Mythology and the emotional charge between narrator and recipient in Tunisia

By Mona Yahia, Article + Image Source

Co-Presented by Magazine &

Enjoy the Baba Aziz myth in video

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Despite the advent of television and computers, Tunisian storytelling is alive and well.

Mythology still occupies an important place in the hearts of Tunisians, despite the development of modern media and the spread of television channels and radio stations. The third consecutive session of the mythology festival in Tunis, which runs for a week ending Sunday (December 26th), attracted another large audience, including many children.

Along with a workshop devoted to the art of storytelling, the festival features an exhibition of giant masks of mythological figures and recitation of the myths of “Baba Aziz” and “Alhajazi”, among others.

The festival opened with the telling of “Loulcha”, presented by Aroussi Zbidi in the Fedaoui style. Zbidi’s performance, alternating between story and music, was geared towards children and families.

“I liked the story and music and I hope to see other tales,” said Zied Baji, a child in attendance.

“Recent studies show that mythology is highly significant in the formation of children’s personalities, sharpening their imagination and providing lessons,” festival director Houda Bouriel told Magharebia. “Myths have this ability to employ morals to address the difficulties that children can be exposed to in the future”.

The art of mythology is based on storytelling, with legends passed from father to son, and is very closely related to a people’s beliefs and culture. Myths are often narrated by specialists in the art of storytelling, such as Tunisian Fedaoui.
Moktar Louzir, an elementary education specialist, told Magharebia: “Mythology is an inheritance and enrichment of the imagination. It delivers an emotional charge to the recipient and forms a close relationship between narrator and listener”.

For many who appreciated these stories in their youth, the future of mythology and fairy tales might be uncertain.

“In the past, there was a wide place for myths in the family with an impact on children; all of us were brought up on myths of our grandmothers and we still know a lot of them,” said Munira, an official in a private enterprise. “Now the number of people who remember the myths has decreased, but I think they still exist.”
Houda Bouriel agreed. “I think people have lost this relational and intimate aspect, which is contained in myths, but when they hear about this festival they join our crowds,” she said. “So we wanted to present a special festival because mythology has an impact, and we wanted to maintain this art.”

Moktar Louzir added: “There is no conflict between mythology and modern technologies, but we cannot put a fairy tale on a CD, because the myth is the relationship between the narrator and the receiver and the absence of one of the parties breaks the intimacy of this relationship.”

“I’m sure that families still tell stories to their children, which is a kind of narration,” he said. “Cultural clubs have a number of demonstrations on the art of storytelling and mythology. Stories are subject to evolution in line with the spirit of the era, but this does not affect their spirit or method of performance, and many young people are still interested in the art.”

Journalist Hatem Bouriel, specialising in cultural matters, said the art of storytelling has special techniques and must take into account the attention and wishes of children. According to him, it has a unique relationship with the world of fiction for children.

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By Mona Yahia, Article + Image Source

This entry was posted in Essays and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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