Sunday, April 28, 2013

Presentation by Dr. Ochieng

The presentation by Dr. Ochieng’ was one of the best and most enjoyable that I have ever seen! I really enjoyed how he got the audience involved with the singing and dancing, beating the drum, and teaching us some Swahili words. Additionally, his story-telling was very engaging, and made me want to listen to more stories! It was also interesting to examine the similarities and differences between African folk tales, and other folk/fairy tales that we have read in class. A lot of the similarities were found in the reasons why folk tales are told in Africa. Like other places in the world, folk tales are told in African culture for a variety of reasons. These include explaining natural phenomena, teaching cultural morals and values, and providing entertainment. The folk tales from Africa are different, however, in some of the content. For example, lions would not appear in a folk tale from China or Russia. Also, folk tales from Africa differ in the way they are told to the audience. Many of the tales involve singing and dancing in order to transition from one point of the story to another, or to transition between stories. During the song and dance, the entire audience is expected and invited to participate rather than just observing. Overall, like those found in many cultures, African folk tales are enjoyed by people of all ages and social statuses. I never envisioned myself traveling to Africa, until Dr. Ochieng's presentation and tales made African culture sound so warm and inviting!

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