The winners in the 3rd annual Global Folklorist Challenge were announced this week and they are an impressive bunch. If you don’t know, the Folklorist Challenge, sponsored by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, asks students to identify a form of folklore in their community and document it by interviewing a tradition bearer who is willing to share his or her knowledge with the world. This year our 6 winners (3 individuals and 3 teams) hail from 5 different countries and their topics are as diverse as their counties of origin.
More than 130 students from ages 8 to 21 participated in the Challenge this year. The kids came from Turkey, India, the US, Armenia, Sweden, Mexico, the Republic of Georgia, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. They documented traditions as diverse as Ukrainian Guardian Dolls, how green leaves become green tea, and Dombyra. There were entries looking into the traditions of Irish Dancing, Sweden’s Lucia Celebration, and Mariachi and interviews with experts in customs such as crabbing, casting, and cooking. We encourage you to check out the submission gallery and watch all the wonderful videos submitted by these talented students. You are bound to discover a tradition you never heard of before and meet some tradition bearers whose knowledge of their craft is beyond compare.
Choose the ePals Choice Award
While you are there, you can also vote for the entry you like best to win the ePals Choice award. There is already a fierce competition going on among a few of these winners. If you have a favorite, show them some support and vote for them.
Finally, check out the interactive map with videos from all of the Folklore Challenge’s entrants for the past three years. It is fascinating to see the many traditions and countries represented.
If you get inspired, sign up to be notified when next year’s Challenge starts so your favorite student(s) can get in on the fun. Can’t wait that long? No problem! Our next Challenge, the 2017 Invent It Challenge will start in January. Be sure to check back here for more information and to sign up.