Friday, January 25, 2019

MythOff Budapest: Myths from five continents

2019 is off to a great start: We just had the 8th MythOff in Hungary! We did not only have a new storyteller, but also a brand new, very nice and supportive venue. If everything goes well, we might have found a permanent home.

For this very first MythOff of the year, each storyteller drew a culture or region from a hat, and they had to pick their myth accordingly. Since we accidentally had tellers for five continents, we decided to make that the theme of the evening. Even though one of our seven tellers cancelled last minute due to illness (and thus we lost Africa), we still had a pretty great lineup.
This is how it went down:

Round one: Family and Conflict
This round featured two myths about conflict in the families of deities. Hajós Erika told the Japanese story of Izanagi and Izanami, the former's trip to the underworld to get his wife back - and his escape from being pursued by the armies of the dead. Gregus László told the Irish myth of Balor of the Evil Eye being defeated by his own divine grandson, Lugh.
Voting question: If you needed help protecting your loved ones and your home, whom would you rather ask for that help?
The winner: Most people thought Lugh would be the more powerful ally.

Round two: Life and Death
We did not only have two great stories in this round, but also a new storyteller! Szabad Boglárka joined us for the first time, and told the Mesopotamian myth of Nergal and Ereshkigal with passion and a great sense of humor. Stenszky Cecília brought another, more lyrical love story about how Savitri won her husband back from Yama, the Hindu god of death.
Voting question: If you had to get a loved one back from the Underworld, which deity do you think would be easier to convince?
The winner: Most people thought they would have an easier time convincing Ereshkigal.

Round three: Water and Eels
Originally, it was just gonna be Water, but then we discovered that both our stories featured eels, and we ran with it. My own choice was a Venezuelan story about how the electric eel rebelled against Napa, the Creator, and how the war of the animals led to the creation of humans. My partner, Nagy Enikő, told the Samoan legend of Sina and Tuna, and how the first coconuts were created from the head of a love struck eel.
Voting question: If you were a female eel, which eel would you rather choose as a mate?
The winner: The electric eel is sexier.

The winners of each round received a small stress ball, painted as the globe with all its countries. The fourth, remaining ball went to the youngest member of our audience (12 years old), because we thought it was super cool that he convinced his parents to bring him to an adult myth event. You can't start early enough.

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