I just heard that the jataka storytelling event that I have arranged at the Scottish Storytelling Centre for later this month has sold out (if one can say such a thing about free tickets). We already had to move it to a larger venue to accommodate higher-than-anticipated interest. The Theatre space seats 99, plus me, equals at least 100 people in this city (or near it) who are interested enough in jataka stories to book for an event several weeks in advance! I have to say I am surprised, but delighted.
I will be very interested to see what the demographic is of the audience. I imagine a portion will be made up of the Storytelling Centre’s usual story-enthusiasts and another portion by Buddhists, and another by South Asians interested in their narrative heritage. (The Amar Chitra Katha series has ensured that many Indians know and love the jatakas.) For now I can only speculate about the composition of the audience, but I am warmed by the knowledge that I am by no means the only person in the city of Edinburgh who is interested in these delightful and intriguing stories.
The various “Knowledge Exchange” and “Public Impact” initiatives in HE today make many academics cringe, but maybe we need to be less cynical. Sharing my enthusiasm is only making me more enthusiastic. I am very much looking forward to the event, and to many similar events in the future.