Trading Tales in Singapore with Anna Jarrett Professional Storyteller



By Anna Jarrett

Published in Australian Storytelling Guild (NSW) Newsletter

Dec 05/Jan 06 Issue. 

Telling Tales newsletter is available by subscription. Select articles are available on Australian Storytelling Guild's website



© Anna Jarrett

Singapore, a high tech, world class city with a dominant corporate culture, seems an unlikely place for the revival of storytelling. Look deeper. Singapore is a cultural crossroads for the world which embraces many languages, many religions and many traditions as part of its rich diversity. This crossroads make Singapore a perfect place for travellers to trade stories, and that’s what I was doing last November. A new event on the international storytelling scene, The Asian Congress of Storytellers, is a must go for storytellers who are interested in global traditions as well as the revival of storytelling as a contemporary art form.

I attended the Congress as a radio journalist and storyteller, wanting to explore the way in which stories connect people from all cultures, and to learn more about the story traditions from different countries like India, China and Thailand. In just two days of workshops, I came away with a head full of new stories and ideas as well as a whole new world of cultural understanding which was opened up to us all. Diane Ferlatte, the keynote speaker, summed up the conference philosophy and experience in her riveting presentation about “United Through Story”. It brings me great joy that to know we can travel anywhere in the world, and regardless of our culture, religion, language or looks, we can make friends by sharing stories with each other.

The Asian Storytelling Network and the National Book Development Council of Singapore, have created a series of storytelling events to revive the tradition of storytelling in Asia, nurturing new storytellers and creating new ways of telling stories. The main event, The Asian Congress of Storytellers, is in it’s fourth year and attracts thousands of people. There is also a concert series, a storytelling circle and storytelling workshop throughout the year. This year the featured storytellers included Wajuppa Tossa from Thailand, Rangimoana from New Zealand, Linda Fang a Chinese American, and Katherine Mcleod, A Canadian/Aussie traveler. Locally, there are many gifted storytellers who work behind the scenes to help make these events happen.

My visit to Singapore was an opportunity to immerse myself totally in stories from many lands, to learn about traditions and languages from places which I know so little about, and to make new storytelling friends so that we can all continue to be connected through stories. I highly recommend that you attend the Congress to inspire your own storytelling, and to affirm the work that we are all doing in Australia and abroad, to promote the wonderful, powerful, soulful, ancient art of storytelling.

For more info look up the website.

I also highly recommend reading the reference book by Margaret Read        Mac Donald “Traditional Storytelling Today”.

P.S. The Congress is especially relevant to teachers, caregivers, parents, librarians, community workers and dramatists



Last updated, Monday February 08, 2016


All content © 2004/2016 Anna Jarrett t/a the Travelling Storyteller.