“Through storytelling, it’s as though time slows down and you can escape into a different world altogether.” – Kamini Ramachandran.
Everyone loves a good story. Told by a master storyteller, a good story has the power to draw the audience in and create shared memories that lingers long after the last word is spoken.
As part of the newly opened Indian Heritage Centre’s CultureFest, Master Storyteller Kamini Ramachandran will be spinning tales to take audiences young and old into the world of Indian gods and ancient animal tales on 23 May 2015. We spoke with her to find out what to expect at her upcoming storytelling session, Folktales of India.
Little Day Out: How did you get started as a storyteller?
Kamini Ramachandran: My storyteller grandfather mentored me during my childhood, and today, I am one of the few contemporary storytellers who experienced a master-and-apprentice process of inheriting my repertoire of stories.
LDO: What do you like about storytelling?
KR: Storytelling lets you suspend disbelief for a little while. We live in a highly stimulated world and are constantly bombarded with information. Through storytelling, it’s as though time slows down and you can escape into a different world altogether.
LDO: Do you have a favourite folktale of your own?
KR: I don’t have a favourite – I like to tell all kinds of tales, all the time. I believe there’s a time and place for stories to be told.
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LDO: Are today’s children still able to relate to traditional folktales?
KR: Yes, very much so. I have more than 10 years of storytelling experience, and I’ve seen children as young as 3 to 4 years old enthralled by my tales. They can really relate to the characters, the plot, villains and adventures. The stories may be old and traditional but they are certainly still very relevant in today’s world.
LDO: What stories can children expect to hear at the IHC’s CultureFest’s storytelling session?
KR: I’ll be sharing tales on Indian Gods and ancient animals, which were handed down by my grandfather. It will be a very participative session – I want the children to tell the stories together with me.
LDO: Why should parents bring their kids down for the storytelling session this Saturday?
KR: With my programme being part of IHC CultureFest, I’ll be sharing the richness and diversity of Indian arts and culture through my stories. The session will also open up the eyes, of both parents and children, to the world of folktales, which are one of the oldest traditions in the world. These ancient folktales have stood the test of time, but are usually not found in books; as such, one of the only ways to hear and experience these tales is through my storytelling.
Beyond that, it will be a great way for families to bond – children can enjoy and join in the storytelling, while parents can take the chance and learn how to tell stories to their children in more artistic and engaging way.
You can catch Kamini Ramachandran at the Special Exhibitions Room, Indian Heritage Centre on Saturday, 23 May 2015, at 11 am and 4 pm. The session, Folktales of India, will be conducted in English and admission is free.
Activities at the IHC CultureFest This Weekend
Other events and activities taking place this weekend as part of the Indian Heritage Centre’s CultureFest include a special workshop on creating multi-coloured motifs through reduction relief printing on 23 May, 10 am to 1 pm, and a Traditional Games Carnival from 22 to 24 May, 11 am to 9 pm. All activities are free.
Themed “Kaleidoscope,” the three-week long IHC CultureFest celebrates the richness and diversity of Indian arts, culture and heritage. It runs till 31 May 2015 at Campbell Lane where the newly opened Indian Heritage Centre is located.