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.