Someone was talking today about some if the small traditions and histories that their group had and included the phrase: “we have folklore even though we’re less than a hundred years old.”
It got me thinking, largely as an instinctive push back against the notion that there’s some kind of statutory time limit before something can be remembered as lore. After all, every family generation has its small stories and invokes and lessons learned the hard way and passed on for others to ignore.
My response in the chat was: “Folklore is the stories we build shared history with, age has nothing to do with it except maybe giving a fine patina.” Which isn’t as polished or nuanced as I might like, but that’s immediate text chats for you.
I then promptly mulled over while having a shower because it was sparking more thoughts and ideas. While making myself more human, my thought process therefore trundled on deciding that folklore is the stories of the people, not the history taught by rulers and conquerors. Perhaps that’s why we hold so tight to it. It’s our lore, not theirs. It’s our small stories and remembrances, not that of nations.
I don’t think its a radical summation, as it literally leans on the translation of folk from volk but I think it’s perfectly in line with why I think community is so important, because that’s how our stories grow and embed and give half a chance to learn from practical example.
I almost sound like I know what I’m talking about…