Saturday, August 3, 2019

MythOff Budapest: Living Planet

This Wednesday we had the ninth MythOff event in Budapest - for the second time in our wonderful new venue, the Premier Kultcafé. The theme, courtesy of Bumberák Maja, was Living Planet - we told myths about the relationship between humans and nature, which held important relevance to current world events. Despite it being the middle of summer, we had a great audience and a full house of more than ninety people! The emcee was Nagy Enikő, who did a wonderful job. She did not only print us voting forms in advance, but also sewed cloth baggies as prizes for Plastic-Free July, and even made sure we raffled one off to the audience.

This is how things went down:

Round one: Sacred plants

Hajós Erika told the Greek myth of King Erysichthon, who cut down Demeter's sacred grove, and the goddess punished him with eternal hunger. Eventually, the king devoured himself. Klitsie-Szabad Boglárka, told another Greek myth, that of Daphne and Apollo. Erika's telling was dramatic, while Bogi's was humorous, and the two went great together.
Voting question: Which tree would you plant in your garden, oak or laurel?
The winner: Laurel!

Round two: Sea and animals

I began this round with a story from Oceania about how the women saved Guam from a giant fish sent by the angered spirits of nature (I love this one a lot, especially because women use their hair to weave a net together). My partner Bumberák Maja told the Inuit myth of Sedna, Mother of the Sea, whose hair gets dirty and matter, and traps sea animals until someone combs them out.
Voting question: Whose hair would you rather comb, your own (heroically cut), or Sedna's?
The winner: Sedna!

Round three: Fertile land

This round focused on life, renewal, and fertility. Stenszky Cecília told us about Ishtar, goddess off fertility descending into the Underworld (she, just as Maja, used a drum for telling). Gregus László told a Tahiti myth about the God of the Sea destroying all land to punish over-eager fishermen - all land except one island where his mortal lover lived.
Voting question: With whom would you rather go out for a coffee, Ishtar or the Tahitian princess?
The winner: Ishtar!

All three votes were close, which means that we all brought good stories to the performance. Sine counting ninety-something (!) votes took a bit of time, we told some more stories in the meantime - I told about Saint Peter and global warming, and Maja told about Saint Peter and rainfall.

It was, once again, an amazing experience to tell together, and have such an enthusiastic and dedicated audience. I'm looking forward to the next occasion! For more info, follow MythOff on Facebook!

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