16 April 2019

Malawi: National Library Services Celebrates World Story-Telling Day in Style

Ministry of Culture, Civic Education and Community Development has hailed National library services (NLS) for conducting a colorful world storytelling commemoration event last Friday aimed at appreciating the art of story-telling.

NLS in the promotion of the oral tradition of storytelling

Storytelling event

A school learner in storytelling

It is an annual event conducted to commemorate the Story-telling culture which consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairytales and customs that are traditions of the people of Malawi and abroad.

Held at National Library offices in Lilongwe the event was conducted under the theme 'Myths, Legends, and Epics.'

Speaking during the event, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Civic Education and Community Development Ivy Luhanga said they always appreciate the effort by NLS in preserving culture and maintaining moral values.

"Through culture we are governed by norms and customs, which are the pillars of any society. If these pillars are not properly followed in our society, our culture will resemble a perfume with no smell," she said.

Luhanga said preserving culture through various activities including Malawian stories and folksongs depict real cultural beliefs and values things that are of great importance.

"Every year thousands of visitors from all over the world come to this country to witness the beautiful culture, history and other amazing natural phenomena, which we are blessed with and cherish. Our general hospitality as Malawians is also defined by food, songs, tales, dances, costumes just to mention a few that are unique to our culture," she added.

National Library Services Chief executive Officer Gray Nyali said the event was of great importance saying as national library apart from dealing with books and genres, they also deal with tangible and intangible cultural heritage that many people appreciated during the event.

Nyali said they have also collected folk tales from all districts in Malawi in different languages for preservation and every Saturday story telling sessions are also held at the NLS Headquarters as part of teaching cultural values to the youth.

"Storytelling sessions that we conduct here will soon be rolled out to Southern and Northern Regions so that northerners and Southerners can also appreciate the Art," he said.

World Storytelling Day is a global cerebration of the art of oral Story telling .It is celebrated every year on March equinox, On World Storytelling Day, as many people as possible tell and listen to stories in different styles, languages and at as many places as possible. Participants tell each other about their events in order to share stories and inspiration, and to learn from one another.

According to Nyali the event was made possible with support from Rei Foundation, Malawi National Commission for UNESCO, Story Club, Lilongwe Dairy 2001, Velalungi Art, Music Crossroads Malawi, Bololo Drama Group, Little Feet Private School and Khwiya Art.

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