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I Grew Up in My Grandfather's House by Else Olsvig, English Script

I Grew Up in My Grandfather's House by Else Olsvig, English Script

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Published by: Radiophonic Narration on Jan 13, 2010
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01/13/2010

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I grew up in my grandfather’s house/Aataakkunni peroriartorpunga
by Else OlsvigLength: 22:55Original language: Greenlandic
This piece was produced as part of the radiofeature/documentary project RANA.RANA is funded through EU´s Lifelong learning program. More informationabout the RANA project can be found onhttp://www.this.is/ranaSound of decanter 
 Julie:
In my grandfathers house, there was a decanter, that was put in thebig bookcase. I think it was used for cognac. It is made of glass, and it hasa winder on the bottom. Inside the decanter, there is made a bubble of class, and inside it, there is a couple, that begins to dance when you turnon the winder. When I was little I use to think that the dancing coupleinside the decanter was just amazing. I use to turn on the winder, andwhen I did it, grandmum and granddad use to say that I should be verycareful. But I really liked to play with it, because it was just so amazing. Then I inherited the decanter later. Sometimes I think, that it is quite oddthat somebody could make something like that, putting such a happydancing couple inside a bottle of class, you put alcohol in... hahaha. Its akind of odd I think.
Sounds of cutting paper 
We are hearing the artist Julie Edel Hardenberg, born in 9th of march 1971in Nuuk. She tells her story....
 Julie:
I grew up in 1970´s. I remember growing up at my grandmothersand grandfathers house. My mother was a single mom, so I grew up therewith my many aunt and uncles. It was very safe and happy. Me and momhad our own bedroom, and when I was 3, mom had another daughter.Mother worked very hard, eehm, so our grandparents have been veryimportant persons in our childhood. They were always at home, theylooked after us, when we got home from the kindergarden. We lived in Tuapannguit blok S. Apartment number 203. The apartments were verynew back then. Many Greenlanders, many Nuuk citizins and those that hasmoved from outside lived there. Everything was new. And when I shouldplay with the other kids I just go through the corridors and knocked ontheir doors. And when we played outside, our grandparents could just gooutside to the balcony and shout that it is time to go home. It was a lot of fun, I remember it well.
 
Sound of keys
 Julie:
My grandfather’s name is Joorut. Jørgen Andreas Berthelsen.Everyone in town used to call him Big Joorut. I used to think that theymeant something bad when they called him that, because –ssuaq seemsto mean something bad. But when I got older, I understood that theycalled him that, because he was such a nice and friendly person. Heworked in the cinema for many years. When we went to see a movie, hewas the one who checked all the tickets. Yes, he was one of the wellknown persons in Nuuk. He has meant a lot in my life. When I was little Iused to think; if he dies, I will die with him. I loved him that much. I grewup without a father, so though I knew that grandpa was not my father Isaw him as my own father. He was such a magnificent man, very friendly.We spent a lot of the time together – me and grandpa. Perhaps I spentmore time with him than I spent time with my own mother. He was alwaysthere when I wake up in the morning, eating his breakfast. And when I gothome from the kindergarden - he is there. He was home in the eveningstoo. Grandpa and grandmom were always there, it is true. If you neededsomeone to comfort you, you just went to them. Although there weredifficult times sometimes - difficult times, were few compared to happytimes. My grandfather was very important when I came to that point,because he was a rock, and never drank. He looked after us. We knew hewas always the same person and would never change. That meant a lotfor my life and my understanding of life. To the person I wanted tobecome, it is true - to the person I want to look at in the mirror. It was veryimportant.
Sound of keys
 Julie:
The big bookcase has always been quite visible in my life - becauseit is mine now. The bookcase is made of dark wooden tree, with beautifulcarvings. I remember that the drawers on the bottom had no handles, butcould be opened with keys. Me and my sister used to try to open themwith our little fingers. And when we succeeded opening the doors, wefound hundreds of old newspapers, granddad and grandmom hadcollected over the years. And when I opened the drawers, hundreds of oldkeys appeared, keys that grandfather had collected over the years too,through his work. What if somebody somehow suddenly needs them? Younever know. So even they did not know which key was to which door.
Sound of keys
 Julie:
I remember when we went to take a walk. I remember thatgrandfather used to take all the flags down at the old part of the city -every evening. The flag, outside the church and the one that hangs on theother side of the old baggery. And I always went with him when he didthat. And later when the former Drop In opened, the one that was justbeside the Kamikshop, grandpa use to go there, to eat some sausages, 2sausage with one pjece of bread. And I was so lucky to get softice...hahaha. So grandpa and me used to go there to get goodies, secretly,of course. And sometimes I was a pest. I used to beg him for 2 kroner or 3kroner everyday. Back then 5 kroner was a lots of money. Grandmom useto sit and look out the kitchen window, just beside the stove, and listen tome begging and pestering grandpa to get the money. When it became too
 
much, she interfered. And when she did that, we began to communicateand negotiate with our eyes only - silently. When grandpa showed that hesaid no, well after grandma has demanded that he would not give meanything, I began to make noise and walk restlessly around the apartmentuntil grandpa gave up in the end, and he went outside the apartment justto hand over the 2 kroner – of course, without grandmom noticing. Hihihi.
Music
 Julie:
My grandmother’s name is Julie Berthelsen. They have named meafter my grandmom. My grandmom’s maiden name was Barlaj. And as faras I can remember, grandmother came from a settlement calledUummanna near Nuuk, and grew up in another settlement called NuupNarsaa. Grandmother told that there once was an outbreak of tuberculoses in her childhood. She had 5 sisters and brothers. Their fatherand his wife and 2 of the children died of the disease. So when theybecame orphans, grandmom and her 3 sisters and brothers were adoptedby other families, separatly. Grandmom moved to Nuuk and started aneducation as midwife later, at the old hospital. It was during 2. World War,when American soldiers were stationed in Nuuk. The Americans were veryhappy to visit the old hospital, and some of them had given grandmomsome small gifts. That made grandfather - who was a young man then,very anxious, so he asked grandmother to marry him, and she said yesand stopped her education because she got married. Grandmom showedme one of the gifts from the American soldiers, a small powderbox, with alittle mirror in it. I inherited it later and its still here. Hehe.
Song ends
 Julie:
First - when he was put to the hospital for observation, I came downto visit him. I got very surprised to see how ill he looked. I was about 13 or14 years old then, and knew that old people used to get sick and wereadmitted to the hospital for a while until they felt ok again. I rememberthat the room was dark, but I don’t remember how the weather was,because the curtains were down. All hisbedclothes were white, he was also wearing a white hospitalpyjamas, andI dont remember if he was wearing his old, big glasses or not. I justremember that his hair has gotten quite wispy. He use to use hairwax tokeep his hair steady and shiny. And I noticed that he had got quite thinner.He was alone in this room. And I remember all these rubber tubes thatwere linked to him. I don’t remember whether they were put into his noseor into his arms. Well, I was about to cry and got very afraid and scared,but I bottled it up. I think I kissed him on his forehead, because he was mygrandfather and I loved him. He was very happy to see me. I don’tremember exactly what he said, but I think that he said my nickname:Paneeraq ( little daughter). My family calls me Paneeraq. I don’t rememberwhat we talked about. But sometimes when we were together, we just satthere and said nothing, but just enjoy each other’s company.
Sound of decanter 
 Julie:
I went home at the end of that evening. The next day I went straightover to grandmother´ s house after school, I was going to get somecleaning equipment to clean up mother´ s apartment before arrival. WhenI got into my grandparents apartment I saw grandpa was home. He was

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