Tuesday, May 15, 2007

About Telling Stories as Myanmar Custom and Habits

The method which is Not only getting relief from boredom but also getting knowledge is telling stories as Myanmar custom and habits. In a story, human-beings and animals are proper or on good terms. Animals, trees or plants and stones can speak and also behave like human-beings. But many events are included in stories. Including of nature and behaviors make audience pleased in their mind. Mostly audiences are children and stories-tellers used to be grand-mother, grand-father and mother. After children have already listened stories two or three times, they are going to be fond of it and be obsessed with listening stories. After dinner and early night time, grand-children used to ask to tell stories to their grand-mother who are well taking a rest with cigars. At that time, mostly grand-mothers cannot help without telling stories by loving them.

'Once upon a time, Golden Rabbit and Golden Tiger went thatch-reaping.'
'When they went, Golden Tiger brought a bundle containing some rice and cooked meat, but Golden Rabbit brought a bundle which contained only some cow-dung and sand.'
In the words from grand-mother, there is no word that Golden Tiger is big but stupid and Golden Rabbit is small but treacherous or wicked. As normal occurrence, she told it simple.
When Golden Tiger died by falling down into well, children told 'so pity tiger' and some cried with sympathize. They hate ill-treats of Golden Rabbit as the unjust partner.
Some other stories, children are delighted and happy according to happy endings. Thence, Stories make children understand good and bad things, note clever and stupid facts, give happy and sad feelings and so on.
Grand-father, grand-mother can tell about 30stories repeatedly. Later, children can remember by heart all. Then, grand-father, grand-mother had to try to tell others like folk-legends and Zatakas or Buddhist Birth stories as much as they can remember.
Telling stories make children love and close with grand-father and grand-mother.
As for me, I especially still remember and thank my grand-mother(my mom's mom), who told many stories to me in my childhood and already passed away last 10yrs.
Of course, many of the tales were known to me in my childhood. Accordingly, I will post again some collection of Burmese folk-tales by (Dr.)Maung Htin Aung(Published as Oxford University press).

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