—The objectives of this research are to determine the cultural values of Asian people through selected similar folktales, and to understand the characteristics of Asian lifestyles. Further research in this field may have applications in other branches of the social sciences. The scope of this study is limited to Asian folktales which contain a common motif related to snails, including transformation from man to snail or transformation from snail to man. A sample of six Asian folktales from Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, China, Korea, and Japan are selected, all of which contain the motif of snail transformations. In these tales, seven cultural values may be observed, namely, gratitude, good karma, supernatural believe, holy spirit, male dominance, inner virtue, and role of women and children. All of these cultural values were ranked in terms of their prominence. These cultural values reflect an idealized society of the past; however they continue to influence social values in the present, although they may not have the same level of influence as they did in the past. The outcomes revealed that the three most prominent cultural values in Asia are the supernatural beliefs, followed by gratitude and good karma, respectively. In conclusion, these shared values give a clearer illustration of the characters and perspectives of Asian people which ultimately lead to an understanding of the Asian way of life.
—Asia, cultural values, folktales, shared values.
Onusa Suwanpratest is with the Department of Literature and Folklore, Faculty of Humanities, Naresuan University. Phitsanulok, 65000, Thailand (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cite: Onusa Suwanpratest, "An Analysis of the Prominent Cultural Values of Asian People through Similar Folktales," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 6, no. 11, pp. 836-839, 2016.