We had the honor of working with the National Youth Organization of Pakistan (NYOP), in collaboration with Urdu Studies at NYU, to train teachers in folklore and ethnography for an upcoming summer school. They will take what we taught them and pass it on to their students this summer. Here’s a summary of what we discussed:
What is folklore and heritage? We focus on art forms that are at the heart of a community and that connect us to the past. Pakistani culture can be divided into subcultures — we shouldn’t think of “Pakistani” as homogenous.
What is Pakistani heritage? What are the foodways, the music and dance, the verbal performance and material culture? What is the role of language in culture, and what celebrations are there?
Documenting this heritage in the field, through material culture and ethnographic interviews, is an important process. How do we ask good questions and engage in collaborative listening? Fieldnotes are important to step back and analyze what’s going on in the field.
We also got technical, and discussed photography composition, types of audio, and how to storyboard.
Of course, a workshop wouldn’t be complete without some hands-on learning! We ventured out to the streets of Midwood and the teachers interviewed each other.
(Special thanks to our little baby Hudson, who slept through most of this like a champ!)