The ‘Tale of Kieu’ by the great poet Nguyen Du is a familiar and important poem to all of the grade 9 students. However, not everyone is able to remember and perceive the meaning of this literature work. For a deeper understanding of the characters and the plots of the ‘Tale of Kieu’, class 9Auckland had an exciting lesson using the new learning activity – Divination.
Kieu divination is a language game, not a superstition. This is also a psychological game creating bonds among the students by utilizing their empathy and sharing. Kieu divination is based on the linguistic analysis of different aspects of Vietnamese vocabulary’s meaning.
Before the fortune-telling started, the ‘divine item’ – a ‘Tale of Kieu’ book was prepared. Our students carried out Kieu divination in the following steps:
Putting a hand (left hand for boys and right hand for girls) on the ‘Tale of Kieu’ book. The student who involved in the activity closed their eyes and focused their mind on their own inquiries then read loudly the following incantation:
“I bow to Từ Hải, the King
I bow to Giác Duyên, the nun
I bow to Thúy Kiều, the fairy
Please enlighten me about….”
Subsequently, the student opened a random page in the ‘Tale of Kieu’ book and put their index finger, also randomly, on that page. Then the student opened their eyes and read the consecutive ‘six-eight’ couplets where they placed the index finger.
Based on the meaning of the chosen lines and the analysis of their different meaning aspects in Vietnamese, the fortune-teller would help the inquirers answer their concerns/questions about life and encourage them to look forward to the best luck ahead.
The 9Auckland students experienced great excitement when they had an opportunity to play the role of ‘Kieu divination readers’ in the Literature class. Let’s watch this video for more details about this interesting ‘fortune-telling using Tale of Kieu’ practice at The Dewey Schools!