“My mother is the most beautiful woman in the world” is a Russian Folk Tale by Reyher, Rebecca Hourwich, which has a very touching message behind the simple tale. The setting of the tale is at the wheat field, where the villagers were harvesting the wheat. At that time, Varya, a little girl who was lost went searching for her beloved mother.The villagers around her felt pity of her and kept asking her how does her mother look like. She gave an innocent description of her mother by saying: “ My mother is the most beautiful woman in the world.” They searched for her mother, and brought forth many beautiful woman for her to identify, however each time they brought one, she will deny.
The most touching part of the tale was when a woman who did not portray any external beauty emerged before her, surprising.... that’s her mother! The mother hugged and kissed her child, revealing the affection bond between a mother and daughter. I felt that the little girl’s confession reflected her spontaneous and sincerity of her heart and has an implied message of moral value behind this incident that is internal beauty can only be felt by the heart and goes beyond physical beauty. Although this is a classical folk tale, the lesson that we can learn connects until today, so I feel that this is kind of folk tale can be adapted in teaching literature using role-play and simulation which can create a student-centered class. When students are given the chance and room to dramatize the roles by being in the shoes of the characters, they would understand and appreciate the literature lesson and learn from the moral of the story. This is a way to create interest and arouse the passion in reading, learning and understanding the traditional literature texts which are rich in moral values and meaningful messages.
Kahlil Gibran, a Lebanese born American philosophical essayist, novelist and poet once said:
Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart
Benjamin Franklin, in Poor Richard's Almanack, 1741, wrote: Beauty, like supreme dominion, Is but supported by opinion
David Hume's Essays, Moral and Political, 1742, include:"Beauty in things exists merely in the mind which contemplates them."