26 mei 2007 06:07
Malay digital folklore: using multimedia to educate children through storytelling
Publication Title: Information Technology in Childhood Education Annual
Author: Zainal Abidin, Mohd Izani
In the early centuries of human evolution, the information to express cultures, social contents, ideas, values, and the society itself were primarily developed by means of expression. This information was represented in the form of classical, signs, figures, traditional manuscripts and performing arts. On the other hand, it becomes less important or is even forgotten, especially by the younger generation, to understand the origin and the significance of this rich local content. Apparently, there are infrequent and minimal efforts given to bring back and preserve these local contents. Storytelling is frequently chosen to reflect way of life and thinking of the people during that era. This research selects one of the most famous groups of folklore in Malaysia namely the Malay folklore to critically understand and explore the characteristics, elements and functions. It covers seven types of the Malay folklore namely: (a) "Penglipurlara," (b) moral, (c) myths, (d) comical, (e) animal, (f) knights, and (g) adventure and mystery.
The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of storytelling based on the local contents of Malay folklore. This study will look at current attempt to represent old contents with the present medium of visualisation based on multimedia capabilities and technologies such as three-dimensional (3D), interactivity, nonlinearity, Internet and web education contents. According to Boston (1997), access the to the World Wide Web (WWW or Web) is a victory for educational opportunity equity for groups who are disadvantaged to achieve the goal of equal outcomes. A few selected students` works will be introduced as a result from this study. It will also revise the structure of storytelling in the first form of literature, especially on the social aspects of the Malay society. Animation has its strength to create an effective learning environment. This research will demonstrate animation as one of the medium to represent local contents. Wetzel, Radtke, and Stern (1994) explained, a variety of characteristics are used to make animations uniquely effective for instruction. It highlights the structure, procedure and narrative elements as the foundation to understand and represent old literature styles using multimedia technology. It is hoped that this framework will provide a guide for better multimedia development of local folklore and the development for digital content creation. The authors also believe that presenting material in an interactive manner is an effective technique for making learning and education process more memorable.
Records of the traditional Malay literature refer to the Indian and Islamic culture. It began with Prelndian era, which used verbal form as its medium and mainly in Sanskrit as well as old Malay language. The Indians then developed this verbal form into prose and poetry representations. The transition became more prominent when Indian literature is combined with the Islamic`s verbal and written form known as lingua franca (the current Malay language). Some of the Indian (Hindu) epic representations are extensively used today in theatrical performances such as Mahabarata and Ramayana. The prominent features are shown in two types of plays namely noble and commoner. The former is being developed and represented in written form telling stories of the palace society (king, deputies, ministers, and aristocrats). The latter, on the other hand, tells the stories of villagers` activities (i.e. the "marhaen") that are widely expressed by common people.
Categories Of Malay Folklore
The Malay folklore can be categorised in three different forms. They are myths which consist of etiological and explanatory forms, legends, which is more a supernatural belief and "Penglipurlara" story which covers moral, beast, and comical stories where they happened in any world and at any time (Table 1).
Based on the case studies summarised in Table 1, the authors outline several important features of Malay folklore:
- The literature is represented in a simple manner (analogies, symbolism, rhymes, idioms, and proverbs) and often relates to local content (i.e., past, present, and future).
- The commoners` literature is known to be the oldest form of representation (i.e., exists in all ethnic groups) in which is has no definite structure of writing (in prompt to).
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