Jeeva Raghunath, the pioneer of Storytelling in India and most beloved storyteller across Asia is going to perform solo at Alvin the Storyteller’s maiden Tamil Storytelling for children. This event is scheduled for June 21 from 4p.m. to 5p.m Indian Standard Time. Ahead of this wonderful storytelling event, we caught up with the Master Storyteller on what it takes to be a leading storyteller and her thoughts on the ancient language Tamil.

1. You are one of the pioneers of storytelling revival in India. You have over 20 years of experience in storytelling. How was storytelling as a profession when you started?

You will be surprised if you hear this, I never knew there was a profession as Storyteller.  I discovered it only when people addressed me as a storyteller when I told the story of Cathy Spagnoli’s Priya’s Day during its launch. I am happy to say that I translated it into Tamil in 1998.

When I started, it was hard to explain what storytelling was. When asked what is storytelling I just replied “ Telling stories!” That incidentally made me a pioneer in taking storytelling at a professional level.

Jeeva’s key strength is her usage of voice which makes her the darling of everyone.
2. You have traveled across the globe telling stories. What is the key difference between storytelling in India and in other countries especially the West?

The tribe has grown immensely and we are now respected as any other artist. There is no comparison between the east and west, it’s just that culturally east is more animated than the west where they are subtle. Either way, all are brilliant. Since the east I presume has an older history we are strong traditionally.

Jeeva is well known for her ability to bring alive characters through her vivid character descriptions.

3. As an international storyteller, you were never hesitant to use Tamil folk songs, chants, and stories in places where audiences never understood the language. How normally is the reaction of the audience?

They love it. It isn’t easy but the impact the music creates in the hearts of people is huge, which is hugely due to our culture.

‘Magical’ is the one word that will resonate with everyone after witnessing her performance.

4. What according to you defines the beauty of the Tamil Language? Why is Storytelling in Tamil a dear project to you?

It is my mother tongue and I’m most comfortable using it. My mother tongue is my identity. To reach out to millions of Tamil diaspora gives immense satisfaction. You can best communicate in your mother tongue.

Her great love for storytelling made her create ‘Under the Aalamaram’ which made Indian audiences interact with storytellers from across the globe.

5. What can we expect in Alvin the Storyteller’s first Tamil Storytelling session for audience across the globe?

Bonding!!! End of the day we are the children of Tamizh Thai! Mother Tamizh ( loosely translates) it is like the umbilical connection!

6. What will be the one advice that you would like to give to young storytellers?

Tell, tell, tell…. never stop telling…….
She can even transport listeners to an alter-world.

Jeeva Raghunath’s Tamil Storytelling program is an online event for children above 4 years. The event is scheduled for June 21 from 4pm to 5pm IST. You can register for the event using the link here:

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