Oral traditions have always been popular in India. Narrating stories is more than just a fun activity. It is a way of preserving the culture and beliefs of a tribe or community and passing them down to the next generation. That is the real significance of oral traditions.
However, storytelling does not need to be limited to oral recitation. It can take form through drawings, paintings, dance, or even puppet shows. India’s storytelling traditions are as diverse as the culture of the country,
Narrating stories is a means used to teach lessons, and morals and to entertain people, particularly in rural areas. Before TV, the internet, and smartphones, people were coming together to hear stories about their history, folklore, and current events.
India being a land of diverse cultures has every state follows its own style of storytelling. While some narrate, others employ props like puppets, masks, and even musical instruments. There are some that are told through the medium of dance and music.
Katha is an Indian style of religious storytelling, performances of which are ritualistic events in Hinduism. It often involves professional storytellers who recite Hindu religious texts such as Puranas, The Ramayana, or Bhagavata Purana, followed by an explanatory ary.
South India has a long tradition of storytelling and religious discourse. Religious scholars were knowledgeable in the scriptures used for discourse in temples and monasteries.
Purana-Pravachana is a lecture about scriptures in which the pauranika is a spiritual interpreter of the scriptures. These stories generally have a religious theme, usually the life of a saint or a story from an Indian epic.
Wall paintings in temples and shrines across India also serve the purpose of interpreting and storytelling with a religious theme.
The story-telling sessions will have the following authors:
10 December 2022
Rajiv Tambe (born 1958), a writer of children’s stories, is a Sahitya Akademi Awardee for Children’s Literature. His style is unique and immersive. Besides being a writer, he also works with a few select non-government organizations (NGOs) and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund. He has to his credit 80 published books in Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati, and English. He will present the story in an interactive manner which will hold the interest of both children and adults.
Kshama Sharma (born 1956), has received the Sahitya Akademi Award for her contribution to Children's Literature. An eminent writer in Hindi, she has to her credit over 50 published works. She has also been associated with the editing of several children's magazines. She will be presenting her story with interesting dialogue.
11 December 2022
Kamaljit Neelon (born 1959), is the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award for Children's Literature. A well-known name in Punjabi children's literature, her writings incorporate cultural and social values, which motivate both children and adults to move in a positive direction. Nine albums of Punjabi songs written by her continue to be aired by Doordarshan and other television channels. She will be presenting her stories with the musical accompaniment of the Dhapli and Harmonium.
Devendra Mewari (born 1944), is a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award for Children’s Literature. A distinguished writer in Hindi, he has 25 published books to his credit. He has also worked on a rare genre of audio plays in Hindi on Science and Technology. His presentation will be innovative and interesting.