Transom.org is a showcase and workshop for new public radio run by Jay Allison who produces the radio series, “This I Believe”. In Transom.org’s August newsletter, I read about Doko Radio in Nepal. At the NH Humanities Council, we’ve read Ed Young’s retelling of the Nepali tale, I, Doko with many Bhutanese immigrants. A doko is a basket to carry everything – from a baby to crops to stones for building a house. So here now is a new kind of doko – Doko Radio.
The station’s founder, Madhu Acharya, explains that he travelled into Nepali villages carrying transmitters in a backpack and invited people to sing and tell stories live on the radio. His goal was to broadcast local music and stories. He calls his independent station “Doko Radio”. Villagers he met said they’d been carrying doko all of their lives and asked why he would call the station Doko. But then they heard their songs and stories transmitted from the radio and they said, “Oh, this is a doko that carries our pain. It does not add more burden to us.” (quoted in the newsletter.) At the bottom of the newsletter, note the story about Sita Shahi, “The Woman Who Walked.” You can listen to her story which she tells in song.
In the Bhutanese Nepali-English picture book project, many people have told us that singing is an important way to tell stories. Somehow, then, our book must also sing.