Hey folks!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

I remember feeling depressed as a kid for a few days after listening to a folk story of 'Merak
& Gagak'. I was probably 5 then. It was about how Merak (peacock) was painted beautifully by Gagak (crow) and how Merak poured black colour onto Gagak as to return the favour.

I remember asking, "Why black?".

Even if she's helplessly un-artistic, she could at least simply pour other monotonous paint -
say blue, or red, or yellow - crow could have appeared not as attractive as her (if that was truly her intention), but at least... not colourless. (I didn't say all these words at 5, obviously...
but it was what went through my mind.)

My teacher tried to justify the fact all colours finished during the process of colouring Merak,
I said she should do polka dots, or stripes. Or they should make it half colourful and half black - for both. Merak hitam kat bawah, Gagak hitam kat atas, something like that.

But I was told Merak ran out of time and talent and passion and good conscience.

And it depressed a 5-year-old.
And I believe I was not alone.
I still do - believe - the story does depressed other 5-year-olds.

But this is a magical work of art and Gagak didn't get much credit for it.

All are too focused on heartless beautiful Merak; and ugly pitiful Gagak. Hmm.

I've also come across a story of a father telling his son the other folk story "Sang Kancil & Buaya", where Kancil tricked buaya to line up in the river so that he can cross it... 1, 2, 3,  lekuk!
The son looked at the father in the eyes and said,
"How can we say Kancil is smart when he cheated?"

Can I skip folk stories & fairytales for my kids?
Don't answer.