عنوان مقاله [English]
The intellectual foundations and personality of people are shaped by their upbringing and education during childhood and adolescence. If a person’s cognitive abilities are properly introduced to the concepts of exploration, discovery, and learning during childhood, it will manifest in their intellectual growth and maturity in the future. “Storytelling” has long been welcomed as a suitable tool to convey the philosophical and fundamental concepts of life to the pure and untainted minds of children. Folk stories or native-local legends that are generally passed down orally from parents to children imply the awareness of our ancestors about the effectiveness of storytelling tools. Folk stories accompanied by performances, making dolls, and poetry reading to increase the appeal of stories play an undeniable role in better conveying concepts to children. Also, these stories increase the intimacy between parents and children.
This research studies the folk story “Geishe”, which has been stated for many years by the residents of Abkenar village (in Gilan province) for children. In this tale, a girl has to cross a wetland with a boat to reach her lover’s (or husband’s) village for her wedding celebration. While passing through the wetland, the weather changes and a storm causes the girl and her companions to drown. After the death of the girl, the residents of Abkenar village called the wetland «Siah Geishe». In the local language, Geishe means the bride, and Siah means black. The women of the village would then recount this event to their children every year in the form of a story. In this manner, the intangible cultural heritage has been preserved for numerous years. At the end of the story, they make dolls with black and white faces (a symbol of sadness and happiness in life) and give them as gifts to their children. A doll as a gift makes this sad story bearable for children. So they can think carefully about the concepts of life and death hidden in this story.
The purpose of this research is to preserve the intangible cultural heritage and answer the following questions: (1) What is the main reason for telling the story of Gisheh to children in Abkenar village? (2) What is the permanence secret of this story with an age of more than 200 years? The research has been conducted using a comparative method between the elements of this native story with existential concerns in the existential psychotherapy school. The story’s narration method was obtained through face-to-face interviews with the elders of Abkenar village.
In addition, this research evaluates the concepts hidden (human desires, the meaning of life, and moral values) in the story of Geishe. At first, the concerns in the story, such as the death of Geishe, interpersonal loneliness, responsibility against Geishe’s death, and folk emptiness have been identified. These concerns are then compared with four existential concerns (death, existential loneliness, freedom, and the meaning of life) in existential philosophy. The results show that these concerns have been included in this story directly and indirectly. Finally, a comparative evaluation has been done between the approaches proposed by the famous psychotherapist of existentialist psychology, Irvin Yalom, and the approaches chosen by the residents of Abkenar village. The most important approaches of village residents against this event are (i) Positive rippling, (ii) Repression and Symbolization, (iii) Collective mourning, and (iv) Endurance and patience. It was found that Geishe’s folk story has offered valuable approaches to confront humans with existential concerns in the universe. These approaches are according to the approaches proposed by Irvin Yalom, which imply the knowledge and awareness of our ancestors about human existence.