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Asia

Asia is the largest and the most populous continent of our planet Earth. It is counted as the largest because of the geographical area of Russia and the most populous because of the two most populous countries - China and India. In fact all the three countries, Russia, China and India have very old history throughout the world. All of them are rich in their folktales, myths, culture and literature. Besides Middle-east countries can also be counted for their culture, such as Arab and Persia.

Here we have collected the myths and folktales from all the four countries. They are so much rich in their folk literature that it is not possible to bring it together by one person single-handedly. We have tried to collect a part of the folk literature and myths and are presenting here in Hindi language.

Many folktales have been selected and translated randomly but at the same time some books have also been  translated in full. This section of the Folktales lists the titles of those books and the list of their stories translated under them. Please see the list of folktales of this continent on Next Page 

ARABIA

Arabia, or Saudi Arabia or Arab is also a very old country in the continent of Asia. Long before they used to rule other places also other than the land which they have now. To trade from Europe to China there was a path which was called "Silk Road". When the travelers used to travel on this road they used to tell and listen many stories related to the countries they passed through. The countries include Arab, Persia, India and Kalmyk countries. One book has been translated from this country also.

CHINA

Chinese have one of the oldest collections of the literature in the world. Its myths and legends date back to over 2,000 years BC. They have been passed down since then orally. They have been available to us since when Pyramids were young and Stonehenge newly began. Much of the literature of China is related to its Dynasties' histories which contain wonderful stories. Taoists and Buddhists often used story-telling as one of the main ways of spreading beliefs of their faiths. A preoccupation with Ghosts, the Dead and the Supernatural along with the imagination are always present in their literature. Even the old Confucius had acknowledged this.

Chief literary sources of Chinese myths are the (1) Li tai shen hsien tung chien, in 32 volumes, (2) The shen hsien lein chuan, in 8 volumes, (3) the Feng shen yen i, in 8 volumes, and (4) the Sou shen chi, in 10 volumes.

Among the many animals worshipped by Chinese those at times seen emerging from coffins and graves naturally had a prominent place. They are transmigrated souls of the deceased human beings. We may expect such animals as fox, stoat, weasel etc closely related to worship of ghosts, spirits and suchlike creatures. They are include in large number of Chinese folktales. Of these animals the fox is mentioned in Chinese legendary perhaps more often than any other animal.

It is so much important that it has been dealt with as a separate subject. Generally the fox is considered as an ill omen, long lived (sometimes 800 years to 1,000 years) with a peculiar virtue in every part of his body able to produce fire by striking the ground with his tail, cunning, cautious, skeptical, able to see into the future, to transform himself in many forms and fond of playing pranks and tormenting mankind.

Many fox legends can be found in a collection of stories entitled "Liao chai chih i" by P'u Sing-Ling, 17th century AD. Part of which was translated to English many years ago Prof HA Giles appearing in two fascinating volumes as "Strange Stories From a Chinese Studio". It was originally published in 1740. One book on Chinese Myths and Legends has been translated till now.

INDIA

India is the next largest country of the world in population after China. Everybody knows that its civilization is very ancient. It has many languages, many types of people, many types of folktales myths and legends. There are still numerous folktales of several non-Hindi speaking states are not available for Hindi speaking people while its national language is Hindi. Its  Jaatak Tales  are written in Pali language and are available in many foreign languages too. Its Katha Sarit Sagar is an other collection.

A few books of its non-Hindi speaking states have drawn our attention to present them in Hindi language for the first time. Bengal (List of stories), Deccan (List of Stories), Kashmir (List of Stories) and Punjab (List of Stories) States have been covered. Others are to follow.

ISRAEL

Solomon and Markolf

RUSSIA

Russia being the largest country in geographical are has a very little population compare to other countries - only 20 million. Still its history is very old and has lots of folktales to tell to the world and among themselves. Alexander Afanasiev is the most famous folktale collector of Russia. He has many books on his credit. A few books from this area are translated in Hindi language. Although many Russian folktales have been been already translated in Hindi language, still an attempt is made to translate a couple of books in Hindi languages to add to existing literature. The main characters of Russian folktales are Baba Yaga, Deathless Koshchi, Princess Yelena, a wonderful horse... Its some other specialities are given on Russia.

Two books have been translated in Hindi, but there are a few books of Russian folktales already translated in Hindi available on Internet. Although they do not tell that from which book they have been translated.

Tartar Tales
The Tartarian stories are genuine specimens of Tartarian Romance. They are preserved in "Bergmann's Excursions in Tartary". The "Relations of Ssidi Kur" may be looked up on as a contribution to the Arabian Tales. Since the Deity who narrates them has for his object the making the son of the Chan (King) speak so are there in all these notices, purposely, a number of artificial turns mixed up in such ways that they shall give rise to the desired inquiries, moreover the conclusion is always surprising that the objects sought for cannot fail of being obtained.

"Kur" word signifies in the Mongolian a dead person or corpse.
[Taken from "Lays and Legends of Tartary".  by William J Thoms.  London: George Cowie.  1834.  95 pages]

 

 

 

 

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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 27, 2019
Contact:  sushmajee@yahoo.com
Modified on 09/14/19