Sharing stories, weaving bonds
Paper Edition | Page: 10
The media age has redefined human interaction.
It is really profitless to yearn for the past. Technology has singled out those things irrelevant to our lives. Various media have enabled us to be self-sufficient with very limited contact with each others.
One thing that media has failed to do is to manipulate our gregarious natures. The idea of love and affection are still alluring and having children and families are still essential ingredients in the recipe for happiness.
In the context of raising children, some traditional ways have faded but are missed. One of them is story-telling, which is considered as a better means of interaction and instilling values than gadget-furnished playgrounds.
The Children’s Book Lovers Club (KPBA) helps children to access alternative entertainment without abandoning education. The Festival Bercerita KPBA X, or the 10th KPBA Story-telling Festival, promotes how to get closer to children. The four-day event that will end today features story-tellers from Indonesia as well as other countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Iran.
“We invited them so viewers can enjoy various alternatives of delivering stories,” KPBA chairwoman Murti Bunanta told The Jakarta Post. She said entertainment and education are two aspects that children must get from story-telling.
“It will be better if there is not too much improvisation. The performance is better be concise and not more than 25 minutes. Hence, children will easily find the moral value of a story and will not be bored because they are too long,” she says.
Ng Kok Keong, a story-teller from Malaysia, said that communicating stories is important because it encourages children to listen and imagine. If they like it, then they will remember it when they become adults.
He said that elderly people used to teach moral lessons through stories.
Ng said that in Malaysia, story-telling festivals are not as big as they are in Indonesia.
“Indonesia has many talented storytellers who will maintain traditional story to be delivered in attracting way. Therefore, children do not get bored and are always attracted to listen to every story,” he says.
Wajuppa Tossa, a story-teller from Thailand, agrees, saying that in Thailand there is no story-telling festival as big as there is in Indonesia. She said young story-tellers from Indonesia were vigorous in expression and had good techniques, making sophisticated sounds and using interesting voices.
“In Thailand, most of story-tellers are like Pak Raden, who delivers in traditional way. It’s direct communication between teller and listener, without drama or effect,” she says.
Suyadi, whose stage name is Pak Raden, is a popular story-teller from Indonesia. He first came with the Pak Raden character in the TV puppet show series, Si Unyil. Pak Raden is a middle-aged man who is stingy and fussy but actually loves being around children.
Even when Raden delivered stories in Indonesian, Tossa said that she still understood him. It is a proof that story-telling is universal, especially because of the involvement of expression. It puts aside language barriers.
Suyadi said story-telling builds human connections as well as stimulates creative thinking.
“The story will be impressive for children if it is delivered by their own parents, since they have emotional bond,” he says.
The writer is an intern atThe Jakarta Post
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