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Fairy Tales or Ramayana for the kids!!!!

Discussion in 'Schoolgoers & Teens' started by umasridharan, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. umasridharan

    umasridharan Senior IL'ite

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    [FONT=&quot]Dear friends[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]I was reading a fairy tale to my daughter, it suddenly struck me -- why each and every heroine, whether it is Cinderella or sleeping beauty or to be precise every girl in the fairy tales is waiting for a prince charming to save her from her sorrows/worries/spell. Above all these things, my 3 yr old daughter started thinking that ," they lived happily ever after" means marrying a charming young man and do the household chores. at a point of time she started asking me 'when r u going to get me married or where will be my prince charming. So I STOPPED TELLING HER ANY FAIRY TALE AND STARTED TELLING HER OUR OWN RAMAYANA, MAHABHARATHA AND OTHER STORIES. Our Indian stories are better than anyother western fairy tales and full of morels which those fairy tales are lacking.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Regards[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Uma [/FONT]
     
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  2. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    Re: fairy tales

    Ver well said,Uma,

    Fairy tales portray a distorted sense of life,stereotype gender relations.Especially irritating is the 'happily ever after' myth. With this and Mills and Boon, girls end up having a rosy, impractical view of life. Now even in the west they are questioning fairy tales. Words like 'Goldilocks syndrome,'Cinderella syndrome' etc are used in pop psychology.

    Some fairy tales are written in context with real incidents.The tale of Hansel and Gretel where the children are abandoned in the forest, narrates the true incidents of the famine in Europe. When hunger became unbearable, parents used to dump children in the woods.

    Try Jataka tales,Hitopadesha, Panchatantram,Amar Chitra Katha. My parents used to get me folk tales from different parts of India and the world.They used to be a literary eye opener and exposure. Even small stories from Illiad are good-children seem to love them.

    Love to yr daughter.

    affly
    Vidya
     
  3. Manjureddy

    Manjureddy Gold IL'ite

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    Re: fairy tales

    Hi Uma.
    Fairy tales and Nursery rhymes,which have no connection to life in our country, found a footing here in colonial times; and with education here getting based on the english system, we continued using these out-dated set-pieces on children mindlessly.
    But we have a good store of fairy tales of our own, besides our endless mythologies.
    In addition to Amar Chitra Katha, some publishing houses like Tulika , Scholastic, Vikas etc. are now bringing out colourful, easy to relate stories about everyday life, our animals, regional folk tales, festivals etc.
    And there's multimedia too. Just see how they've transformed good old Hanuman in the cartoon CD !Lovable. Karadi Tales ( Cassette+book combo) are also very attractive for kids.
    Happy reading !

    Manjula


    Vidya24,
    About Hansel+Gretel, never heard this behind-the-scene story before. is it really ,really true that kids were deserted in the forests on purpose ? It gives me the shivers.
     
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  4. vmur

    vmur Silver IL'ite

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    Re: fairy tales

    Hi All,

    I totally agree that our children need to be exposed to the rich fabric of Indian culture and mythology. However I would not want to completely shun the stories of other cultures - in today's world you need to be multi-cultural to succeed and that needs attention from the beginning.

    In my childhood I have tremendously enjoyed Ukrainian Fairy Tales ( those were the heydays of the Indo - Soviet friendship ), Marvel comics, and of course European fables. I think I've read most of the Amar Chitra Katha series not to mention Chandamama and others. Today I feel that I can relate to those foreign stories while being proud of my Indian heritage.

    So, it's not the story per se - I think the important thing is to guide the child in drawing lessons from the story until the time they develop the maturity to be able to do that for themselves.

    Regards
    Vidya
     
  5. sathya

    sathya Gold IL'ite

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    Re: fairy tales

    hello

    children with a knowledge of the english language sure get to read grimms.aesops etc.. they are good in the sense u keep your imagination going high.. in enid blyton's every child reading it sure thinks of a nice little mystery a little room up the tree.. a garage, friends and some cookies to spend a holiday afternoon
    not all of them are negative
    in the process of reading they are not upto any tricks or trouble

    nothing to beat indian stories ofcourse.. we have lost track of quite a few as it is.. we narrate the same old little abridged version that we know.. we let go of the upkathaigal..
    can tell children of family tree too.. that way we will keep them informed about ourselves and well as have repect for so and so.. keep quite when someone arrives.. dont speak harshly to elders.. etc.

    rhymes... although we cant do away with them as they have been with us for ages do have a negative thought in quite a few

    jack and jill....broke his crown and jill came tumbling after
    little miss muffet.. frightened miss muffet away
    humpty dumpty..had a great fall and all the kings...... could not put humpty dumty together again..

    sathya
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2007
  6. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    Re: fairy tales

    Hi Manju,

    I attended a lecture in the Uty of Columbia last year. It was on the social context of fairy tales and nursery rhymes. Yes indeed, Hansel+ Gretel was to depict the grimm living conditions in the Middle ages. Rapunzel also has a strong local context with French connotations. As also with Cinderella and Snow White. Let me fish out my notes and get back with more.

    Nursery rhymes-
    Ringa ringa roses- The Black Plague
    Ba Ba Black sheep- wool tax
    Georgie Pogie-King George 111-who was a womaniser

    so goes---
     
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  7. vmur

    vmur Silver IL'ite

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    Re: fairy tales

    Fascinating topic -

    There was this book review on NPR ( Natl. Public Radio ) Chris Roberts, London librarian and author of Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason Behind the Rhyme explained the surprisingly complex meanings of the nursery rhymes we share with our children.

    Basically, he says that nursery rhymes were rather stark socio-political commentaries through which the realities of the times were communicated to the children. Over time, the meanings were either sanitised or forgotten to give a harmless feel to the rhymes.

    However....I don't think they are going out of fashion any time soon !

    Regards
     
  8. safa

    safa Bronze IL'ite

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    Vidya24 likes this.

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