World Storytelling Day is a global celebration of the art of oral storytelling. It is celebrated every year on the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, the first day of the autumn equinox in the southern.
On World Storytelling Day, as many people as possible tell and listen to stories in as many languages and at as many places as possible, during the same day and night.
Seeing storytelling as one of the best means to promote early childhood literacy, World Storytelling Day (WSD) organised by Lha Charitable Trust in collaboration with Tibet Fund and Petoen School parents and teachers association aims to raise awareness amongst parents about the importance of storytelling, and encourage and motivate them to start reading and telling stories to their children on a regular basis.
The ultimate goal of the project is to revive the culture of storytelling in the Tibetan community so as to enhance the literacy skills, creativity and imagination power of young Tibetan children in exile.
With funding from the Tibet Fund, Lha is organising a programme of two events, the first of which was held on March 19 in Dharamshala. A second event is planned in Mcleod Ganj in either in April or May this year.
The first event was held in Nyatri Hall at the location of the Central Tibetan Administration, and was crowded with over 300 children and parents. The day started with an introduction from Lha’s General Secretary TseringWangdue. Mr Jamyang Gyaltsen (an education specialist) followed with a presentation to parents focusing on the importance of storytelling.
The audience was then entertained by two students from Peteon School who performed a story reading and a poetry reading, and five more students from the same school performed a skit entitled Who is Tenzin’s Best friend? The first session culminated with storytelling sessions from two experienced storytellers.
A promotional video on storytelling was screened. Tea and refreshments were served to all participants, following which about 1,000 children’s books were displayed and distributed to the children free of charge. Later, four small group storytelling sessions were held.
This first event has given us valuable experience and feedback which will enable us to tailor our second event more specifically to the needs of the community here in McLeod Ganj.
We are highly indebted to the Tibet Fund for supporting many of our ongoing projects and especially for funding our World Storytelling Day events; without the funding we would not be able to hold these events. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Mr Jamyang Gyaltsen for leading us on this project.
With his guidance and support, this first event was a great success.Our thanks and appreciation also goes to our two storytellers and the students of Petoen School who participated in the event.Finally we are most grateful for all our volunteers who always stand with us in all our events and activities.
Our grateful thanks go to the Tibet Fund for your continued trust in our organisation and we look forward to working on many projects with you in the future.