(Last Updated on : 09/09/2009)
Indian folktales primarily spell out morals to their listeners. An interesting aspect of the Indian folktales is that these are an important part of the oral literature in India. Almost in every household children grow up listening to native folklores and folktales. While most of the Indian folktales revolve around rural set ups, some of these tales are based on religion. Although the Indian folktales are more a part of the country`s culture but their literary significance cannot be denied.
The diversity in India is reflected in the folktales as well. The numerous states of India take pride in their own set of tales and legends. For instance the Punjabi folktales deal with friendship, sharing and about being good human beings. The Bihari Folktales, Bengali Folktales and others follow similar patterns. One important aspect of the Indian folktales is that these deal with common people. In fact the names used in the tales are quite widespread. During ancient ages such Indian tales followed the oral tradition. However, with time the writing traditions developed and then these were compiled into several books. The late compilations of the Indian folktales are one of the reasons why the author`s names are not mentioned.
While some of the Indian folktales dealt with the common folks, Gujarati folktales, Rajasthani folktales, etc narrate tales of courage shown by ordinary women and even women. Tales of justice, common sense, wit, greed and matters pertaining to the social structure form the subject matter of Meghalaya Folktales, Andhra Pradesh folktales, Tamil Nadu folktales, Sikkimese folktales, Himachal Pradesh folktales, Delhi folktales, Uttar Pradesh folktales, Kerala folktales, Madhya Pradesh folktales, Oriya folktales, Haryana folktales and others. In fact in ancient India telling tales was one of the most popular ways of spreading awareness amongst the commoners. Time and again, even the Indian religious gurus, such as, Gautama Buddha, Mahavira, Sai Baba and others have adopted this method to bring enlightenment.
India has been always been subjected to invasions. An amalgamation of different cultures has also led to a myriad of Indian folktales. While discussing about such tales one cannot possible forget the witty tales revolving around Akbar and Birbal. Some of the Indian folktales are also borrowed from Hindu myths. But the beauty and charm of the Indian folktales lie in their variety. The gargantuan treasure house of Indian folktales consists of tales pertaining to all religions and regions.