Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Koi and Bai

There were once two sisters: Koi and Bai. Koi was so clever and Bai was the foolish one. They didn’t have much things only one blanket, one cow and one mango tree. So they decided to share their things together. Koi thought this is a good opportunity to make more profit out of their only properties. She told Bai: dearest Bai, you are always first.
So they made three agreements.

Bai will have that blanket on day time, koi will have that on night.
Bai will have the front part of the cow, Koi will have the back end.
Bai will have bottom half of the mango tree, Koi will have the top half.

Bai, the foolish one, agreed and fell into the trap. During the day when the sun blazed down there is no use of blanket, but at night its shivering cold. While Koi slept in comfort, Bai could not sleep at all. Bai was tired of feeding the cow; while Koi made butter and yogurt from the milk. Bai had to water the mango tree and weed around its base. Koi came and took all the mangoes.

Many day passed away while Bai was suffering from all of this. One day a farmer saw Bai asked how she is. She told him all her story and then that farmer told her a way to end this. In the next day Bai took her blanket and dipped it in the river, did not feed the cow and scold it, and told Koi that she decided to cut the mango tree. As a result, when koi went to sleep at night she could not sleep all night because of the wet blanket. In the morning Koi went to milk the cow and the cow kick her, and when she went to have some mangoes found Bai standing there with a saw.

Koi understand immediately what she was doing to her sister all these days. She cried from regret and asked for her forgiveness. Bai felt that Koi has learned her lesson and forgave her. From that day on, they decided to share their things equally. And so it was that Koi and Bai shared the blanket and kept each other warm at night; shared the milk to make butter and yogurt; and shared those delicious mangoes. And so much did they have that they had plenty to share with the rest of the community. (Sharmin Akter)

Folktales (Story of Kuber)

India is a land of folktales. We grow listening to many stories from our parents, grandparents and neighbours about a time when mythical creatures dominated our lands. In fact, there are so many of them it is very difficult to decide which one to talk about. Along with classical Indian folktales we also hear about western and other Asian fairy tales. One unique thing about Indian folktales is that in most of the folktales there are Gods involved.

So in one such story, a rich merchant called Kuber earns a lot of wealth and declares himself the richest man on earth. To do away with his ego and pride Lord Shiva sends his son Ganesh to have lunch at Kuber’s house. Ganesh is a fat boy known for eating more. But Kuber knows that he has all the wealth in the world to buy all the food he can eat. So Kuber promises to satisfy his hunger. But Ganesh ends up eating everything including the furniture of Kuber’s house. Kuber understands his mistake and acknowledges his greed, and begs to Annapurna, Ganesh’s mother, to stop this. Annapurna then very tactfully sends a bowl of rice, which ends the hunger of Ganesh. (Upasana)

Folk Tales: The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz depicts the life of Dorothy, and her dog Toto, and the adventures they face to return home after being transported to the magical Land of Oz. During her journey to Emerald City via the yellow brick road, she befriends the Scarecrow, who wants a brain, the Tin Man, who wishes for a heart, and the Cowardly Lion, who needs courage. The desires of each supporting character represent some of the main elements that are important for human survival: 1) the brain –used for cognitive, motor, and involuntary functions, 2) the heart –used for pumping blood and to symbolize the metaphorical sense of emotion, and 3) courage –used for bravery and to face difficulty.

The character of the Scarecrow is made out of straw and lacks the necessity of a brain. If a human was missing a brain, that individual would not be able to perform certain functions needed to live such as breathing. The Tin Man is made entirely out of tin and needs oil for his survival; however, he does not possess a heart which is required for human existence. The heart allows for blood to flow through our bodies and it represents the emotion of love! Lastly, the Cowardly Lion has the body and stature of someone who is not afraid. On the contrary, he does not have the “courage” to go along with being a massive lion. I relate courage to human survival because without it, we would not be able to achieve a lot of the goals we have for ourselves. What would be the point of living if we have nothing to live for in our everyday lives? In closing, the Wizard of Oz relates to the survival of human life by showcasing the foundational requirements a person needs to thrive and live a fruitful life. (David Arocho)

Mexican Folk Tale “La Llorona” (The weeping girl)

A long time ago, there was a poor young girl who loved a rich man, and together they had three children. The girl wished to marry him; however, the man told her that he couldn’t get married with her because she had three out of wedlock children. The girl was determined to be with the man, so she decided to drown her children to prove her love to him. To her surprise, the man didn’t agree to marry her. She got angry and went out near the river where she drowned her children, started walking along the river and weeping and calling for her kids. But they were gone. So, she drowned herself. The spirit of the girl was condemned to wander the waterways, yelling, weeping and searching for her children. Usually, people say that if someone sees a woman dressed with a white dress or hears the phrase “where are my kids?” near a river, someone will die. – Ana Moyeda

Momotarou (The Peach Boy)

There was an old couple living in a village. The wife went to a river to wash clothes while her husband went to a mountain to cut trees every day. One day, the wife saw a peach floating down the river, took it home, and cut it in half with her husband. Surprisingly, what came out of the peach was a boy. They named the boy Momotarou (“peach boy”) and raised him well. One day, Momotarou told them that he was going to Demon Island to beat up the demons that were harming the village. He also asked his mother to make some sweet dumplings for him. With his father’s help, dressed and armed, Momotarou was ready to go. First, on his way to the island, he met a monkey, who asked for a dumpling and offered to join him in exchange. In the same way, a pheasant and a dog also followed Momotarou to the island. At Demon Island, they beat all of the demons and returned to the village with many treasures such as gold and silver. The village people lived happily ever after. (Hisa Fujino)

A Folktale from Sri Lanka: Story of Mahadenamutta

Mahadenamutta means all-knowing sage; ironically, he did not know anything and all his judgements were erroneous. He was an old man who lived in a village with his faithful five disciples whose wisdom matched with their master. Mahadenamutta was the village judge. So he held a prestigious place in the village, and people came to him to seek justice. He, on the other hand, executed the most unlikely defected from its genesis judgement to those cases. Better or for worse, we never hear the side of the village folks.

One day a villager came across a problem. His one and only goat, from whom he got milk for his breakfast, got his head stuck inside a pot and struggled to get out of it. Failing which, the villager came running for a wise solution from this renowned old judge. The judge regally, sitting on the elephant surrounded by his ever faithful disciples, thus spoke.

Asking irrelevant questions that did not even remotely have reflection on this scene, dangling with it just to pretend the gravity of the scene, he ordered the poor man to cut the neck of his beloved goat. The villager dared to disobey. Then he instructed the man to smash the pot to release the head of the goat. Nodding triumphantly at the crowd, he ordered the carcass to be taken to his house. (Ayoma Samaratunge)

Folk Tale (La Llorona)

“La Llorona” (The crywoman) is one of the most popular Mexican folk tales. This story goes back to the Spanish invasion in Mexico. According to the tale, during the seventeenth century there was an indigenous woman that was married to a Spanish soldier and they had three sons. Some time later, he left her family to marry a Spanish woman. When she learned that her husband married another woman, she took her three children to the river and drowned them. After that, she committed suicide. Since that day, some people in Mexico say that her spirit appears around the rivers and it shouts looking for her children. (Rocio Vargas Torres)