Surviving and Thriving in Times of Change by Learning from the Past: Promoting the Cultural, Social and Economic Value of Ancient Myths and Tales in Modern Societies

Chair: Bernard Montoneri, National Chengchi University, Taiwan
Every civilization has its own myths, which are often symbolic battles between good and evil. Each hero goes through struggles against a personal enemy by learning specific values. The most modern examples of myths can be found in fantasy fiction. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia and Rowling’s Harry Potter include characters originating from Greco-Roman myths. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings are influenced by Viking mythology and medieval legends. Ancient myths are ever changing, they adapt to every country and to its people needs. Their influence on our societies is deep. Myths and legends were for centuries told by word of mouth. Nowadays, written tales are adapted into movies, cartoons, comics, as well as plays and songs. In Indonesia, Punakawan is a form of ancient Javanese mythology. The storytelling mode of Punakawan is not provided in scholastic education, but in the theater of performing arts known as Wayang. French and German tales, like the above mentioned myths, were also influenced by medieval legends. All these stories are constantly in evolution. In Germany, people are nowadays promoting their culture and heritage through a “German route of fairy tales”. It would be economically valuable to open such a route in France and other countries. We will therefore discuss the value in cultural tourism of stories and storytelling. For example, a castle such as Ussé (Loire Valley, France) is already marketing its connection to Perrault and Sleeping Beauty.

Presentation #1 Maintaining Tradition: Myth and Fairy Tale Themes and Motifs in Tolkien, Lewis and Rowling, Yvonne Masters, University of New England, Australia
Myths and fairy tales have a long history, often starting as part of oral tradition. Frequently these tales had the battle between good and evil as a major theme, helping to provide a values education for both children and adults. While oral tradition has fallen into neglect in many parts of the world, literature has been written based on this traditional theme and incorporating many of the motifs of earlier tales. In this presentation, three particular authors of children’s literature in the twentieth century are examined: J.R.R. Tolkien (1930s/40s), C. S. Lewis (1950s) and J.K. Rowling (1990s/2000s). ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’, the ‘Narnia’ series, and the ‘Harry Potter’ series all encompass the classic battle between good and evil, have elements of myth and fairy tale, and share the motifs of earlier tales. While there have been changes in the ways in which such stories are told, it will be demonstrated that there is an ongoing use of older themes and motifs.
Keywords: Myth, Fairy Tale, Lewis, Tolkien, Rowling, Traditional Motifs

Presentation #2 Punakawan, Javanese Mythology in Jungian Perspectives, Monty P. Satiadarma, Tarumanagara University, Indonesia
Punakawan consists of four individuals who portray a group of characters. These four individuals always follow the knight Arjuna of Pandava. Punakawan has the role to discuss, consider and reconsider Arjuna’s decision to act, and give feedback of Arjuna’s action. Arjuna, is one of the Pandava knights (Mahabharata, India 400 BC- 400 AD), and Punokawan was not stated in the original version of Mahabharata. The first appearance of Punakawan was in the Majapahit inscription (East-Javanese Hindu kingdom, circa 600 AD). Hindusim has influenced Indonesia ever since the arrival of Jayasingawarman in Java (317 AD), and the story of Punakawan (local wisdom) was integrated with Hindusim through the story of Mahabharata as a form of moral education and being transferred by the mode of story telling. In Jungian perspectives, Punakawan reflects the anima/animus and shadow of human psyche, where people experience inner conflicts yet must choose to make decision to act. Punakawan is a form of original ancient Javanese mythology that remains up to this time in Indonesia, primarily in Javanese society. The story telling mode of Punakawan is not provided in scholastic education, but in theater of performing arts known as wayang. Concerns over moral education in Indonesia has increased and the wayang performing arts is losing its popularity to public. The Jungian perspectives on Punakawan may become more acceptable to the present society to understand the moral story in wayang; while story telling is always an interesting program in school education.
Keywords: Mythology, Jungian archetypes, Punakawan

Presentation #3 Promoting Culture and Heritage through a Route of Fairy Tales, Bernard Montoneri, National Chengchi University, Taiwan (ROC)
French and German tales have been influenced by stories of the Bible, Greco-Roman myths, and medieval legends. All these stories are in constant evolution and are adapted to the language and culture of each country that produces them. This study will discuss the value in cultural tourism of stories and storytelling. In Germany, people are nowadays promoting their culture and heritage through “The German Fairy Tale Route”. It is a 600 kilometer long tourist attraction established in 1975, from Hanau to Bremen. Most places on the route are associated with the Grimm brothers’ life and their collection of tales, such as the town of Alsfeld, known for its House of Little Red Riding Hood and Sababurg Castle, referred to as the Sleeping Beauty Castle.It would be economically and culturally valuable to open such a route in France. Even though some French castles such as Ussé and Breteuil are already marketing their connection to Perrault and his stories, there is no French route of fairy tales. This study proposes therefore to open such a route and presents historical information on the life of Charles Perrault and on a number of French castles connected to his tales.
Keywords: French fairy tales, Perrault, French castles, German route of fairy tales



Author Information
Bernard Montoneri, National Chengchi University, Taiwan

Yvonne Masters, University of New England, Australia

Monty P. Satiadarma, Tarumanagara University, Indonesia

Paper Information Conference: ACE2017
Stream: Challenging & Preserving: Culture, Inter/Multiculturalism & Language

Added on Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

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