Something called my attention while watching the news during last week, as they were reporting on the observance of some International Days. These are days designated by the United Nations in order to promote awareness and action on special topics such as International Day of happiness 20 March; International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, International Day of Forest, World Poetry Day and World Down Syndrome Day on 21 March; and World Water Day on 22 March.

However, I have chosen to observe World Storytelling day on 20 March as a way to pay tribute to my grandmother who was always ready to regale us with a tale if we asked her. She would recite poems or folk tales as well as relate events set in my little village that had reached the status of legends.

I have good memories of those moments when I listened to her and ended up learning those stories by heart. The same scene would repeat itself years later, but this time the protagonists were my sons and me. Very rarely did I recite poems to them. On the contrary, I used to pick up some illustrated book from the shelves and read it aloud till they fell asleep. And like every small children, they enjoyed listening to the same narration again and again.

I would tell fantastic, amazing, epic or moral tales with my hoarse voice which, according to my students, is perfect to gently go to the land of dreams. Sometimes I have dreamt of being a storyteller capable of arousing emotions and leading my audience into a magical world, by letting my imagination run wild. Nowadays this would be easier because, as reported in the news, there are courses to learn how to become a storyteller.

Did you have a grandmother who told you fairy or folk tales, keeping alive oral tradition? Or, do you like regaling friends with magical, funny, witty or even hair-raising stories?

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