Art And Culture

Museums Host Storytellers

Museums Host Storytellers
Museums Host Storytellers

Following the success of the 'Seven Museums – Seven Stories' program in Tehran museums in mid-November, three museums of peace (Solh), Moghaddam, and Negarestan Garden will host storytelling programs on a regular basis.

The head of Children and Adolescent Department at Cultural Heritage and Tourism Research Center, Leila Kafashzadeh, said the program aims to promote book reading and "to revive the art of storytelling as an important part of Iran intangible heritage," MNA quoted her as saying.

Museums are among the best places for spending leisure time on a cultural activity.

By organizing the program during the Book Reading Week in museums, the public and museum-goers are familiarized with the ancient heritage of storytelling, which is passing into oblivion, she noted.

'Seven Museums – Seven Stories' was a series of storytelling programs organized in seven Tehran museums during the week November 15 to 21. The National Museum, museums of Post, Golestan, Carpet, Peace, Moghaddam, and Negarestan Garden were the ones that piloted the storytelling program.

The stories of 'Uninvited Guests,' 'The Short Red Hen,' 'The Palm Tree and the Goat,' 'Qamar-dar-Aghrab' and 'Seven Domes' were narrated for the children.

  Different Perspective

On how the previous program was carried out, she said: "The same story was narrated in each program, but the storytellers narrate it from a different aspect in a new spirit. For instance in the Post Museum, the carrier/messenger pigeon was added to the story whereas in National Museum, which deals with history, the fable of Derakht-e Asurig (meaning "The Babylonian Tree") was also embodied."

Derakht-e Asurig, a versified contest over precedence between a goat and a palm tree, composed in the Parthian language and written in Book Pahlavi script, consists of 120 verses. It is the oldest evidence of a literary script for children from about 3000 years ago.

Kafashzadeh noted that children interacted well with the program and gradually participated in the process by reciting and performing parts of the story.

She pointed to a plan to expand the program for all children and adolescents and said "In the previous program, we even had pregnant mothers who attended the storytelling for the sake of their expecting babies. They even bought books for them," she said. Older children and even grown-ups enthusiastically listened to and followed the stories. All this indicates the interest and enthusiasm in listening to narratives. It only needs proper direction and adaptation to today's needs, she added.