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Under the Aalamaraam - the Chennai Storytelling Festival 2014

What a line up of tellers!

(L-R)

Dr Margaret Read MacDonald

(USA),

Dr Wajuppa (Thailand)

Uncle Fat (Taiwan)

Prasong (Thailand),

Ariyo Faridh (Indonesia)

Kiran Shah

(Australia/Singapore)

Jeeva Raghunath (India)

Ng Kok Keong (Malaysia)

and the handsome guy

on the right is .. me!

Congratulations to Jeeva Raghunath who conceived and scheduled the Festival and her two terrific partners at Kathai Kalatta, Kanchana and Kausalya, for putting together such an excellent festival. Over 5000 kids and accompanying teachers visited us over two days for a non-stop series of performances in the mornings and workshops and showcases in the afternoons.


Thanks to their dedicated team of volunteer ‘country officers’ - all serious young storytellers themselves - we were all well looked-after and had lots of meaningful discussions/interactions with them as they were eager to develop their skills.  All the international tellers applauded the decision to include these local tellers in the two showcases alongside us - we international tellers were split into two teams of four to give the Indian tellers room to tell too. This is the best way to foster talent, develop confidence, inspire a younger generation (‘if they can do it, I could do it too!’), while making Chennai audiences aware of the talent on their doorstep!*


While there, I also teamed up with Jeeva to conduct a corporate workshop for the CEO and key staff of Bharat Petroleum. It was great to be able to combine Jeeva’s local knowledge with my more corporate experience, and the result was a hugely entertaining session which resulted in unearthing some excellent stories of teamwork and gratitude from the staff.   


Looking forward to returning under the banyan tree!

* If only our own Singapore storytelling Festival was as enlightened and generous!


Here in Singapore local tellers are segregated from international tellers and only the foreign tellers get to perform for the public ($20/seat) whereas locals only perform in the Storytelling Congress ($250 per ticket!)

CHENNAI