It is Orthodox Easter Week, and currently it's Resurrection Saturday, easily the most important day in the Greek Orthodox year. In Greece there are a ton of customs and festivities that have been taking place all through the Holy Week, culminating to today and tomorrow, Easter Sunday. One can argue that for Greece, Easter is more important than Christmas.
So thinking about what to write for today, I couldn't get the idea of customs and folklore out of my mind, and I thought to discuss the narrative value they have in webcomics (and other narrative works as well).
Displaying holidays, religious or not, and the customs attached to them is a great way to illustrate the outlook and approach of a culture to the cosmos and the human condition. What is important, what is celebrated, how it is celebrated serve to pull the audience in the culture and make them partake and experience it, and thus identify with the carriers of that culture more. If then that culture is threatened by some outer element, then the audience will care and worry about its survival, thus raising the stakes of the story.
In the same manner, adding cultural elements and customs to the story can tell us a lot about the characters of the story as well!
How much a character complies with the customs, in what way they comply, how much they invest in them or whether it is simply pedestrian for them says a lot about a character's connection to part of their own culture, and even elements of the society they have grown up in, or historical times.
For example, a lot of the customs traditionally observed in Greece didn't take place during the WWII occupation, or did in very odd or cryptic manners. A lot of religious ceremonies took on political and revolutionary meaning.
I also observe some of the customs associated, say, with Easter in Greece, but not others, and I have reasons for both partaking and not partaking in them, and that says a lot about me and my religious and social convictions as well, to the person that knows about them.
In the same manner, adding this sort of flavour to our characters and our settings makes everything feel more ingrained and more realistic, helping provide a more encompassing experience of the story for our audience.
Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, April 7, 2018
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