Asian nations have a rich cultural and literary tradition, through these; we can see the common features that bind these nations. This commonality can be said as the Pan-Asian identity. Folklore, as being mirrored in folk literature, is a rich source of a community's cultural values. Jansen notes that the other significance of folklore is that it provides a group's image of itself and images of other groups (Dundes, 1965). In the era of globalization, folklore serves its function in literary and cultural realm.
This study focuses on the cross-cultural intersections of Southeast Asian nations' folk literature in terms of names and descriptions of supernatural beings, their functions in the society and the mirrored Asian culture and values system. The study will examine the commonality of terms and description of supernatural beings found in the (narratives of) folk literature (myths, legends, folktales and epics) of six nations (Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand). The countries stated above will be collectively called as Pan-Asia in this paper. The study will also explore the discourse on roles of these supernatural beings in each community and in the bigger Pan-Asian community.
This research will also construct the Pan-Asian identity based from the commonalities of the supernatural beings found in the folk literature of the aforementioned countries. This identity will expose-- the interconnectedness of these nations even way before the varied colonial and cultural experiences. As an end result, this research intends to prove strong historical and cultural ties among its nations to strengthen the cultural and economic development.
Dundes, Alan, ed. The Study of Folklore. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. 1965
Ronel Laranjo, South Korea University, South Korea
Stream: Asian Studies
This paper is part of the ACAS2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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