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Oral Traditions, Folklore, and Their Influence on the Written Word

Close your eyes and imagine a world without the internet, books, or newspapers. In bygone days, stories were not conveyed through typed words on screens or printed pages; instead, they were passed down through generations by word of mouth. This ancient and captivating art of storytelling formed the foundation of our cultural narratives. Even today, in some remote corners of the world, this tradition endures, where the written word remains a distant concept. It's within this enchanting realm that the magic of folklore, the living embodiment of our shared human experiences, takes center stage.

Folklore, as its name implies, is the lore or the story of ordinary people. It's a diverse tapestry of myths, legends, epic poems, songs, proverbs, historical accounts, and even those delightful if occasionally irrational, superstitious beliefs. But folklore is much more than a mere collection of tales; it's a living, breathing entity that encapsulates the very essence of a community. It weaves together the threads of its past, present, and future. Folklore is, at heart, the genetic code of our collective memory. It serves as the bridge that ensures the knowledge and wisdom of our ancestors reach us, with the spoken word being its most efficient courier.

So, what exactly defines a story? From an academic perspective, a story is a sequence of events presented in a narrative form. It does not matter whether a story is rooted in real-life events or spun from the vivid imagination of a skilled storyteller. What matters is that stories are crafted to entertain, captivate, and stir the emotions of those who hear or read them. Stories can be as simple as the bedtime tales shared by a loving grandmother with her wide-eyed grandchild or as grand and sweeping as the epic sagas passed down through generations.

For writers, folklore is an invaluable wellspring of inspiration. The tales, myths, legends, and epic poetry within folklore provide a rich and fertile ground for creative exploration. They offer an abundance of characters, plots, and themes, serving as a foundation for developing new literary works. Folklore's treasure trove of narratives patiently waits to be reimagined, retold, and woven into the fabric of contemporary literature.

In the realm of writing, folklore remains a boundless source of creativity and a testament to the enduring power of storytelling. It serves as a reminder that, even within the world of the written word, the art of oral tradition continues to shape our narratives. Bridging the past with the future, folklore enriches our literary heritage, offering new perspectives and a deeper understanding of our shared human experience.

Writers owe a profound gratitude to the timeless wisdom and enchanting stories that folklore provides. It is an art that demands our most profound respect and understanding as we navigate the path to mutual harmony, both in the realms of folklore and the written word. It's a reminder that our love for stories and our desire to connect with one another are timeless, enduring threads that unite us across the ages.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Manik Chaturmutha