ORAL LITERATURE IN THE TIME OF QUARANTINE: TEACHING THE KIDS THROUGH THE LOST ART OF STORYTELLING

 

In the 21st century, or more specifically, in the digital age, the enormity of challenges confronting oral literature is immense. This might be a corollary of the unprecedented and pervasive presence of the virtual communities nowadays that without a doubt weakened a key element in oral literature, which is the physical community. Thus, the digital revolution has significantly contributed to the spread and dissemination of new forms of cultures—such as low cultures, for example, video games, popular culture, etc.—that negated and marginalized oral literature and the art of storytelling and its artistic and aesthetic forms. Surely, every one of us or most of us have been exposed to different kind of folklores that have greatly contributed to the process of our socialization. However, what we should bear in mind is that those stories were meant to be transmitted and preserved as strong historical artifacts for their significance in enduring and employing moral and cultural values. Generally, kids tend to admire stories.

 

This comes from the fact that stories can create a very good image in the minds of youngsters. Hence, storytelling in this regard can be seen as an important tool to teach kids and tell them about their values and ethics. Undoubtedly, quarantine can be seen as a golden opportunity to rethink the concept of physical community and more importantly to teach and tell our kids about the value and centrality of oral literature vis-à-vis their cultures and places of origin. Oral literature as a literary genre that is composed and transmitted orally from generation to another is a considerable means for sharing the indigenous oral cultures which may vanish in front of the beast of urbanization and globalization.

 

The question that may raise itself here is why should we think about the art of storytelling only during quarantine? Key elements in the creation of an arable soil for storytelling are space, time, and the storyteller. Seemingly, the quarantine has created an atmosphere or a situation where individuals particularly parents have to spend most of their time at home due to the circumstances. Thus, even though quarantine is temporary, one cannot gloss over the fact that it forces all of us to think painstakingly about the value of physical communities as much as we could. Finally, let's seize the opportunity during this current quarantine and inculcate the culture of storytelling in the minds of our youngsters and contribute to rescuing this wonderful art from vanishing. Stay home, educate and entertain your kids using the art of storytelling.

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