This book, perhaps the first of its kind, carries 27 folktales from the 11 Southeast Asian countries and Korea and is an outcome of the collaboration of APCEIU, SEAMEO Secretariat, SEAMEO SPAFA, and SEAMEO INNOTECH. This Teachers Guide is part of our organizations’ common goal to widen and deepen understanding among children of different cultural backgrounds.
This book of folktales is a celebration of one of the most fundamental elements of society and enduring legacies of our culture. With a wealth of folktales in Southeast Asia and Korea, these traditional narratives need to have a more prominent role in classrooms. We hope that these folktales would be transmitted to the next generation and will be continued to be retold by them.
We recognize the power of folktales in educating children. Story-telling is no doubt one of the most effective ways to teach young people about the world. Is it not true that we might have forgotten many of our lessons in school but we can still recall the stories our parents and teachers told us?
We remember stories because they speak not only to our head, but most
importantly they touch our soul and heart. Stories can delight and mesmerize; they inspire children to think creatively and discover themselves and the rest of humanity. Through use in classrooms, stories also support the development of children’s literacy as well as create the spark for their love for literature.
Moreover, folktales embody the age-old values of our society, such as love, compassion, and justice, which children should learn early on in the classroom. After all, one of the recognized pillars of education is “learning to live together.”
These folktales are envisioned to promote better awareness among schoolchildren of the similarities, differences, and inter-dependence of the Asian community. Through this collection of folktales from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam, it is hoped the book would open the minds of children to the diversity of the people in the region.