Here, the world of fairy tales comes alive

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“You have saved me, I grant you one wish. Tell me, what do you want?” the fairy asked. The children moved an inch closer to the stage as the voice drew them into the world of fairies. “What do you think the man should ask for?” The master storyteller put the question before them, compelling his young audience to start exploring possibilities. One after another, answers began pouring in.

“When children hear stories, their imagination takes wings – based on their experiences, how they have seen the world, they fill the images in a story,” describes  international storyteller Joe Baele, “In a movie, the image of a castle will always be what we see in the shot. But when you tell a story about a castle, you can create your own images. That’s one of the most important things in storytelling.”

“Igniting young minds!” That has always been the power of stories. And that’s precisely what happened at the recently concluded three day ‘Kathakar: International Storytellers Festival’ held in Delhi. School students, children along with their parents, story lovers and amateur storytellers crowded the amphitheater at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) to listen to the storytellers who had gathered here from all over the world.

“Igniting young minds!” That has always been the power of stories. And that’s precisely what happened at the recently concluded three day ‘Kathakar: International Storytellers Festival’ held in Delhi

“The event has been a good experience for our students. They have got this opportunity for the first time. By coming here and listening to stories, they are learning something new. It is quite motivating and who knows, many of our students may get motivated enough to pen their own stories,” said Meenakshi, teacher, Mahamaya Balika Inter College, Noida, UP. The college had sent its class 8 students for the event. “We enjoyed all the stories,” said one student. Another added, “It was fun. It made us think.”

Accompanied by her mother, Gayatri, a primary school student, rushed towards Baele to thank him for the wonderful time. “I enjoyed listening to stories here,” the child said. Explaining her love for stories, her mother Soumya said, “At our home, we keep telling her stories. It is something we enjoy a lot. We all believe in the culture of storytelling.”

For parents complaining about the declining interest of students in stories/books due to internet and online games, try replacing a game in your ward’s birthday party with a session of storytelling

“When I see a child, with sparkle in his/her eyes, coming and telling me, ‘Wow, that was wonderful,’ I know something happened in the head and heart of the child. For me, that’s the best reward,” said Baele, who has an advice for the wannabe storytellers, “If you want to make a living out of it, it is not easy in the present-day world.”

For parents complaining about the declining interest of students in stories/books due to internet and online games, try replacing a game in your ward’s birthday party with a session of storytelling. And see how the magic of stories do wonders to your child’s creativity.

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