T is for Tending & Telling Tales—A to Z Blog Challenge

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 Hope & Healing…folktales around the world that beat back viruses. Each post highlights one or more balms to soothe and cure our struggles of today with oral tradition and lore of the past. At times, a post will make a connection to history. You can guess what inspired this theme. Yes, the COVID-19. What better time to delve into tales where things can and do turn out “happily ever after”?

Tending & Telling Tales-

From Armenia-

Nourie Hadig feels like part Snow White and part Sleeping Beauty. However, instead of a woman asking a mirror, it is the moon. As for a sleeping princess, this time it is a sleeping prince.

50-word-or-less summary:

Woman asked moon who’s most beautiful. Woman. When daughter was 15, moon answered girl. Jealous! Asked husband to kill her. Pretended. Escaped! Girl comes upon sleeping prince. Must tend for 7 years to heal/break curse. Awake! Prince proposed. Asked for Stone of Patience. Tells her tale. Broke stone. Married!

Version of Story: https://www.uexpress.com/tell-me-a-story/2013/6/2/nourie-hadig-an-armenian-folktale

Compare to History:

The Parkinson’s Story Exchange was founded by Johanna O’day after enjoying NPR’s StoryCorps and how they collected stories from around the nation. Johanna partnered with StoryCorps so that researchers for Parkinson’s could understand the patients and the patients could understand the medical people. They inform each other through the stories shared and archived. Healing and medical progress come as a result—like being awakened from a 7-year sleep.

More on the History: https://www.davisphinneyfoundation.org/blog/the-parkinsons-story-exchange-inspiring-stories-from-people-living-with-parkinsons/ and http://healthlibrary.stanford.edu/story-exchange.html

From India-

Princess Savitri, named after the goddess Savitri with her miracle birth, later grew up and married happily to Prince Satyavan. Then, she tended to her husband doomed to die in one year. Yama, the god of death, arrived on time. She must rescue her love from death somehow.

50-word-or-less summary:

Princess chose husband prophesied to die in one year. Happy year. Tended. Princess starved/insomnia three days before prediction. Saw Yama/god of death due to fasting/praying. Chased after Yama. He admired loyalty. Three chases, three wishes (can’t ask for husband’s life). Last wish-children with prince as father. Wit! Lived!

Finding the Story: http://www.aaronshep.com/storytelling/GOS03.html

Compare to History:

Many nurses have tended to the sick and dying. Florence Nightingale brought hope on the battlefield during Crimean War of 1854z After her, professional nursing was seen alongside soldiers. During the American Civil War, Clara Burton saw the need of more trained nurses and had nursing schools established. Clara traveled to Switzerland, witnessed the International Committee of the Red Cross, and eventually founded the American Red Cross in 1882. Then, in 1888, some American Red Cross nurses jumped off moving trains to reach people in need. Remind you of the tenacity of Princess Savitri?

More on the History: https://www.workingnurse.com/articles/Nursing-with-the-American-Red-Cross

Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind.While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings in process of being adapted due to COVID-19.Our 2020 Festival has been transformed into Story Crossroads Spectacular, a virtual experience. See here: http://www.storycrossroads.org/spectacular on May 13, 2020 starting at 9am MDT with events all day.

We thank our funders such as National Endowment for the Arts, Utah Division of Arts and Museums, Western States Arts Federation, Utah Humanities, Zoo, Arts & the Parks of Salt Lake County (ZAP), City of Murray, Salt Lake City Arts Council, and many other businesses and individuals. Join us in the support by donating today!

C is for Golden Calf, Cucumber, & City–A to Z Blog Challenge

AtoZ2019CWe 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 Golden…And All Things That Glimmer.  Each post highlights golden items from a folktale from around the world. Each time you have to wonder, is something that is golden a blessing, a curse, or both?

What has inspired all this gold?–The Golden Spike with the 150th Transcontinental Railroad and the Spike 150 Grant for this year’s Story Crossroads Festival.

Golden Calf-

The Moses story with the golden calf could be what you think first, but there has been another golden calf.

Hungary – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJr8lAR-ZoI

50-word-or-less summary:

Sister-Princess receives vision of leaves/water to heal sick people. Sick prince. Healed. Fell in love. Brother-Prince seeks wife. Found princess who will marry whoever knows what is under her armpit. Golden calf crafted with prince inside. Princess buys it and places in room. Prince sees sun, moon, stars. Marriage.

Golden Cucumber-

It is not enough to have one golden cucumber…but two. One comes from Indonesia while the other comes from Central Java.

Indonesia – http://indonesianfolklore.blogspot.com/2007/12/timun-mas-folklore-from-central-java.html

50-word-or-less summary:

Giant hears prayer of farmer and wife who wish for kids. Sure, but must give to giant when aged 17. Given cucumber seeds. Daughter from golden cucumber! Sad when 17. Parents gave magic salt, chilies, and seeds to escape giant. Turned into sea, jungle, cucumber field. Ah! Cucumber field! Family reunion.

Central Java – https://aseanfolktales.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/the-golden-cucumber/

50-word-or-less summary:

Giant hears prayer of farmer and wife who wish for kids. Sure, but must give to giant when aged 17. Given cucumber seeds. Daughter from golden cucumber! Sad when 17. Parents gave magic salt, chilies, and shrimp paste (terasi) to escape giant. Turned into sea, jungle, swamp. Ah! Swamp! Family reunion.

Golden City-

When I mentioned “Golden City” to my boys, they automatically thought “Atlantis.” While this is true when you think about the story of King Midas and the stories he heard before desiring the golden touch (more for another post), there is another one you know…El Dorado. This is more legend than folktale…but a glimpse of glimmer of gold for you.

Brazilhttp://www.phfawcettsweb.org/eldorado.htm

50-word-or-less summary:

Talk of golden city. Intrigues explorers. Sun-worshippers share of creature who lives in lake full of gold. Impassable mountains. People smear sticky stuff so gold dust would stick, plunge into water, and people toss gold into lake. They need to gather back that gold rather than find golden city?

Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind.

While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings including the culminating Festival on May 15, 2019 with free performances May 13-16, 2019 (see schedule here: https://storycrossroads.com/2019-schedule/.  

We thank our funders such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, the Western States Arts Federation, Utah Humanities, the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts (Spike 150), the City of Murray, the South Jordan Arts Council, Utah Valley University and many other businesses and individuals. Join us in the support by attending or donating or both! (Click here to donate or get tickets.