in a damn and saves his entire village from drowning. I’m not sure what it is about this story that has been popularized so much, and I don’t know why it is taught so much in american schools. Uhm. But it is something that is stuck in my mind as the story that’s been passed on from generation to generation. Cause after looking it up I found out it originated in an 1875 book. But yeah, that’s my favorite piece of ferkl- folklore. 

Background

M is a close friend from Minnesota who studies film. He is a really serious guy with strong roots in Minnesota. He told me that he heard this story from his school and his parents and it stuck with him for whatever reason.

Context

He sent me a voice clip over Whatsapp in which he said all of this. I told him to send me a piece of folklore earlier that day. 

Thoughts

The story is an example of a martyr figure, a young boy, that saves his village through self sacrifice. It is probably indicative of values of the community. M mentioned that it was taught a lot throughout american schools and this could be an attempt to instill specific moral values in children, namely those relating to self sacrifice for the good of your community.