Saturday, 20 January 2018

Review: The Golden Umbrella: Nepalese Folktales

Golden Umbrella is like a multi-coloured lantern. The folktales included in this collection cover almost the entire spectrum of human emotions and situations. Some of them have the mellow fragrance of love, while some others reek of hatred and jealousy. Some tales have ghosts and apparitions as their main characters while in some one will find people indulging in cannibalism.

All the tales have been picked up from small villages. They express various aspects of country life, offer an insight into the complexities of human mind and provide a panoramic view of the cultural and social life of Nepali villages. Also reflected in them are many local life-styles, activities, beliefs, feelings, superstitions, customs and inhibitions, as well as a deep faith in the supernatural.

Golden Umbrella has everything: love and revenge, miracles and magic, infidelity and betrayal, greed and magnanimity - you name it.

Fascinating folktales that will hold the reader spellbound.

Review:
The Golden Umbrella is a collection of 22 Nepalese Folktales that have been collected from across the country by five authors (Eva Kipp, Hem Rai, Dilip Sapkota, Rajendra Bajracharya and Parmeswari Shrestha) and illustrated by Eva Kipp.

These stories are all very short (1-2 pages) but they remind me a little of the original Grimm tales (although not quite so dark) or Rudyard Kipling's Just So stories, they're written with a moral in mind and they get to the point very quickly.

You'll find stories about cannibals, jealous husbands, unfaithful wives, magical creatures, demons, witches and even a ghost and they're meant to portray a range of emotions from love to jealousy or bravery against impossible odds.

This book was a quick read and something that is very easy to dip in and out of. The translation to English isn't always perfect but that was easy to ignore and I found myself really enjoying the stories. A nice little reminder of our trip to Nepal!

Here are a couple of the illustrations

Source: Christmas present from my Dad

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback:

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