Friday, September 16, 2011

Yellow Garlands and Preeti Files

Selling Fruit and Garlands for the Diwali Festival by John Pavelka/Creative Commons
 Narad Adhikari listened to the storyteller Hari Tiwari on tape as she told "The Story of a Pumpkin," the story we selected in our Bhutanese Nepali folktale project. He read the tale interpreted into English by Nilhari Bandari which I had transcribed. Then he composed the story in Nepali script. So now we have the text of our bilingual folktale. 
In addition to that, Narad gave us two gifts. The first was pretty simple. He give us a preeti font file so we could view the Nepali script.  Still trying to figure the preeti file out on my MAC, but I will. Here's the big thing he gave us.  He added these lines to the end of the story, saying that in Bhutan parents often end a story this way, even singing it to coax a child into sleep.  They close the story by singing, "And If you listen to a story you will get a golden garland."  I googled garlands in Nepal and found the photo above. Garlands of marigolds are a traditional part of Nepali festivals. Thank you, Narad.


  1. This really touches my heart. When I taught English to the Bhutanese students in Laconia and Concord, I would go out early in the morning to my marigold gardens (I plant lots of marigolds!) and fill three plastic supermarket bags with the cut floweres, one bag for each table of students. The women immediately twined them into their beautiful long black hair and the men gathered up little bouquets to take home. I am so happy to see that the Bhutanese Nepali folktale project is nearing completion so the whole world can read Hari's wonderful "Story of a Pumpkin".

  2. Laurie,
    What a beautiful image of the women putting the marigolds in their hair. We've come a long way with many people on this book. In late summer or early fall, we are planning a folktale festival, which I write about here. As their ELL teacher you will be an honored guest.

  3. I would be so delighted to attend! And more about marigolds:

    In Bhutan and Nepal, the marigold is called 'शयपत्री'(sayapatri phul) which means hundred leafed flower, referring to its many florets per head.

    In Bhutanese Nepali culture marigold garlands are used in almost every household especially during the Tihar festival. It is always sold in the markets for daily worships and rituals.

    The Bhutanese refugees in Laconia always planted marigolds in whaever little garden space they could find by their apartments.