Minority peoples often feel that their culture is disposable and insignificant, when the majority population controls the history and narrative of the region, and does not incorporate the stories and languages of those in the minority. Our Golden Hour is working with communities to preserve ancient cultures and traditions, helping communities value their identity and support their voice as they engage in the regional society.
Oral History Project
Our Golden Hour has traveled extensively throughout the Chittagong Hill Tracts, collecting stories from elders. We asked school children in the Hill Tracts to speak with the village elders to learn their stories. The children work with their elders, practice retelling the stories, then bring the stories to school so the stories can be shared and recorded.
Having children listen to and practice story telling with elders helps to bridge generational divides, and helps children connect deeply with their own culture. Our oral history preservation project helps to preserve the culture of the indigenous communities, and engender pride in their language and traditions. With more than 70 stories and hundreds of proverbs recorded so far, the nonprofit is helping preserve the wisdom of the indigenous peoples and their languages.
Our Golden Hour is translating this collection of stories into native languages, English and many other languages as well. These stories are being illustrated and used in schools throughout the region, bringing a recorded oral tradition out of libraries and academic institutions and into classrooms.
We have published three children’s books so far: The Leaf from Heaven, The Gift of Water, and Princess Monori. Three titles are nearing publication: The Voice of the Trees: An Anthology, The Crocodile and the Fox, and The Legend of Dragon Lake. All titles except for the English-only anthology are published in both the native language and in English. The books are distributed to schools and to children. We will also be making e-books available.
These books are available through the shop. Each book sold sponsors a book for one child in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, and support local schools that teach using the children’s native language. Currently, Our Golden Hour supports three such schools, serving about 750 total students. Often, these are the only books written for children and may well be the first book the children ever have in the native language. The illustrations engage the children and encourage a love of reading.