Bhutanese Storytellers Stun us With Stories

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Laurie Lalish, teacher, and Jo Radner storyteller and folklorist

ESOL teacher Laurie Lalish, storyteller Jo Radner, and I welcomed students
in Laurie’s class in Laconia, NH. This gathering is momentous for our
Nepali-English picture book project of the New Hampshire Humanities Council. The students are from Bhutan, and Jo asked them, through our interpreter Nilhari Bhandari, to teach her, Laurie, and me what kinds of stories they tell in Bhutan, and when they listened to stories. They told about games they played as children, and songs women sang as they gathered firewood. Then Jo asked them to think about a story they heard as a child. We thought we would hear small fragments of stories as people began to go back in time and remember people who told them stories. We were astounded. Hari Tiwari and Bishnu Mishra, two members of Laurie’s class, told long, complex, fully developed stories. We have them on tape and will soon post audio. Here is a small photo gallery of players in our first story gathering workshop.

Chandra, Hari, Batuli , and Mon  prepare to sing a work sang they sang as children.
Batuli and Mon
Hari tells a story
Bishnu tells a story
Nilhari Bhandari interprets for Jo into Nepali and the Nepali stories people tell into English

Stay tuned.  Audio will come in both Nepali and English.

Originally posted by The Elephant Rag on November 10, 2010.


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