D is for Desserts vs. Rakshasas

We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Finding Resilience & Strength through Traditional Tales.

Desserts –

From Sri Lanka

So you are familiar with desserts…of course. What of desserts found in Sri Lanka, specifically cakes? Love cakes and bananas cakes! The story mentioned banana cakes. The love cakes are usually served close to Christmas time and came from the colonizing Portuguese. So banana cakes are more connected to Sri Lanka.

And cakes are not the most popular of desserts in Sri Lanka. Watalappam is a pudding with jaggery, eggs, coconut milk, and cardamom.

Rakshasas (Raksasi) are fascinating. These are creatures connected to the Hindu tradition that are looking to cause trouble. They are hungry and don’t mind eating humans. They live on Earth, wondering what disruption to create. Sometimes magic comes into play. Rakshasas tend to have two fangs that stick out of their mouths, long tongues, and claws. Yet, they stand on two feet.

50-word-or-less summary:

Rakshasa/Raksasi hung cakes in tree. Sunil/Boy came. Raksasi disguised as elder begging for cakes. Sunil shared three times. Slips to ground. Caught Sunil. Raksasi’s Daughter prepared meal. Sunil calls Daughter “Auntie.” Confused! Sunil ran up tree. Greased tree. Raksasi and Daughter can’t reach. Chased by villagers.

Finding the Story: 

Book “Can You Guess My Name? Traditional Tales Around the World” with Story – here

Wikipedia on Rakshasa – here

Recipe for Sri Lankan Love cake – here

Recipe for Sri Lankan Banana cake – here

Finding Resilience & Strength:

Here was Sunil, wishing to help an old woman out. He could have suspected the woman with two fangs sticking out of her mouth. No judgement there. Already an act of kindness. Then, three times she pretends that the cake slips and needs another one until he gets closer and closer. And in life…sometimes crazy things happens despite our kindness.

Yet, how did he get away? When the daughter came, he called her “Auntie.” She didn’t want to accidentally eat her nephew. The few moments to ponder that and he could run off to the closest tree (with some grease so as not to be followed).

Strength of mind, to think of a plan that quick, is definitely helpful in being resilient. Isn’t resilience about being adaptable?

Here’s a pdf one-page handout compiled by Sussi Moser called “Personal Resilience and the Adaptive Mind” to explore mental health and strategies.

Please share thoughts in the comments. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings. See quick list of programs here.

As for our past A to Z Challenges…

While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has been resilient and strong during these past years and looks forward to the next hybrid summit & festival on May 8-11, 2023. We would be honored for you to join us. Explore the schedule and register here: http://www.storycrossroads.org/Festival

Thanks to funding from National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; Western States Arts Federation; Utah Division of Arts and Museums/Utah Legislature; Utah Humanities; City of Murray; Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) of Salt Lake County; Salt Lake City Arts Council; Ashton Family Foundation; and people like you.

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