Namibian story features in Expo 2020 Dubai storybook

14 September 2020 | Education

As part of the World Expo 2020, each of the 196 participating countries submitted stories. Of these, stories from 24 countries – Namibia included – were selected to be published.
Children's Tales From Around The World is a digital collection of traditional children's stories and folktales that celebrate the wonders of the planet and its people. It was released on 8 September to mark International Literacy Day.
Through this digital publication, children can discover an entire host of memorable characters, from Namibian birds to Hungarian princesses, and Czech robots to Kazakh mice.
“Not only is it Expo 2020's gift to children and families globally, it also connects Namibian culture and its people to the rest of the world,” says Ambassador Simon Maruta, the Commissioner General of the Namibia Dubai 2020 Expo Committee.
The stories and folk tales featured have been passed down through time — tenderly shaped and crafted by generations of storytellers.
Namibia’s contribution is by Helvi Itenge, narrating the tale of “Nekwa and the Baobab Tree”. She mixes myths, songs and compelling illustrations on how Nekwa and her two friends are swallowed by a giant baobab tree after accidentally “passing wind”, requiring effort from the entire village and even singing birds to help free them.
“Nekwa and the Baobab Tree” is one of the stories that have been chosen to help children aged 5 to 12 years explore exciting differences and shared values, broaden their world view, and gain a greater appreciation of their heritage as well as develop a love of reading.
Itenge says, “Over the years, folklore has often sparked children’s imaginations. Now folklore from different countries and different cultures will certainly take both the young and old on a thrilling journey around the world.”
The collection demonstrates how Expo 2020 Dubai is providing a platform for every participating country to share the best of their cultures while inspiring young minds and sparking curiosity for generations to come.
Children's Tales From Around The World is a PDF document that is available to download for free directly from the Expo School Programme website at https://schools.expo2020dubai.com. It will also be available via Kobo and Apple Books.
The first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region – Expo 2020 – runs for six months from 1 October 2021 until 31 March 2022. The event coincides with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE and highlights the country's role as a global connecting hub for people, ideas, and innovation.

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