Prisca Murwira in Dubai
Expo 2020 Dubai caters for everyone regardless of creed, race, ethnic group, gender or age. This is envisaged by the anthology of folktales for young children form the age of five to twelve, titled Children’s Tales from Around the World.
Zimbabwe’s most popular and most recited classic folktale that has fascinated many children generations, The Hare and the Baboon (Tsuro na Gudo) is featured in the collection. Expo organisers recently handed over the five editions of various folktales from around the world to the Zimbabwe Pavilion Commissioner General Ambassador Mary Mubi.
The Baboon and the Hare was illustrated by Zimbabwe’s very own Kuda Makurumure of Cranium Creative Laboratories and was made possible through the Zimbabwe Pavilion Commissioner Generals’ office and it is featured in the 4th edition.
The English language book is one of a kind of collection with meaningful and entertaining tales that unites children across continents in a shared experience of reading and cultural exploration. Through reading the folktales and stories, children will recognise common values, gain appreciation of their own heritage and those of others in addition to developing a culture of reading. The Children will get to enjoy and appreciate folktales and stories of
Zimbabwe, Kenya, Namibia, Ghana, Tonga, Italy, Germany, Iran and many more.
The Folktales from around the world initiative is part of the Expo 2020 Dubai programming aimed at connecting different countries through the art of storytelling. Expo 2020 which is currently underway is running under the theme: “Connecting minds, creating the future”. The theme dovetails with Expo 2020 Dubai’s Children’s Tales from Around the World which brings together over 60 traditional tales from participating countries from the six continents that contributed to the anthology. The unique collection from participating countries is reflective of how diverse the global village is which enables young readers to be immensely captivated in a landscape of storytelling culture.
The Expo organisers believe that the theme of Connecting minds and Creating the future is articulated through traditional folktale despite originating from different countries yet they have cross cutting values and lessons.
Children’s Tales from Around the World is designed to cater for readers aged between 5 and 12 years old in order to spark the children’s imaginations and help discover what uniquely make us different from all corners of the world.
Folktale invoke creativity in children’s mind and instill values of morality in turn building good character. Folktale has been passed down through generations and time.
The anthology was contributed by a range of contributors ranging from school children, professional artists and story tellers as Expo celebrate diversity and inclusion reflective of Expo’s commitment of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. The book also features phrases and languages from over 50 languages of Expo’s contributing participants.
The Zimbabwe Pavilion which is exhibiting under the theme: Zimbabwe the Land of Great Opportunities is also an all-rounder as it caters for children as well who can be mesmerised in colouring and playing with dolls in a children’s corner which was created specifically for the little ones as their parents go about being captivated by the exhibition.
Expo 2020 which opened its doors to the public on 1 October 2021 is currently underway and Zimbabwe is among the 192 countries showcasing under the auspices of World Expos. Expo 2020 Dubai mark Zimbabwe’s sixth participation at World Expos having previously showcased at Expo 2000 Hanover, Expo 2005 Aichi, Expo 2010 Shanghai, Expo 2015 Milano and Expo 2016 Antalya. This is the first time that the country is participating as full Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) member.
Following the emergence of a new Covid-19 variant, Zimbabwe was one of the first seven countries to be restricted into the United Arab Emirates.
However, this did not deter or dampen the mood of the Zimbabwe Pavilion team as they had to amplify the Pavilion’s visibility through online and social media platforms.
To some extent it affected the flow of events as some of the events which were supposed to be hosted mid-December had to be moved to end of December in the hope that by then the ban would have been lifted to allow key stakeholders to travel to Dubai for respective events in the various sectors in efforts to increase visits, trade and attract investment into the country.
The digital adventurous stories and folktales collection is downloadable on Expo School Programme website shared below and Apple books. https://schools.expo2020dubai.com/en/initiatives-for-schools/childrens-tales-from-around-the-world
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