A GDR-Grandma meets a Turkish Grandma
Storyap Award - Stories for Change
The GDR-grandma and the Turkish grandma are hugging each other in a playground in Turkey, one with a scarf and one without it. - Is that international understanding?
A short fragment of the story

Breather on a bench in a children’s playground. The GDR-grandma, that’s me, is footsore of strolling round the weekly market. I’ve never seen such lots of fresh fruits and vegetables heaped up at one place. I couldn’t stop looking and gazing with big eyes. With a plastic bag full of white and red grapes I sit down on a bench in the sunshine. One can really enjoy it in the midst of November on the Turkish Riviera, the place in the sunshine. 

Some minutes later a Turkish grandma loaden with bags full of fruits and vegetables is coming along and lets herself drop down with a moan on the next bench. She is kindly bending her head towards me and, when I answer her bending my head, she waves to me with her free hand, while she is wiping the sweat from her front with her other hand. 

While I enjoy my grapes delightfully quenching my thirst I think by myself: How well I’m off. I’ve now passed the middle of the seventies, I can still travel, I’m sitting here in the warm sunshine letting God or Allah or whoever be a good old chap. And that’s only possible, because my Berlin became reunified twenty years ago, and not only my hometown there came together what belongs together. 

And now let’s talk about the end of the stroll. I get slowly up with my old bones struggling to my feet. And while passing by, the GDR-granny greets the Turkish grandma saying “Good-bye”. With five fingers I point to my feet to explain that five minutes have been necessary to relax and have done me well. The other grandma is nodding her head meaningfully. I point to my knee showing a face distorted by pain. She points out to both her knees moaning. Oh yes, we both know what me mean: The old bones don’t want anymore to do what they should, it doesn’t matter if they are Turkish or German. I point to myself and to the playing children, and then with my hand a little taller than me and then once more up to the hips. She shows with her fingers five times “tall” and nine times “small”. So we know how many children and grandchildren we have. – Then I think by myself: “Shake hands with her to say “Good-bye”. Perhaps she likes it. And she, she gets up and hugs me. I’m simply flabbergasted as we Berliners say. My eyes get wet.  

The GDR-grandma and the Turkish grandma are hugging each other in a playground in Turkey, one with a scarf and one without it. – Is that international understanding? 

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Why this story is important
It tells about international dialogue, solidarity and welcoming through differences.
How this story was created
This story is part of the stories selected as finalists for the “Telling Europe!” Award, created within the “European Memories” project, Grundtvig Multilateral Project – 2008 – 344 / 001-001, created by UNIEDA-Italian Union of Education of Adults (coordinator), ADN – Fondazione Diaristico Nazionale-Onlus, European Information Center (BG), Danish School of Education, University of Arhus (DK), Community Development Foundation (ES), SL- sozial.label eV (DE), VIDA – Association for Intergenerational Enhancement and Active Development (PT).
It is an autobiographical narrative.
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