Listen to More Storytellers from Bhutan

Mon and her daughter dressed formally for the occasion of  remembering stories.
Bishnu’s clever fox appears in his story “The Poor Man and the Fox.”

In Jo Radner’s folktale workshops with Bhutanese refugees, storytellers explained that many of the stories were told during long hours of work. The longer the work, the longer the story. Bishnu said he first heard “The Poor Man and the Fox” while  he and his family worked in the cardamom fields. Saraswati explains that she heard the tale “Cow and Lion” while she chased monkeys from the fields. She didn’t get to go to school but she always heard stories. Madad, Mon, Batuli, Chandra, and Hari sang a work song they remembered singing when they collected firewood. One of the lines is, “If you fall in love, love from head to toe.”

Chandra, Hari, Batuli, Mon’s daughter, and Mon illustrate their stories.

Hari tells the story, “The Pumpkin Husband.”  She explained that her mother died when she was young and her father cared for her.  He used to tell her stories while he combed her hair, and “The Pumpkin Husband” is one of the stories he told. After she finishes the story in the recording, you can also hear discussion about what the pumpkin represents.

Bishnu told a version of Ed Young’s tale in I, Doko about respect for grandparents.
We haven’t selected the story yet that we will develop into a picture book. We are still collecting possible stories. But we know our next step! It is to meet Bhutanese artists who might illustrate the book.
Originally posted by  on December 31, 2010.

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