Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Russian Folk Storytelling


One of the biggest advantages of being born into a family of teachers is getting lessons around the clock. It is no surprise that at the age of four I was capable of reading books to my friends in the childcare. Naturally, my teachers liked it, and I owe them a big thanks for encouraging me because this is probably when my love for fairytales began. When I was a little girl, I used to enjoy reading fairytales, retelling them to my friends and family, putting my own spin on the classic stories. I think everyone can relate to that wonderful, creative child imagination.

Today I think back to those times when I read stories to my child, surely changing some passages every now and then. Some of the words are so outdated that I would have to search for their meanings in that huge dictionary we Russians love to keep around, not to mention the trouble of translating them into another language.

The fun of storytelling is enormous. My favorite moments are when I make such a twist in a story that my child picks it up and plays along, and, better yet, he remembers it and repeats it the next day. That is what I call successful storytelling and priceless family time.

It is an exponential progression from listening and reading fairytales to an infinite love and appreciation of the art, to doing your own storytelling.
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