We planned a special storytelling session for our students at Hao Language Centre to encourage them to read more Chinese books, which will not only increase their exposure to Chinese, expanding their vocabulary bank, but also spark their interest for the Chinese language and culture. During this session, we introduced many traditional folklores, such as Hua Mulan, The Great Race of the 12 Zodiac Animals and the legend of The White Jade Rabbit. As many of you may know, Chinese folklores and fables tend to subtly instil morals and ethics through fun and engaging stories. On the other hand, they may hold on to traditional values that are no longer be applicable to the modern world, such as the inherent stereotypical gender roles of females and males. These serve as food for thought for our students as they practise exercising critical thinking.
Chinese mythology tends to be passed down from generation to generation either orally or through written records. There is also usually more than one version of any story. Regardless of the slight variations, much of mythology involves thrilling legends filled with magic, exotic mythological worlds, noble people and deities. They may additionally include the creation and cosmology of the universe and its inhabitants or even be an idealised legend based on a true piece of history. As a result, Chinese folklores and stories are one of a kind and are of significant cultural value to the Chinese people.
By introducing Chinese mythology to our students, we hope they learn to enjoy Chinese folklore and actively read more on their own initiative. After all, reading is one of the best ways to expand one’s vocabulary and pick up appropriate language use effectively. We left our students a list of suitable books we curated for their reading pleasure, which included titles such as Journey to the West (simplified version including Hanyu Pinyin), which is 1 of the 4 Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature, and several ‘mini stories’ adapted from Romance of the 3 Kingdoms. These books are not only wildly fascinating, but also suited to the current reading levels of our students. We really hope they will enjoy them!