We may wonder how the world would be if there were no folktales to listen to, no folk art to admire, no fold beliefs to ponder on, and no folk music or dances to enjoy. It would likely be a world of robots.
When people talk about tales, numerous stories which they have heard since their childhood come to mind and their imagination caries them away to a never-neverland characterized by fantastic events and unusual characters.
Tales told by grandmothers on cold dark nights are narrated again and again by elderly men, by fellow companions, and by many different tellers at different times in different places. The narrator departs forever, the audience may grow old and die, but the tale never perishes. No matter how many times the listener may have heard the tales, the impact is always powerful.
Folklore is the oral component of the history of common people and is comprised of the contributions of many anonymous creators.
Folklore is first composed by one person, thereafter modified and altered by others, and then transmitted orally from generation to generation, through which it develops into new versions. Folklore is a rich store of knowledge gathered from their experiences over the centuries.
Folklore is made up of a complex of genres: ballads, folk songs, dances, traditions, customs, beliefs, proverbs, jokes, riddles and tales. Every form is unique and spontaneous, and has been preserved over many centuries.
Ballads and songs which encourage everyone to sing, are often fresh and entertaining, especially when they are followed by colourful dances. Their structure can be found underlying many modern forms of music and dance. As mass audiences appreciate authenticity, ballads and songs have become especially popular in counties whose cultural history is rich. Instead of dying out, these forms of folklore are at present enjoying a revival. Traditions, beliefs and customs are fast disappearing, compared with other forms of folklore, but their impact is still to be found in the psychological faith of contemporary societies.
Proverbs, jokes and riddles express the thoughts, satires and morals of everyday life so precisely that these phenomena cannot be explained in normal or vernacular speech. Thus, these forms are still consciously or unconsciously preserved by society. The main expression of this aspect of folklore is in modern literature and in colloquial spoken language.
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