May 19, 2013 | 04:53 PM (BD Time)
19 May, 2013 Sunday
Tales from Bangladesh: Fish on a tree
The cultural and literary arena of Bangladesh is enriched with folk-tales which give much pleasure to the Bengali readers. But the outside world is unaware of this rich collection of folk tales of our country. The book titled 'Fist on a Tree is a folk tale of Bangladesh' containing three interesting and enjoyable stories. They are--- Fish on a Tree, The Clever Farmer's Wife and Turning Cows into Men. The writer Syed Nazmul Abdal translated them from Bengali into English for the children with a view to teaching English through fun and also for those whose mother-tongue is other than Bengali. He has tried to make these stories interesting and attractive.Story books written in simple English are necessary for these learners of primary level to achieve expected efficiency. The book has been published by The Group Books and edited by eminent educationist and national professor Kabir Chowdhury. The children of primary level will be delighted to read this compilation of three folk takes. At the same time they will find a way to master English language going through the tales.
The storehouse of our folk tales is very rich and vast including a lot of interesting and enjoyable stories. But there is hardly any endeavor to present these stories to the young learners in simple English. During the Pakistani regime a juvenile translation of Jasim Uddin's ' Bangalir Hashri Golpo' was published. After the independence Dr Ashraf Siddique also translated folk stories. This is a further attempt of Nazmul Abdal. The book printed in four -colour art paper to make it attractive to the children. Deepak has done a marvelous job in illustration of the book. HSBC has executed a social responsibility by sponsoring/giving financial support to the book.
The HSBC authority introduces the bank as 'The World's Local Bank. Their patronization for the publication of the book has upheld the validity of their claim. It has been proved that HSBC is in close touch with the local life all over the world. The publication of the book has also been financiered by 'Interfab Shirt Manufacturing Ltd.( info@interfabshirt. Com)' and it has been distributed among the learners of the education projects run by BRAC, CARITUS, ARDS and some other NGOs.
Fish on a Tree: It is a story of a very poor old man and his wife who is fond of gossiping with neighbours instead of doing any useful work. They had no children.
The old man one day discovered a pitcher full of gold coins while felling a tree in the forest. But he did not dare to take it home as he got afraid of his wife because of her talkative nature and would bring danger for the village. However, he hid the pitcher under the earth in the spot. He procured a small fish and kept it in a bird's nest. He showed the fish in the nest and a hare in the net of the canal to his wife with some particular objectives. She never heard or seen anything like it before. Finally, the old man took the gold coins to his house and his talkative wife disclosed the fact and the man was arrested. The old man told the police that his wife was not in the head. When the police chief asked the woman her husband got the coins. She described how she found the fish in the nest and hare in fishing net. Police chief now believed the old man and threatened the wife not to spread the wild tales any more. In case of her doing it, she would be jailed. Thus the old man saved himself.
The Clever Farmer's Wife: A helpful wife of a poor farmer did not like his giving things to the beggars' everyday even at the cost of their starvation. She had already borrowed a lot of money from the neighbors and now they stopped giving any more. Her tricks and intelligence saved the family from being poor day by day.
Turning Cows into men:This is a story of teaching method of ancient time when schools were housed in the courtyard of a house. The teacher known as 'pundit' would beat the students if they failed to answer a question. " I have turned so many cows into men' -one day this roaring voice towards a naughty student gave a wrong meaning to a poor village woman who happened to pass the school. She wanted the pundit to turn her only cow into a man so that he would earn money for her. She became obstinate and the teacher's intelligence and plan satisfied the woman. He kept her cow and asked her to come to take it after one year. After one year when the woman came , the teacher sent her to a town magistrate who learnt the whole story from her and gave her one hundred taka. Since then, she became very happy and blessed the magistrate.
I appreciate and offer thanks to Md. Nazmul Abdal for his attempt to show the world our rich cultural heritage and teach English to the children through fun and picture.
Email: mmbillah 2000 @ ahoo.com
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