Our theme for May and June is Customs. They are defined as cultural ideas ó a patterned way of behaving that is considered characteristic of a social system. Customs regulate social interactions. Do you shake hands, bow or kiss when greeting someone?
Customs or traditions are unwritten ways of doing things, handed down from one generation to another. They vary from society to society and differences in customs can create confusion, unintentional faux pas or even conflict.
How do customs figure in Tolkienís work? The Hobbits have a custom of giving gifts on their birthdays, rather than receiving them. Faramir and his men take a moment of silence and look to the West before meals. Dwarves do not share their secret names with others. FinwŽís uncustomary second marriage set off a sequence of events that eventually led to the Exile of the Noldor.
How do customs vary among the races and cultures of Tolkienís world? What are some obscure customs that might surprise us to learn? Are some customs shared among the inhabitants of Arda? Do some customs lead to humorous confusion or embarrassment in those that are unfamiliar with them? Or do they lead to conflict and misunderstanding?
How did these customs develop? How or when did some custom first start? How might one societyís custom be misinterpreted by another?
The possibilities are endless ó show us how customs differ among the inhabitants of Middle Earth. Or how they are the same. Or how some of our beloved characters may have offended and incensed those around them. Or caused great confusion or hilarity. Itís your choice!
And the winners are:
Clothes Maketh the Man by Finfinfin 2nd place
In the Eye of the Beholder by lotrfan 3rd place
Starry Firmament and Seafoam by My blue rose 2nd place
Two Kings Come Calling by Mirrordance 1st place
If you would like to illustrate any of these stories, you can take part in our special all-year-round artistic challenge!
The Teitho archive does not allow reviews, but as soon as the stories are posted somewhere else online, we will update the stories with a link. Follow us on facebook, tumblr or twitter to get a notification about this!
And this is the winner and participation banner for this challenge:
Happy reading and congratulations to the winners!
Mirach, Carawyn, Karri, Sian22 and Lotrfan