The 8th meeting was about storytelling. National stories. The stories that have been told decades maybe centuries among the nation. Here in Finland we have for example Kalevala. Then we have many stories about the animals living in the forests.
One really famous story is how the bear lost his tail. Because of course bears had a long tail
before time. Usually in Finnish storytelling the fox is the smart and sneaky one and for example bear is the dumb one. In this story fox had stolen fish from a man and went to eat them in the forest. The bear came and asked how the fox had got so many fish. The fox told the bear to go to lake and find the ice fishing hole the man had made. Then he should put his tale to the hole and sit there the whole night and in the morning the fish will be hanging in his tale. In the morning fox had told to the man that the bear is trying to spoil the ice fishing place and the man and his wife went to the lake trying to banish the bear. The hole had expired during the night and the bear had to struggle himself away. Finally the tail of the bear snapped and the bear got away. This is the reason for the short tail of the bear. (Picture: Anna Seppo, 2010).
At the moment when the man and his wife were on the lake fox had gone to their house and was eating the cream from the housewife’s churn. It was so delicious the fox went deeper and deeper to the churn and suddenly the housewife came back. She took a churn piston and started to chase the fox. They run all over the house and in the end the fox got to the door and escaped. When the tail of the fox was still inside the housewife hit the tail with the piston and that’s how the fox got his white tail tip.
And how about Malaysia? What kind of stories they have? Chrystal told me this The Legend of Puteri Gunung Ledang. There was a sultan who wanted to marry this really beautiful lady living in the Mount Gunung Ledang. The lady was like a dream and maybe not a human at all. The sultan send some ministers to ask her marry the sultan. The princess had seven conditions for the sultan to solve. After he getting through all of them the princess is willing to marry him. The conditions were for example building a golden bridge from the mountain to his palace and a silver one back to mountain. The last condition was to get bowl of sultan’s son’s blood. The sultan had got through every else than the last one and he started to hesitate. Eventually the sultan decides to fulfil this last condition but the lady comes to stop him. She never thought the sultan could fulfil all seven conditions and after he could have fulfil even the last one the princess refused to marry him.
Another story I heard from Malaysia is the story about a boy called Si Tanggang. He got captured by a pirate ship and was forced to slavery. Over the years Si Tanggang married the captain’s daughter and he achieved a valued position in the crew. Eventually after captain’s death Si Tanggang became the captain. In some point his ship sailed alongside his hometown. His parents saw him and started to wave and shout to him. Still, he was like he doesn’t know them and said some bad things about them. After a while the storm arose after his mother prayers. Si Tanggang’s ship got to the storm and the ship got battered and he got to water funds. He was frightened and started to beg for forgiveness. In the end his wife, his crew and himself got underwater…
These are just few stories we talked about – we had a few more – but I think this is enough! 😉 Again more about the culture and how people in our cultures see and experience the world and what we value about. Still a lot of learning! 🙂