Story telling

There is a rich tradition of storytelling throughout the different regions of India, including in the Punjab. Many of the stories have been handed down generation to generation through the oral tradition and reflect the many different cultures, religions and languages of the continent. There are two main types of stories although they are inter-connected: the classical epic, myth or religious story and the folktale. The epic or myth may focus on great heroes, religious teachers or important historical events. The folktale will focus on the everyday, such as family problems and resolutions, and overcoming childhood fears. In folk tales characters may sneeze or sweat in contrast to the glorified heroes in classical stories.

Many Indian stories have parallels with other stories from around the world although the names and the settings can be typically Indian. Others may seem uniquely Indian with an emphasis on the poor or the weak outwitting the more powerful through cunning or clear reasoning. Characters are sometimes portrayed as having magical powers and often have strong convictions which drive them to win out against the odds.

Hard work by all is praised and shown to lead to wealth and happiness. Other worthy qualities are truthfulness, modesty loyalty, generosity and courage. Most tales end happily with success coming to the more deserving.

Write your own story inspired by paintings and prints from the Panjab and read stories written by others.