Tales and traditional customs of the world

Arab tales: Stories of Nasrudin

The right to eat

On one occasion Nasrudin was becoming so popular, which was invited to dine at the most elegant Palace of the city. Nasrudin came dressed in their clothes, which were old and poor. Arriving at the gates of the Palace even though he protested guards did not let him enter taking him for a beggar.
Very angry, but with the desire to eat well, borrowed from his neighborhood tailor a shirt and some new pants. After washed, I comb and perfumed and dressed in new clothes. This time the guards made large bow arriving and the owner of the Palace as soon as he saw him get settled in one of the places of honor.
When started to get food, Nasrudin before eating, wet the sleeves of his shirt on each plate, while saying:-eats, nice, eat this very rich, go eat... The owner of the Palace was very surprised and eventually ask: but Nasrudin, because put the sleeves of the shirt in your dish? Since the attention that I receive and the food that you give me has to do with my clothes and not my person, I think that it is fair that my clothes can also receive their part and try the food.

Nasrudin and the wise

Nasrudin once who was working as a ferryman, he carried in his boat to a Grammarian.
In the middle of the journey, the Grammarian, I ask to Nasrudin.
-Do you know grammar? -I have no idea of grammar said Nasrudin the Grammarian said then with scorn - because if you don't know grammar, let me tell you that has lost you half your life.
A little later, rises a great tempest, which makes the boat sinking. Just before the wreck, Nasrudin asks his passenger.
-Mathematical Lord, - do you know swimming? Answer - no! - the latter terrified - as well, let me tell you that if you can't swim, you've lost your whole life!

Nasrudin fell off a ladder

Nasrudin fell off a ladder and much damage was done. Although the poultices and potions and the care of her mother, the pain made him suffer terribly. His friends were to console him:-could have been much worse!-one said.
-After all, not you have broken you nothing - said another.
-Soon you repondrás - you said a third.
Nasrudin that was taking great pains, began to give big shouts while saying:-come all out of here would give up this room in the Act.! Mother, don't go to anyone except that ever has fallen from a ladder.

The glass of milk

Nasrudin is directed to the dairy with a glass and says:-get a liter of milk cow in this Cup! - But if no room for a liter of milk from the cow! exclaimed the dumbfounded milkman.
-Well, in that case, I'll take one liter of sheep's milk!

Tales of Japan

Bean seeds


Japan is an archipelago formed approximately 1,800 Islands. Its surface varies from year to year, since there are islands that are easily eroded and others that appear due to volcanic eruptions. The surface of the archipelago they live nearly 128 million people, three times more than in Spain. Japanese children favorite subject is mathematics.
Long ago, the kunis (1) Japanese were in war and were just young people throughout the Empire. For this reason, when Yuko, the daughter of the Daimio (2) most powerful of all Japan, a woman made, his father sent sides to all young people of the Empire that arose before him and knew its beauty. The day when the cherry trees were in flower, the Daimio gave a beautiful party and all young people who wanted to marry Yuko came to his palace. They came from all regions and stayed silent to see the girl, since it was the most beautiful land. Sakura party (3) also went Minannoko, an orphan boy and shy that his entire village had raised since he was born. As soon as he saw it, Minnanoko fell in love with her. All hoped to win the hand of Yuko, that listened carefully the words of his father: "my daughter will need the care of a noble heart. So I will give to each a seed of bean to planted in a pot.
Within a year, you acudiréis back to Palace so we can see how you care it and how much he has grown".
All young people took their seed and left. And so also Minannoko did.
Arriving at his house he planted it carefully and daily watering it, put it on the Sun and even sang him songs. However, the heart of Minannoko was every day more sad, because the seed is not germinaba. He spent a year and a day they returned to cherry blossom, a village elder found Minannoko sitting on the banks of the River, with the empty pot between the hands. "It is not time to get on the road to Palace?", he asked. "I am not going to go, said Minannoko, because I have not been able to grow the beans which gave me the Daimio. And it gives me great shame." The woman replied: "you have care of the plant and you have much concerned about it. If an empty pot is all you've got, you should go there without shame".
And Minannoko got underway, even if it was only to see once more to Yuko.
When he arrived, there were thousands of young people in the gardens of the Palace. And all were carrying large pots with larger and more green beans that Minannoko had seen in his life. When came time to spend before the Princess, he showed his empty pot and dropped his eyes full of sadness. Just the last boy was shown to Yuko its pot, the Daimio requested silence and began to speak.
"Only one of you deserves to marry my daughter, and that is Minannoko." Everyone else began to protest and shout that it was unfair, while Minannoko not left his astonishment.
For this reason, the Daimio again took the floor and said: "it is right that it be he who marries Yoko, because everyone I gave a seed sterile that no plant has been able to grow.
Minannoko is the only one that has not tried to deceive me." That said, he gave the hand of his daughter to the young orphan and happy lived together the rest of their lives.


(1) Kuni: Each one of the strongholds that divided the rule of the Japan during the middle ages
(2) daimio: Feudal Lord who was King in each Kuni times
(3) Sakura: Traditional festival of Japan which takes place the first day of the cherry trees bloom and consists of all families to come out to the field and eat under a cherry tree in flower to celebrate the arrival of spring.


The Kamisibai is a form of storytelling that Japanese troubadours used once and that in the 17TH century was extended throughout the archipelago. It was especially dedicated to children. It is similar to tales of chalk, but resolves in an original way the effort learn the tales of memory.
Consists of a double wooden frame in which are placed are scrolls with drawings of bright colors that illustrate the story.
Each vignette, has on its back the text that explains the illustration, so that the public sees the drawing while the Narrator interprets or dramatizes its content, reading its reverse. Double wooden frame is welded on three sides, leaving one free to insert and remove the bullets. The trick lies in their placement:
1 bullet carries on its back side the text of the cartoon 6
Bullet 2 carries on its back side the text of the cartoon 1
Bullet 3 carries on its back side the text of bullet 2
4 bullet carries on its back face 3 bullet text
Bullet 5 carries on its back side the text of the cartoon 4
Bullet 6 carries on its back side the text of the cartoon 5
Way out every time which is in last place and putting it first on the framework, is gives continuity to history.
The guardian could be in charge of manufacture the double DIN A3 size frame to serve it to the whole class. Each child could apply for at home, their parents or grandparents a simple story of oral tradition from its place of origin and make 6 simple drawings that illustrate it, size DIN A3, at the time who would write back the content of the tale that explains each vignette. Once a week, a child would have the opportunity to dramatize or read the tale compiled with the help of his family, contributing to disseminate the oral tradition of his country in a fun way as did the Japanese jugglers.
In the end, could reunite all work on a large illustrated volume that is called "Cuentos de mi tierra".


Ikebana is the art of arranging bouquets and cut in a container. For the Japanese it is an art and a tradition that serves to create beauty and is in close relationship with nature. Ikebana pays attention to the harmony of the shapes, colors and the inclination of the branches or stems. For the Japanese, the outcome as the placement process, is so important because it underlies the intent of doing things well and harmoniously and served to perfection of oneself. The official religion in Japan is Shinto and in all the temples there are trees and fountains. They tend to be located in beautiful natural surroundings.
All the qualities of a noble heart are worthy of the love of the Princess. Each child must think of a virtue that has and a virtue that you would like to cultivate. The teacher could devote a class to generate a debate about different qualities and help you choose one that characterizes him (helping to create a climate of reconciliation with one's self and self-esteem). In addition, each child would reflect on other qualities that others can have and that they lack. Once chosen by each child two qualities (which owns and which you would like to grow) them would be invited to bring a flower and a branch or stalk (which the child related to the two chosen qualities) to deposit them in a circular of sufficient diameter container so that all fit.
When all children have brought flowers or branches, it would start the Ikebana. The process would take place in two rounds: a first round, by turns, to place flowers and branches in one place and another for recolocarlas and order them harmoniously as a whole. This care of the qualities that each one possesses and can get not only becomes conscious, but it contributes to the creation of a harmonious collective result.
Source: Japanese oral tradition.

Story of Mexico


Mexico is a country located in the North of the American continent which makes border with the United States on one side and with Guatemala on the other. Mexico has an area four times larger than Spain, where 100 million inhabitants live. Account with 32 States (what in Spain we call provinces) their cities more important are the capital, known as Mexico City (distrito federal) with 20 million inhabitants (5 times more than Madrid), Monterey in the North and Guadalajara for the Center. They say that the people of Mexico is warm, friendly and gentle and that their girls and boys are very vivid and restless.

Stone Soup

They say that there was once a Walker who traveled across the country from Mexico because I wanted to explore it whole, from North to South and from East to West. When I needed to eat, I was looking for work and money getting it could feed several days. Sleeping I had no problems, because I used to do it under a tree protected by a blanket. But once things were wrong and it failed to work, so it had been several days without eating and a thousand demons hungry. It was embarrassed go begging for food to the people, but it already had so much hunger, who began to think of a way to get food.
He came to a town square, where were playing some chamaquitas * and a few guys and then Walker began with his plan.
His backpack he drew a pan and a long wooden spoon. It filled the pot with water from the fountain. He made fire with twigs and settled over the Pan waiting for it to begin to boil water. And when the water began to boil, the soldier threw some stones in the water.
The affair, surprised the children so they ended up approaching with curiosity and ask.
-Lord could you tell us what this making? And the soldier said:-I am doing a very rich soup of stones.
The children were very amazed and decided to stay while preparing the soup.
Walker told them:-you will leave a rich soup, but there would still be more rich if I had a few tomatoes *, some onions and a few carrots, but... Then, a chamaquita got up to say: - my parents have a vegetable garden, I will bring the vegetables - back Walker with a smile, and soon after departed the vegetables and threw them into the soup. Had a time Walker she tasted the soup and said:-thing is improving, but it would still improve more if we could be glad this soup with a little mole *, a pizquitas of salt and a circulatory herbs smell * the chamaquitas and kids looked at each other and sharing task, came out like bullets and returned in just five minutes with the mole salt and herbs. Carefully, Walker it threw everything into the soup and stirred and stirred with his spoon.
After a while returned to try the soup to say:-Uhmm, this is almost ready, but I have to tell you one thing. We are not making authentic stone soup, Stone Soup always needs a piece of sausage, a tip of pork Bacon * and a good piece of beef *.
-I'll - then one of the guys - said. My father is a butcher and... THE boy takes not to return with the chorizo, bacon, and a nice piece of beef. And Walker drove them to the Pan, stirred with his spoon, I leave to spend a few minutes, it proved it with his spoon and while it withdrew the soup of the fire said:-Ijole *. This is already ready. I think it is the soup of stones more rica I've ever eaten, and all thanks to your help.
Walker gave to try all the chamaquitas and kids and loved all. After the soup he ate slowly and after the kids and girls saw that there were only stones in a pot.
One of them asked the soldier:-but, and the stones?
The soldier stood up smiling and without saying anything. Carefully washed the Pan, spoon and stones and bringing together the chamaquitas and kids told them:-for helping me, I want to give my casserole, my spoon and these stones, so you and you can make another soup of stones when you want. And after embracing one by one to all the guys and chamaquitas were dismissed from them to continue your journey through all Mexico.

Tale of Somalia

Why is the sky so far?

They have in the beginning of time, the sky was so close to the Earth that people had no more than raising your hand to touch him. People lived very happy because also the sky protects humans and animals from the cold wind and the heat of the Sun.
But one day, two women who wanted to prepare the meal began to grind grain with a baton long in a large stone mortar. The poles were so long that they often beat the sky, boring him and causing him great pain. The angry sky protested to women:-Hey, you! Stop hitting me. Me are hurting and filling me with holes. If you follow as well, no I can longer protect you from wind and heat.
But the women were so focused on his work that paid no attention to the words of the sky and followed grinding their grain and so beating the sky.
Heaven endured what he could, but did so much damage, that was slowly moving away from the earth so they not reach you with canes and stayed where it is today, so the people lost the protection of heaven and since suffering the cold wind and heat. This is why Somalia call Daldaloole heaven, which is perforated.
They have also in Somalia that the clouds are a beautiful girl who brings home a pitcher full of water out of a well. When the girl walks back to his house, Crock wobbles and the water spilled all over, falling toward the Earth from the holes in the sky. That water is what we call rain.

New Zealand story


The Mahories were Polynesians who in the 14th century settled in New Zealand (Oceania) and people for the first time. Today, this country's population reaches 4 million inhabitants, of which 18% are Aboriginal people. In the central region of New Zealand, there is a huge Lake called ROTORUA, whose borders are the most fertile of all the country. Expected that around ROTORUA was paradise. Inside there is an island of volcanic origin, which was called MOKOIA (today uninhabited) whose first settlers were members of a tribe called TARAWA mahori.
The first colonisation of New Zealand by Polynesian tribes became peaceful, dividing territory evenly so that all the tribes had their land and could take advantage of its resources (they were hunters and gatherers and were unaware of agriculture) without going into confrontation. When the Tarawa arrived in the country, the only place that was free was Mokoia island. It settled and due to its orographic limitation, it was the first tribe that began to cultivate the land. In the central region of New Zealand, whose heart is this Lake, the mahories make up 40% of the population. The majority of New Zealanders speak two languages: English and the mahori.
The mahories tend to hold meetings between different tribes. They are long holidays in which the community participates. The festivities begin with a welcome to the guest tribe. In this welcome, the mahories tend to descorar his body, especially the face, his forehead and Chin and prepared one with wood to put plate (a fire-proof kind) on which are placed River stones. The fish grilled over the place is their traditional food. Newcomers often bring gifts. During the holidays it is danced and Sung, translating the words of the song in gestures that can be understood by the members of all tribes. The gesture, the mahories is a common language.

A layer for Hinamoa

There is a huge Lake called Rotorua in New Zealand. Long ago, in the middle of the Lake, there was an island where they lived the Arawa. And around the Lake extended along its shore, lived the Torowa. Both tribes were friends and the Awara crossed many times the Lake to reach mainland and visit to relatives who had intermarried with some Torawa. The Awara were farmers and fishermen. The Towara collected plants and hunted. But had similar Customs: every night, men, women and children gathered around the fire to sing (1).
The day that Nasurai, Prince of the Awara, was crowned King, the King of Torawa prepared a feast in his honor. The Awara crossed the Lake and landed on the Mainland. Along the beach, Tutanaki, King of the Torawa, had organized a beautiful welcome with large fires and abundant food. However, first thing he Nasurai saw upon reaching the shore were not Fireworks or tasty roasts. But a girl dressed in white that seemed to him the most beautiful had ever seen. The girl, who was preparing for the new King a Crown of flowers, to see it, also thought it was the most beautiful King had ever seen. They had fallen in love, and it had even said a Word.
Tutanaki came to meet him and when the two Kings is greeted (2), the party began. And as Tutanaki will notice that Nasurai did not only look at the girl in white, he called it. "This is the Hinamoa Princess, my daughter, and he has prepared for you a wreath of flowers."
With lighted eyes she gave him the Crown of flowers and he took it as a gift you most beautiful that never would have received.
It was then that Tutanaki told him: "Nasuarai, I want to help me to fight against the neighboring tribes. This our territories will grow and we will have more animals that hunt and more plants to eat". But Nasurai said: "our island is small and to cultivate it we have enough to feed us. I don't want to help you in any war.
How is it possible that you, with one much larger extension, want to steal you land from other tribes? "." But Tutanaki did not answer him. Instead, and having noticed love that felt by his daughter, wanted to take revenge on Nasurai: "my land, go back to your island and nobody of your tribe never to cross the Lake to step on solid ground again".
Then, the Arawa came up in their small boats and rode lake inside. But Nasurai did not think Hinamoa or Hinamoa let one night dreaming about Nasurai. All the nights, Nasurai took his flute, sought guidance towards the village of Hinamoa, and put on to play so that she knew that he loved her. But she didn't know how to answer him and listened to him full of sadness. Nasurai was forbidden to cross the Lake and Hinamoa feared that he got tired of playing for her and you will find a woman to marry into their tribe.
For this reason, one night, an idea occurred to him. He met four pumpkins and emptying them, tied them around his body to be able to float on the Lake. Then he took off his clothes and dived into the water to swim to Mokoia Island (3). It was winter and took you a long swim in the cold waters of the Lake. But in the end he managed to reach the shore. All the tribe was asleep, surrounded by the fire of homes, inside their huts. I was about to die of cold, when he discovered a few pools of hot springs.
It dived naked into warm water and waited for bones to desentumecieran him. It was then, when in the midst of the darkness, came a guardian of the Palace of the Awara. And as you recognize it immediately, it was to inform Nasurai that he come down to the pools. When Nasurai fell, lighting a torch, he discovered the girl in the water. And as you will notice that Hinamoa not wearing any clothes, he stripped his cloak of King to offer it.
All mahories tribes observed a common law: only the Queens may carry a real layer. For this reason, when Nasurai Hinamoa covered with his coat, all the mahories understood that he should marry her. Thus also understood by Tutanaki, whose desire to wage war against other tribes was defeated by the love of the young couple.

Customs Mahories

(1) the mahories sing with the voice and the body.
Many of the Sung words translate into gestures coded to give expressiveness and that even the deaf can understand them and the dumb sing them. The mahories provide special recognition to persons with disabilities. Therefore, the elderly, the weak or the sick reserves les the second row in all the rites or cultural performances (the second row is the row of honor, since the first may be dangerous for the joint staging of battles and risky dance).
(2) whenever the head of a tribe is visited by another, it's scare you with fierce gestures and tattoos of war. In addition, they show their weapons to the newcomer with threatening gestures. If visitors remain calm and not a question of attack, the tribe makes sure that does not bring bad intentions or lacking, on the other hand, the value that characterizes the noble warriors.
(3) it is said that mahories women could not use oars (were instruments taboos that could only be used by men) and that this was the reason why could not travel by canoe to the heart Lake.

Pirates tale

Captain hawser

It had been the most terrible of all pirates. His adventures included in all ports of the world. After a life full of approaches and looting, hawser lived withdrawn in an small island in the middle of the vast ocean. He cultivated a small orchard, asaba fish, walked and, above all, looked after the box in which he kept his treasure.
What they liked was digging it up and spend hours looking at jewelry and silver. After he buried elsewhere and, sitting at the door of his cave, drew a new map of the treasure.
In the evenings, in the light of the Moon, he knocked in his hammock, took out his pipe and put smoking, recalling approaches, battles, fights and parties with ron, while he murmured old pirate songs.
One evening, while walking along the beach, she saw a small sail boat approaching the island.
Then he hid behind a rock, and very surprised, began to observe.
The boat reached the shore and it came out a man, full of tattoos and scars, with five or six gold teeth. Dragged the boat down to the sand, discharged a huge chest, a pick and a shovel, and was interned in the forest.
Hawser had always been only on the island and, although he was eager to talk to someone, the appearance of that visitor gave him a bit of fear-"another pirate has chosen my island to hide their treasure" - thought.
When you reach a clearing in the forest, stopped the newcomer. Miró to his around, looking at every tree, and began to dig a deep hole. When he had finished digging, he put his chest inside and covered it well, stepping on the Earth with their huge feet. Then he returned to the beach, counting their steps and making notes in a notebook.
When he came to the beach, I was getting.
He lit a bonfire and pulled a blanket of his boat.
"He will stay here," thought hawser while returning to his cave.
Hawser slept, but could not sleep: his memory came memories of past adventures, the smell of gunpowder and DIN of battle. Suddenly stood up, dressed quickly and, picking up a shovel, ran towards the forest. His eyes had recovered a forgotten brightness, and drew a fierce smile on her face.
When came to the forest, as fast as he could, hawser unearthed another pirate's chest and then sat up, panting, but happy.
His heart again feel young! He dragged the treasure to his cave and hid it.
"Morning bury it and it'll draw the plane", he thought.
An old chest he drew his saber and their guns. Another box, he pulled a coat, boots, a hat and the flag that was flying on the mast of his boat. Hawser was the night mending, oiling and striking brightness. When already dawn, she dressed slowly.
He was willing to throw the intruder on their island and staying with his treasure.
It was still a pirate! With firm step he walked to the forest and waited sitting behind a tree. Time passed slowly, his smile was vanishing. After a night so agitated, he was tired and remembered the terrible appearance of another pirate. I was already thinking back to bury the treasure when he heard that someone was approaching great strides and Silva a song.
Hawser was afraid to be seen and waited to hear the curses and oaths of his rival seeing that where he had buried his treasure now there was no more than a hole.
But he heard nothing.
After much thought, hawser poked the head. The other pirate was kneeling before the hole that once occupied their chest.
"They seemed to mourn".
His gaze was so sad that hawser could not avoid to be ashamed to be armed to the teeth to a tired old pirate that stole all his savings.
Hawser didn't know what to do. Felt guilty, something that had never happened to him. He murmured a pirate curse. He looked at his sword, his guns, his knife, and suddenly had an idea that made you smile.
"No just be brave to fight", he said as he got up.
He approached the intruder in the back and gently put his hand on the shoulder.
From that day on a small island in the ocean I inmeso, there are two treasures. And at night, two old Pirates of terrible aspect is lie down in their hammocks in the light of the Moon, taken off their pipes and get to smoking.
And approaches, fights and have parties with ron, while they sing old pirate songs.

Index of Anecdotes, parables,
fables and reflections

Index of Parables and stories to teach values

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