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Scholar lays emphasis on need to preserve oral traditions

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  3 April 2016 12:00 AM GMT

FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT

ITAGAR, April 2: Noted scholar and Professor of University of Missouri, John Max Zemke has stressed on the importance of preserving oral traditions terming it a means of social bonding, genealogy, religious history and doctrines. He was speaking during the valedictory function of a three-day long program organized by the department of history, Rajiv Gandhi University, which was attended by many students and faculty members at the University on Friday. Citing examples of oral traditions found in many societies like the Tibetans and Mendes of Sierra Leone, Professor Zemke said that oral traditions are a process which could be improvised over and over again.

While speaking on the vast topic of oral traditions, including the western outlook, different kinds of oral traditions and its significance in modern society, he outlined the inter-relationship between oral traditions and literature and stated that they go hand in hand and refuted western misnomer that oral traditions are primitive while scripts are modern.

“Culture is a control mechanism that is an outcome of past experiences that shapes our future”, he claimed.

Professor Zemke also delve into the finer aspects of language and the overreaching influence of societal influence, stating that our understanding of oral literature is often restricted by social indoctrition of language.

He nullified beliefs that oral traditions are part of everyday speech, claiming that they are always a performance and not just simple utterances of words or sounds, informed a press release here today.


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