A quarter century has passed since the publications Lore and Legend of Nepal. It is gratifying to note that this first work on Nepalese folklore in English has to some extent helped in kindling an interest in the subject both within and without the country.
Not only some other books have appeared since then but for some years now folklore has been offered as a subject of study by Tribhuvan University at Patan Multiple Campus, and, under the inspiration of Mr. Satya Mohan Joshi, former Member of the Royal Nepal Academy, the Nepalese Folklore Society was established in 1984.
All the stories contained in this boo - and many others - have been translated into German by Martin Lutterjohann and published under the tittle Marchen, Sagen und Legenden aus Nepal by Mikado-Verlag in 1980 in West Germany. One story - The Four Travellers - has been adapted by M. Soutter for a telefilm in French produced in Switzerland by Claire Finaz for the Swiss Television. The Legend of Valley has been included in The Wildest Dreams of Kew: A Profile of Nepal by Jeremy Bernstein.
A Selection of Asian Legends and Folk Tales by M. Yegar contains a translation in Hebrew of The Legend of the Valley and The Adventures of Sura Bajra while The Housewife and the Giant and The Giant of Jamacho have been published in Japanese in the magazine Yama To Keikiku (Mountain and Valley).
The Legend of the Valley and The Housewife and The Giant - have also been translated into Swedish by Ake Sparring and included in Nepal-landet under jornenstak. Translation is also being undertaken in some other languages.
Meanwhile, I have revised some of the stories and added a few others from different parts of Nepal in this new addition. But for his onerous burden as a Member of the Royal Nepal Academy my friend, Mr. Amar Chitrakar, who did the sketches for the first edition, would have illustrated the additional stories too. Mr. Buddha Ratna Shakya has come to may help and I am thankful to him for some sketches in this book. Last but not in the least. I am thankful to Mr. R. N. Tiwari for bringing out this new edition of lore and Legend of Nepal.
Back Of The Book
Several of these stories confirm the old theory of Max Muller about 'migration of tales from country to Country. At least half a dozen of them can be found retold with changes of names and places by the Adivasis of Bihar. A couple of them are variations of folk stories of a distant country like Viet Nam.
These folk tales feature giants and demons, Bungadeo, the God of Mercy and Bandhu Achaju, the Tantric Master. A few of them belong to the reigns of particular kings of Nepal and as such they can be dated. And almost all of them illuminate some aspect of life in and around Kathmandu.
Apart from being of interest to the anthropologist and the sociologist, these folk stories provide pleasant reading for the layman. Who would not like to read about how a housewife, whose husband was eaten away by a giant, outwitted him and maneuvered his death or how a sparrow compelled a king to search for a pea which it had lost? Even people with sophisticated tastes will enjoy most of these tales.
"not only interesting for the scholar but entertaining to the general reader." The Statesman, Calcutta.
"Nepal, the mysterious country, as Western historians have described it, remained in oblivion for long. Even its history was not written. But though never written, history remained recorded in the stories, which have become folklore and legend in Nepal today. Kesar Lall, a Nepali writer, travelled around Kathmandu and painstakingly collected them. In his effort, he was sustained by the belief that publication of these stories would help in understanding and appreciating the friendly people of this Himalayan country.
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend