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Oral History And Local Folklore

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Local folklore is preciously a specific kind of social system which existed before we knew about it, it is a way a community believes and pass the stories from generation to generation. Oral history is a method of conducting historical research through recorded interviews between the narrator with personal experience of historically significant events and a well-informed interviewer, with the goal of adding to the historical record. Which means oral history cannot be done just asking to the older people based on what they believe.

I think oral history is sharing of past information, which is passed on from generation to generation. It is the primary source for the researchers because most of this is not in the written form, and only those who have experienced the event or was present during the event. It’s a way of collecting information through interview and a vocal expression as it is shared through speech, not by written, but later its being written down by historian and researchers. It’s a method or a technique of doing research where writer’s analysis and interpretation is being mentioned. It is also a result of once own investigation of a particular subject and sometimes it can be false or just believes of the interviewee therefore it is important for the researcher to compare it with other information.

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The oral history focuses more on recording and collecting the personal experience of his or her presence when that event happened, which means the researcher is focusing on the one who is sharing the information or the interviewee experience. In folklore the folklorist focuses more on the traditional stories that group of people or the community knows such as ‘A folktales of Bhutan’ by Aum Kunzang Choden where it could be about their traditional songs and believes which could be true or false.

Oral historian would most likely interview husband and wife separately because the historian wants to more about each particular experience and their views individually. They do this so that the historian can identify or compare between them can come up with his or her interpretation as well, for example ‘the oral history of Woman’ can be written down because it will only focus on women not about man or child. In folklore, they would interview the couple together to observe the interplay which means the folklorist do interviews or record the conversation by keeping both the interviewee together. They interview keeping the interviewee together so that one can start the sharing information or story were as the other can end it or finish it, as folklorist focuses more on the story.

The folklorist Barbara Allen examined that the historians mostly seek for “raw data” from which they can extract the right information and can extend the information further base on what they have been looking for or they have been doing the research for. For example, the survey of population in Bhutan of the year 2015 because through that data the researcher can elaborate more interpretation. Meanwhile the folklorist focuses more on the way people share the information based on what they have heard from the communities, them believes or it can be from their generations. If there is no raw data, it is acceptable until and unless the researcher have recorded a voice or video with some information.

In oral history the historian value their piece of evidence or the raw data, is most important where they document the event or film it as well and this information is being preserved, example documenting the ‘the war of 2003 in Bhutan’ because it shows how important is the event. The folklorists do research and interview, but they do not confirm or do not compare the information with other evidence to see whether it is fact or not. Therefore folklore of a particular event has many versions based on different communities.

The folklorist is concerned with the manner of telling a story” which mean the researcher of folklore concentrate more on how a person is sharing a story with less concern on the evidence. The oral historians stick to a proper evidence or in the form of data where they can get further information such as “projects on a range of community, racial, ethnic and immigration issues.


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