Folk tales in the Mod­ern Era

Asian Geographic - - Folk Tales Of Asia -

“In fact, the whole of mythol­ogy could be taken as a sort of pro­jec­tion of the col­lec­tive un­con­scious… We can there­fore study the col­lec­tive un­con­scious in two ways, ei­ther in mythol­ogy or in the anal­y­sis of the in­di­vid­ual.” – From “The Struc­ture of the Psy­che” by Carl Jung

To­day, as most peo­ple’s lives re­volve around tech­nol­ogy, folk tales have long since fallen out of fash­ion, as if a rem­nant of a past world long for­got­ten.

We live in an age of science and rea­son where oral tra­di­tions that once helped make sense of life no longer seem rel­e­vant. How­ever, in be­liev­ing that folk­lore is no longer im­por­tant, we may be sev­er­ing a vi­tal link to our past and los­ing out on an op­por­tu­nity to learn more about hu­man ex­pe­ri­ence.

In his book “The Struc­ture of the Psy­che”, Swiss psy­chi­a­trist Carl Jung (1875–1961) ex­plores the the­ory of a col­lec­tive hu­man un­con­scious, in which cer­tain archetypes ex­ist and are rep­re­sented by the char­ac­ters and themes found in folk tales. Hu­mans as nat­u­ral sto­ry­tellers can theroise that the story of our ex­pe­ri­ence as a species can be de­ci­phered through the sym­bol­ism and com­mon­al­i­ties found in the folk tales of cul­tures from across the world. These stretch back into an­cient his­tory, and can tell us much about the col­lec­tive ex­pe­ri­ence of the hu­man species.

These archetypes speak to us be­cause we all ex­pe­ri­ence them in ev­ery­day re­al­ity, to a greater or lesser ex­tent, which could ex­plain why we find the same tales be­ing told (al­beit with cul­tural vari­a­tions) across so many dif­fer­ent places.

Folk tales are still alive and an in­her­ent part of cul­tural tra­di­tions, such as the wayang kulit (shadow pup­petry) of In­done­sia and the Chi­nese opera of East and South­east Asia. These tra­di­tions hold strong and are revered through­out the world. Folk tales also ap­pear in our day-to-day lives, such as through song, dance, lit­er­a­ture, and tele­vi­sion. The next time you watch a pro­gramme or read a book, be on the look­out for a glimpse into this mag­i­cal world of folk tales, and go down this invit­ing rab­bit hole for an ex­cit­ing ad­ven­ture.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.