Bhubaneswar: Children from 15 schools in the city and their parents turned up to the International Storytelling Festival – BhuFeSto on its concluding day today.
The five days long festival hosted around 16 storytellers and their troupes from all over the world. This included Paula Martin from Argentina, WajuppaTossa from Thailand and Sabrina Anastasia from France.
Interestingly some of the best storytelling the listeners experienced was by local storytellers from Odisha, who were on par with the best in the world.
The festival was lauded for its inclusive nature as special storytelling sessions were conducted in sign language for people with hearing disabilities by Nita Gopalakrishnan, the only such specialist in the country. There were also storytelling sessions for children with visual disabilities by Deepa Kiran.
The storytelling sessions were accompanied by performances from the rich storytelling traditions of India. These included performances like; 13th century Urdu oral storytelling form of Dastangoi represented by its most famous practitioner HimanshuBajpai.
Today’s special attraction also included Dastangoi; an Urdu storytelling session by HimanshuBajpai who also hails from Lucknow. He hosted a storytelling session for children called “RasileyAam Ki RasBahriKahani”.
Much like the famed Arabian Nights Tales, Urdu storytelling sessions essentially are also short stories within a larger story. In the evening HimanshuBajpai presented a special Urdu shayari session based on the life of famous poet MajazLakhnawi called MajazLakhnawikiZindagiki Dastan. The poet is also known to have penned the Aligarh Muslim University anthem and is a close relative of Javed Akhtar.
The folk storytelling tradition of Pandavani from Chhattisgarh was also presented. This tradition dates back as far as the Mahabharata. In addition to their storytelling, a unique never before Jugalbandi of the Manganiars; Rajasthan folk musicians was kept the audience captivated.