No Title
Shyamal Roy
FOLK TALES OF SIKKIM by George Kotturan Sterling Publishers, New Delhi, 1976, 115 pp., 12.50
April 1976, volume 1, No 2

Like the proverbial Prometheus, Sikkim, having happily unbound itself from a despotic past, now adds to the diversity-a distinct hallmark of our culture. Yet, reading these tales from Sikkim, one often has a feeling of familiarity. It stems from common experi­ences of the past—like colonial servitude, oceans of poverty and little islands of affluence, fleecing princes and the nobler ones, dogmatic religions and the reformist ones like Buddhism and so on.

This book succeeds, meagrely though, in recollect­ing tales with that magnetic pull which make the young throng round the fireplace on’ a chill winter night; all eyes gazing at the old grandfather to begin. Or when the monsoon rains force everyone indoors, imagination finds an outlet. And then the past becomes a living, familiar present as long as the story-teller casts his magic spell. Included here are 30 such folk-tales told for many generations in Sikkim. Nature in its spicy variety—the hills and heights, torrential streams and meandering rivers, green-valleys and misty-clouds, flowers and butterflies become the perennial source of these tales. Also much of the local colour and candour, spirit and superstitions of hill life, mythology and heroes, humour and history do appear in these tales to make them more dynamic.

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