Thursday, December 9, 2010

Final Fairy Tale Blog

     As I come to the end of my my folk/fairy tale class, I have learned so much.  The best way to describe what I have learned is that I now know to "read between the lines".  These tales are so much deeper than just the words on the paper.  There are motifs and meanings hidden within the story.  In my opening blog I mentioned how I was one sided in my views of fairy tales.  Growing up on Disney, I really only knew these animated versions.  One written tale I knew though was that of Little Red Riding Hood.  To be honest, it was difficult for me at first to read these different tales and analyze them.  The idea that there are sexual inferences in these tales sort of corrupted my childhood images of these tales.  As the class continued, I became more accepting of these new tales.  
     I now know, that when I have children of my own, I will have them watch Disney movies, while also reading them other versions, such as the Brothers Grimm.  This class has taught me so much and I would highly recommend it to others.  Dr. Esa did a great job of bringing in guest speakers and organizing the material in a logical way.  
     I really enjoyed the second half of the semester, more-so than the first.  The first was interesting as they were mostly stories of which I know, but the second was even more compelling because it incorporated tales from around the world.  Different cultures amaze me and it is so interesting to me to see how these cultures use tales differently.
(World Mosaics Fairy Tale Logo 3)
     The story, Beauty and the Beast is still my favorite.  After all the tales, this one defeats them all.  The idea of love growing through obstacles is one that I connect with for some reason.  When I think about the story, I still tend to ignore the sexual symbols and “dirtiness” of the language.  I still love the innocence of childhood, and that is something that I will never try to forget, the “inner child” if you will.  This class was a great experience for me.  It taught me to not be so innocent, and also taught me about different cultures through the entertainment of tales. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tales of Bangladesh

 This Thursday it was great to have Dr. Mian present to our class his powerpoint on "Folk and Fairy Tales from Bangladesh".  I have him for Physics this semester, and it was interesting to see him out of his "physics" element.  I really enjoy having him as a professor this semester.  He covered a lot about major characteristics of Bengali tales as well as the geography and terrain of the country and its influence on the tales.  The watercolor pictures he used to display the terrain and culture.  This is different than the other tales which do not specify the geography.  The tales from Germany did have the forest, but there are forests all over the world, so you can not specify the location.  

     This culture prominence is a major difference in the Bengali tales.  Some of these stories also have religious meanings to many people.  As we learned in Tuesday with the Ramayan, which also was mentioned by Dr. Mian in class on Thursday.  Some of these stories are believed to be true by the certain people.  
     Dr. Mian also made a point of “transformation”.  Although transformation was seen in other tales such as “The Beauty and the Beast” and “The Tiger’s Bride”, in these tales a character is transformed, but their identity is not hidden.  In “Neelkamal and Lakamal” the two titled characters were almost “reborn” and took on new names.  
This picture is from a Hindi movie featuring the character Neelkamal, who we read about in Bengali Tales.  This shows that they are interconnected and seen as religious figures and real.

I very much enjoyed Dr. Mian’s presentation.  The tales he told and links to other tales were interesting.  The wicked stepmother is interchangeable with the jealous co-wife.  Food is also a major part of these tales, such as the magical rice bowl, which was not seen in other tales.  These characters are all representative of the culture of Bangladesh.  
Dr. Esa, I would like to thank you again for having us at your home.  The cookies were delicious and thankyou for the gift.