Bob skates, hide-and-seek and Mickey Mouse Childhood in Pärnu
25 January to 24 March 2019
It is said that we cannot choose our heritage, our parents, our childhood or the time in which we are born. Each generation has its own values and its own difficulties, in both simpler and more complicated times, but people’s satisfaction has always been valued along with the integrity of the state, its independence and importance on the global map. And through the ages, a person’s independence and freedom of choice have been especially important. One’s childhood is a special time in everyone’s life. It is longer for some than for others, but it is always very impactful. It is during your childhood that your basic moral principles evolve. It is when communication skills are acquired, along with the aspects of your culture that will guide you every day as adults. The memories from this period – joyful and sad ones, those that engender warmth, and sometimes unexpected or even embarrassing ones – always remain with us and make us into who we are. They shape our character and give us personality.
This Pärnu Museum exhibition presents the childhood memories, stories and exciting events of Pärnu residents from various eras. Therein are interwoven historical events, the discovery of this wide world, the presence or absence of one’s parents or their early departures. The participants, who include musicians, economists, journalists, medical workers, actors and artists, share their childhood recollections, pictures and toys. Each recollection is focused on a specific decade in Pärnu, starting from the 1890s and ending with the 1990s. Pärnu Museum is also highlighting the differences between the generations in the context of Pärnu, and trying to answer the questions of what was important in the childhoods of our forebears and in that of today’s children. What was important for them? What did they value and what made them happy? What impact did the city of Pärnu and its surroundings have on all this?
Recording childhood stories and sharing them with the museum’s visitors helps us to better understand our forebears and establish better relations with today’s children, for whom the virtual world is predominant and more secure, and whom it may be difficult to surprise or delight with things from the real world.
The exhibition is comprised of two parts. One hall features the childhood memories, pictures, and personal items of former and current Pärnu residents, along with museum objects from various eras and historical pictures of Pärnu’s children. The other hall – the activity space – is dedicated to various games and toys. Here everyone can play hopscotch, read children’s books and feel like a child again. Because a child lives within each of us. A child we must not lose.
The first hall opens our eyes, so we can view the world like a child, and the second takes us into a world of games where your age doesn’t count.
We thank all those who have participated in the exhibition, and especially those who found time to write about their childhoods and share their memories about their childhoods in Pärnu and its vicinity.