Sustaining Folk Literature: A Study

Author: T.Sai Chandra Mouli (Self Employed)
Speaker: T.Sai Chandra Mouli
Topic: Oral Heritage
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2021 General Session


Folk literature is integral to all languages. Verbal and nonverbal forms of folk literature are all pervasive. Verbal forms include proverbs, riddles, lullabies, tales, and ballads among others. Nonverbal form encompasses dances, games , toys and objects of ethnic designs and flavors. A community’s outlook is shaped by these forms. By and large folk literature in South Indian languages is performance oriented and music is an essential component of the same. Written form is accorded greater status than the oral presentation. Thus ‘high brow’ or classical literature enjoys greater status than ‘popular’ or ‘folk literature’.For thousands of years man communicated orally, not with the stylus or pen. With the advent of printing technology, explosion of electronic media and inconceivable impact of information technology, folk literature seems to be on the wane.  It survives on account of performances by people who live in rural areas and are generally not so well educated.It is sustained by every speech community in the world, despite inroads made by technology.Now the same technology should be employed to further the study of Folk Literature and preserve it in Asian countries as elsewhere. Translation of folk literature into a global language like English helps in preserving and offering it greater reach. Making use of online tools in transmission and sharing data is the need of the hour. This presentation seeks  to focus attention on efforts made in this direction in South India.


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Keywords: Culture, Performance, Folk literature, Oral tradition, Technology, Translation, Preservation