Learn about Nepali Fairy Tales!
A love for storytelling unites us as a human family. All across the world, human beings have been entertaining one another with stories—comedies and romances and tragedies and more!—for thousands of years.
Folklorists know that even in very different cultures, many of the world’s stories share familiar elements and themes. That’s because stories travel quickly, because they weigh nothing at all and can be shared an infinite number of times.
For example, did you know that the Cinderella tale-type—“The Persecuted Heroine”—is one of the oldest and most widespread fairy tales in the world? There are thousands of versions of this story, from ancient Greece, the Tang Dynasty in China, versions in the Thousand and One Nights, the German version collected by the Brothers Grimm… And even versions unique to Nepal!
Each gives a fascinating look into the culture behind it, including ways we are all different, as well as ways we are very similar!
The Fairy Tellers
In 2020, The Fairy Tellers podcast featured three Nepali stories to raise awareness for NYF and the programs we were running in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The stories (and fairy tales within them) are well-worth a listen!
“Soonimaya” (Ep. 20) tells the story of a kind young girl who endures the unfair treatment of an evil stepmother. She enlists the help of talking animals and ends up marrying into the royal family. If you think that sounds familiar, you’ll be shocked by what happens at the halfway point! There are so many fun twists and turns along the way. Listen to Soonimaya on Podbean here.
2. The King Who Rides a Tiger
“The King Who Rides a Tiger” (Ep. 21) is an epic tale about a humble farmer who saves a talking cobra from a mongoose, finds himself living in a golden palace, and faces a series of challenges from a king who wants to steal his wife. This story tells a lot about Nepali values when it comes to leadership and power in society. Listen to The King Who Rides a Tiger here.
3. Dhon Cholecha
“Dhon Cholecha” (Ep. 37) is as familiar to Nepali children as Cinderella is to American kids—and the two stories share some similar themes! Listen to learn about a kindly goat, a magical pastry tree, a greedy stepmother, helpful mice, and treasure stolen from demons. One of NYF’s Nepali staff members suggested this tale to the podcasters!