Wednesday, November 24, 2010

the classical tales in modern times...

i had a chat with a parent, and being thirty and still single we came to talking about marriage and children. normally when this happens, the topic would tend to lean towards the one question i dont quite like being asked, the million dollar question of...'so, when's your turn?'. it's not that i'm ashamed of being single it's just that, i don't see any relevance for them to be in the loop to my private life.

good thing i had the forsight or the spidey sense to know (like many other times) what's going to happen next, so before the conversation started leaning towards my bachelorhood i took the oppotunity to be the conversation playmaker and keep the ball in his court by talking about his children.

from what i've been told, nothing much have changed in the country's primary education system since the last time i was in their shoes (which is like...AGES ago hahaha). but one thing that caught my attention was the book the children are reading now. looking back, in my primary years i don't quite remember having to read any other English story books but the ones from the text book or the local children tales which are of course all in Malay..but the children nowadays are starting off with works by Enid Blyton as their reading materials! i mean how lucky are they? during my time, i had to go to a library or borrow from my classmates to read those classics!

anyhow, it's great that these children are exposed to international literature at an early age but hopefully they know how to balance it with our own local literatures..especially the classic ones because some of them are worth reading. i dont quite read much on Malay novels simply because...their writing style are (in my opinion after having read several) all the same. the drama, the plot, the nostalgia are all predictable (and the same goes to most of the Malay movies and dramas, that's why i don't watch much of them anyway). but when it comes to classical fairy tales, i can say that they are on par with any other international publishings out there. i grew up reading 'batu belah batu bertangkup', 'malim deman', bawang putih, bawang merah', 'si tanggang' and some others i couldn't recall and despite their tendency to include all those unnecessary poetries or rhymes or adianoetas, i was able to follow it without any difficulty..heck, even my classmates would come up to me asking for an explanation the same way i would go to them when i have difficulty with my maths (yeah, i wasn't so bright back then...or even now hahaha).

One thing great about these stories are the lessons and values imparted to all the readers, not to mention how much it reflects our own people and nation both in good and bad portrayals. and here we are buying other books in our quest to be better people when in fact we can just read these classical tales and improve from then on. sometimes, we need to retain our child-like qualities for a clear mind and being simple could be the best way to look at things :).

maybe all those abuse i got from my mom for not being able to read before reaching 7 and the inability to differentiate the small 'b' and 'd' was a torture in blessing hahaha. i wonder, why didn't it work on my maths? hahaha

ps: how do we translate 'cerita rakyat' in english?...hmmmm

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