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Questions tagged [folk-tales]

Questions about folktales or folk tales, i.e. stories that have been orally passed down from generation to generation. For myths and legends, use the [myths] tag.

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36 votes
3 answers
24k views

Why do many Korean folk tales start with "back when tigers smoked"?

I've read in a few sources that the Korean equivalent of the "once upon a time ..." which often begins English folk stories is something like "back when tigers smoked ..." or "...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
315 views

What is the evidence that Flemish fables or fairy tales began with the words “back when the animals could still speak”?

In an answer to the question Why do many Korean folk tales start with “back when tigers smoked”?, user @Flater, who comes from the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium (i.e. Flanders), claims that the Dutch ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
125 views

Origin of the phrase “back when the animals could still speak” in Dutch fables or fairy tales

In Dutch, some fables or fairy tales (or both) begin with the words "[lang geleden] toen de dieren nog spraken / konden spreken", i.e. "[a long time ago] back when the animals still ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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30 votes
1 answer
2k views

When and why did the Brothers Grimm start collecting fairy tales?

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are well known for authoring multiple collections of traditional folk tales in the late 18th/early 19th century. Their first major collection of stories was published in 1812. ...
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25 votes
3 answers
4k views

Is a moral lesson a requirement for fairy tales?

Many of the fairy tales collected by the Grimm's have a moral. Is a moral lesson a requirement for fairy tales?
James Jenkins's user avatar
18 votes
4 answers
5k views

In what Chinese fairy tale does a painter disappear into his own painting?

The online description of Rüdiger Safranski's book Wieviel Wahrheit braucht der Mensch? begins with the following sentence: In einem berühmten chinesischen Märchen verschwindet der Maler in seinem ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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