The children who had to offer Ceausescu flowers were medically tested beforehand. So was the kid who played the role of the New Year. They all had to be perfectly healthy. They always picked several of them, so that on the parade day there should be at least one whose nose was not running, whose eyes were not dripping, whose saliva was not too abundant, who would not sneeze or have a herpes. If some spot appeared on his face, he was excluded, poor thing, to the parents? despair, who thought it a great honor to see their child in Ceausescu?s arms. Besides, the whole underwear was provided by the communist children?s organizations. There had been that ?condemnable event? when, while the Comrade was in Brasov, a little girl had had a letter tucked in her panties which she handed to him. But the voice of the people was not supposed to reach the Comrade?s ears, it wasn?t proper. If I remember well, the letter was a request for domicile. They were poor people. But of course, the Comrade had to be spared the pains of the populace. So they were given the underwear and were checked all through. For a week they were kept in quarantine? Before regular parades, like that on August 23rd, they were kept there, and told they were offered a camp holiday, because they were the fairest and smartest of all kids.
One of the girls in my class was selected to recite poetry in front of the Comrade for the winter parades. She was a very nice-looking girl, and quite lively. Of course she appeared on TV, but the reciters could not go too close. Only the flower-bearers and the kid who played the New Year were allowed to approach Ceausescu who held them in his arms. They were all dressed with clothes from the organization. And now I?ll tell you something: in the last years, the one responsible with the flower-bearers was our former district president, who was an absolutely special person, and who of course ended up badly. But his responsibility was huge. If, God forbid, something happened, he?d have been the first to get knocked out. Not his superiors. He answered directly for these kids. (A. S., 130)
Stage folklore was the only form that was declared authentic, and therefore admitted and broadcast by all means of mass communication. It produced three stages of creation:
1. The early stage, when the peasant was left uninstructed and brought on stage to manifest himself spontaneously and make his community known to the rest of the country;