TRIBAL folk tales or even any folk tales are the combination of myths, stories focused on humanity, love, identity and social values of a specific community. Garo are the ethnic group who lives mostly in the Garo Hills district in North Eastern Indian state of Meghalaya. Sizeable Garo communities are also living in the northern part of Bangladesh.
Magdilina Mree, the writer of Garo Loko Golpo (The Folk Tales of Garo) published from Pendulum Publications, portrays some interesting folk tales of the Garo community. As a member of a Garo family, Maddilina was grown up in Garo culture. Her writing reflects the social and cultural life of traditional Garo community.
The difficult part of any folktale is to visualise the main massage by extracting the underneath signs of culture and every-day practices. Folk Tales of Garo is a simple illustration of a number of local Garo stories. Culture and belief system of communities who live amidst nature are deeply influenced by their surroundings. Garo folk tales consist of orally transmitted fables, mythology, traditional accounts and various forms of oral literature. Usually written version of any oral tradition might seem identical; however, oral jargon, colloquial speech and curse or slang words in written format are different than oral tales.
Folk tales reflect a considerable amount of data in the sphere of religious beliefs and ideas about nature and people. Because these tales are recited through time and society, the collections of folk tales can change or evolve over time. Continuously changing society has huge contributions in folk tales, specially the moral of these tales. While reading the book, the readers’ mind will be trying to correlate with contemporary time and the time of these tales. Here, Magdilina Mree focused on telling stories sequentially by randomly selecting the subjects.
The writer is trying to portray scenario of the Garo belief with some moral messages. The length and descriptive language makes each story simple, easy and legible. Difficult parts of the script have been described with short and readable phases. Intentionally shortening the narrative parts and focusing on the consequential parts makes the book even more interesting. In this book, from time to time, the excessive description of items may create complexity and distract the readers from the core messages of some tales. Consequential positioning with the correlation of various subjects might reduce this complexity. Here we found that the writer is trying to figure out the positioning and correlation with her writing pattern.
Folk tales might not always carry a very specific message but a meaningful ending is always desirable to the listeners and the readers. The oral format of folk tale might get that meaning through the expression or body language of the story-teller. But a meaningful finishing touch is required for the written format. In the Folk Tales of Garo Magdilina Mree has tried to give that finishing touch with utmost care.
The subject selection is also a significant task while writing a book. In case of this book, we found the randomly selected subjects. This could be a deliberate move from the writer to make the readers think. Mixing different subject also helps to avoid monotonous reading situation.
Writer’s own opinion is almost zero in this book. She is only trying to write the oral folk tales. But her way of expression creates an overview of selective Garo folk tales in detail. This type of writing helps the readers to create their own opinion.
Nazmul Islam Dawn is an independent writer.
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