Preserving and transmitting tradition and folklore through a children’s storytelling box
Can a story be told by a box? Ria Gureja believes so. She launched her very own brand Katha Prastuti to create unique “storytelling boxes” for children to learn and play with. The designs of these boxes are derived from traditional Indian art styles and are individually handcrafted with visual depictions of folklore and mythology. The stories come alive when the wooden doors are opened and closed, leadingthe young audience through a narrative that’s not bound to a linear progression of words.
The creation of Katha Prastuti is a byproduct of Ria’s lifelong fascination with the art of storytelling. Stories have power. Whether in the form of a novel, short story, film, TV series–or even a video game–a good story can transport people from everyday reality to a dimension of fantasy, creating excitement and wonder. Ria reminds us that storytelling does exist merely for the sake of entertainment, it has been an important tool for human societies to preserve tradition, cultural values and lessons so that they may be transmitted to the newer generations and imbibed.
The goal of the storytelling box is to educate modern day children with art, tradition and culture so that they grow up with a better understanding of their heritage. Ria has succeeded in making the learning process novel and engaging. The connection between play and culture has an important role helping young children acquire cultural values, skills and abilities that help them through everyday experiences. Ethnographic research has shown through several cross cultural comparative studies that the kinds of play children engage in influence their attitudes towards gender, socialization, environment, historical change and morality.
School of Media
Cohort: FMC 2012-2016