Folktale
The fruits of truth
Sarala Dasa’s Odiya Mahabharata has an interesting folk tale that is not found in any other version of the epic. In the last year of exile of the Pandavas, when they had to remain incognito or risk spending 13 more years in hiding, Duryodhan was pulling every trick he knew
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Rajah Suran
Once upon a time, there was a king, his name was Rajah Suran and he ruled over a kingdom in India. He was a very ambitious man and he wanted to be like his great great great great grandfather, whose name, strangely enough, was Alexander the Great! And Rajah Suran
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Two of everything
There is a Chinese saying that says, ‘Be careful what you wish for’. An Indian folktale embodies the same principle, gently reminding us what happens when greed gets the better of common sense. There was a poor couple in a village who lived within their means, they gathered firewood and
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Folktales have many different motifs.
Ms. Sheila Wee, founder and director of Federation of Asian Storytellers, Singapore, speaks to Utkarsh Patel of The Mythology Project, on the sidelines of the MIST Festival 2020, a festival of Storytellers from across the world, at Panchgani, India. Utkarsh Patel > What is a folktale? Sheila Wee > Well
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Why does the semul/semal/salmali have thorns? Blame it on Draupadi. Bhima, the strongest and mightiest among the Pandavas was miffed that Draupadi spent as much time massaging his brothers every day as she did for him. He decided to register his resentment by playing a prank on her. He uprooted
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Cotton trees and demons
The cotton tree known as the semul/semal/salmal in various parts of the country has a number of folk tales woven into its appearance, its origin and as is the case with all ancient literature, with the moral fabric of the society that holds it sacred. One story is from Orissa
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The Divine Witness
Acharya an old Brahmin lived on the outskirts of Puri, a temple town in Odisha. His work was to assist the pilgrims who came to the temple of Lord Jagannath. It so happened that on one of his trips away from the city, to the distant town of Vrindavan where
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Sundara and Satya Pir
Bengal has seen the cult of many Muslim saints, known as Pir and among them was one known as Satya Pir. Around the 16th century, a Hindu poet, Fakir Rama Kavibhushana, is known to have written many stories about him and rendered them in Bengali verse. The following is a
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The monkey and his bride
In a village in the midst of a very hot summer, one afternoon, a group of girls went bathing in the local pond. They were splashing around in the water until it was time to go home and as they all clambered out, one by one, and stepped into their
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The merchant and the swan
This is a folk tale collected from the Kachari tribe in Assam Once upon a time there lived a successful merchant who passed away well before his time had come. He left behind his wife and a son who had barely grown up to his knees. As the boy grew
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