Thursday, April 11, 2013

J is for the Jasmine Princess (and a Prince)

Both of the tales today are brought to you from India by the marvelous folktale collections of A. K. Ramanujan.

The princess of the day is called The Princess of the Seven Jasmines. She earned that name by weighing as much as seven jasmine blossoms, no more, no less. Also, similar to our previous cat-eyed princess, she also has the ability to laugh flowers - in this case, guess what, jasmine flowers. But there is a catch: this princess never laughs. Talk about teenage angst...

I like this story in particular because it also features a smart and environmentally conscious prince. When his kingdom is plagued by snakes, he eventually figures out that curing the Snake King (and making sure he keeps his subjects in line) is better than killing every single one of them. In order to do that, he needs some special jasmine flowers (ever had jasmine tea for a headache? Uncle Iroh knows his stuff!). So the quest is on: locate princess, marry princess, make princess laugh. Not necessarily in that order.

I have a soft spot for tales about making princesses laugh. They show the importance of laughter in a relationship. And in the world in general.
The type is AT 559, in case anyone is interested in reading more.

The other tale that I want to mention here is called The Jasmine Prince. It is about a prince who fills the air with the scent of jasmines when he laughs - but it has to be a true, heartfelt laugh. Of course sooner or later someone will try to force him, and it will not go well. For the rest, read the story. And then go on and read the entire book. One of the best folktale collections I have read.

And then go drink some jasmine tea.

Happy J day!

PS: If you are interested in Indian tales about flowers and plants, I also highly recommend this book.


  1. I too like the idea of emphasising the importance of laughter in a relationship!

  2. I love the smell of jasmine. I love laughter. This tale and I are a hopeful match in yummy smelling paradise!

    Always great to read you!

    Happy A to Z-ing!
    Julie Jordan Scott
    Our Literary Grannies from A to Z:I is for Isabelle Eberhardt
    tweet me - @juliejordanscot

  3. Excellent post. I'm really enjoying your A to Z blogs.

    I've never heard that story before, but it is wonderful. I love how the prince needs to make the princess laugh.

    I also loved your Uncle Iroh comment. :)

  4. This makes me smell jasmine in my nose as I read it. I love that fragrance. :)

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog: