Stories Knit Us Together

Storytelling and NarrativeGlobal Beat

Believe it or not, nearly every Indian has grown up hearing fascinating stories of courage, love, loyalty, ethics, sacrifice and similar themes from their grandparents. The stories could be about mythology, personal incidents, or something out of the Panchatantra.

India has 29 states, and each is so diverse that they could actually be considered as stand-alone country. I think a lot of what unites us as a country is storytelling. Each of us can often relate to one other based on stories, and we’re great at retelling them — something which we’ve been doing for several generations. In fact, many stories have been passed on from generation to generation through the oral tradition without having any written documentation.

Storytelling is a part of legacies and heritage. It originates from something very close or dominant in the storyteller's life. For example, many tales from the state of West Bengal in India are about the surrounding Bay of Bengal, while those in Maharashtra are about warriors defending the state’s riches during the Mogul invasion.

That’s why hearing stories today, we can connect to common ideas developed centuries ago. Not just that, we are even able to develop the skill of storytelling and draw from these stories to emphasise and highlight relevant ideas when we’re sharing about a current situation.

Christina Baldwin said, “Words are how we think; stories are how we link.” Fascinatingly, stories connect us across time, land, and culture!

Samarth Jajoo is a tenth grader at Riverside School in Ahmedabad, India. He enjoys making things; he has made many web apps and is now working on some hardware projects, too. More at