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Novel: World Storytelling Institute co-ordinator Eric Miller speaks about using storytelling as a means to promote tourism in Chennai on Monday. TTDC Chairman Sanwat Ram is also in the picture.
Novel: World Storytelling Institute co-ordinator Eric Miller speaks about using storytelling as a means to promote tourism in Chennai on Monday. TTDC Chairman Sanwat Ram is also in the picture.

Staff Reporter

TTDC to encourage more cultural interactions for tourists

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation will soon be promoting grandma’s tales and personal histories of ethnic communities as part of its cultural tourism initiative.

It has extended support to The World Storytelling Institute (WSI) for this, which will explore new methods of promoting cultural interactions for tourists with local communities. The effort is expected to enhance the experience of tourists and promote cultural transmission as well.

As part of this effort, the WSI is hosting a Storytelling Tourism Project that commenced on November 2 and will continue till November 15 in the city. The co-founders of the Institute, Eric Miller and Jeeva Raghunath, are leading the project along with 18 international participants who would interact with local storytellers and learn their styles. The local storytellers will be sharing their knowledge on Villupattu , Harikatha and grandma tales with this project’s participants. Artists from the fields of dance, koothu and puppetry will also be engaging with the participants to discuss how each of these art forms can be incorporated into storytelling to narrate cultural experiences to tourists.

Eric Miller said: “Storytelling is of interest not just to children but anyone who is interested in cultural exchanges. In the US, storytelling is part of a democratic movement supported by the masses as it is free of propaganda and gives people a chance to understand and appreciate other people and their culture,” he said.

TTDC Chairman Sanwat Ram, for his part, assured full support to the WSI for this project. TTDC manager N.Ravi said: “We are doing this programme to promote our local culture and tradition among tourists and popularise it.”

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