Writers and the Fusion of Cultures

Child_with_red_hair_reading

Child_with_red_hair_reading (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was thinking about the stories we all grow up with. No matter where we spend our childhood, when we move to another part of the world we carry these stories with us and consciously or not, they make their way into the stories we write or tell our children. The folktales we listened to as kids or the stories that Grandfather always told at dinner seep into the world of the characters we create and soon we experience a wonderful fusion of cultures in which the bedtime stories a child might have heard in India merge with the stories of the Brothers Grimm. Thus we create new fairy tales for another generation. Almost every culture has some version of  the knight in shining armour who saves the princess. Or the brave warrior girl who outwits the evil genius. And then there are all the mythologies.  As a child growing up in Germany I devoured the Grimm Brothers’ fairytales. But I also loved the stories that my Bengali father told me and the comic books he bought me from which I learned about Hindu mythology. I grew up in a Muslim home, reading stories about Hindu deities, along with old German folktales. I lost myself in the Arabian Nights and listened to the bedtime stories that my Pakistani mother told me. Fantasy knows no boundaries and stories flow effortlessly across  man-made borders. As writers, we are in a unique position. We can create characters and stories which reflect wonderful aspects of different cultures  and enrich the literature of our times. And never has this been easier than now, when we can  reach such a large audience so quickly and easily. I am grateful for the opportunity to share the stories that created such happy memories of my childhood.

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2 comments on “Writers and the Fusion of Cultures

  1. I love what you’re saying in this post….I agree that the stories we heard in childhood seep into our creative unconscious, and they merge and blend before spilling out in new forms…isn’t the human mind amazing! I also love the sound of your childhood, such a rich cultural blend…..

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  2. Thank you for visiting my blog and for taking the time to comment. Yes, the human mind is truly amazing. I could spend my whole life just learning about different cultures and the stories that emerge from them. But, alas life is a demanding boss and there are too many things to be done. I look forward to checking out your blog.

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