As the world is shrinking, and we have started to be close to those who were earlier out of reach, the fact remains that we are also constantly being distanced out from our roots. A lot of us stay away from our family towns owing to better work opportunities and are ourselves distanced from our very own and distinct Indian culture and heritage. It has become very common to like and adapt western traditions and practices, but at the end of the day, we should not loose our ancient Indian roots.
A lot of parents worry about how their children will follow Indian culture and have Indian values imbibed in them in this age of westernisation. Parenting is also a matter of debate where the fight is between independent western parenting and Indian traditional parenting. We believe that with examples, and careful balancing, they can have the best of both, and you could see your daughter or son grow up into a modern, yet rooted woman or man. However, with a computer and internet so easily accessible, and exposure to a lot of good and bad information, children seem to be lost between Indian and western culture. Lest parents think otherwise, we’d like the children to be aware and practice, the rich Indian culture, in equilibrium with being modern.
Some valuable tips to teach your Child about Indian Culture and Heritage:
- It is not a bad idea to introduce your child to mantra’s and hyms when he is growing up, in addition to English rhymes and letters.
- Let your child watch you pray, as you light the diya and recite the hyms. Ask him to join you with folded hands and soon you will see that he feels like he’s missed something if he hasn’t prayed.
- Practice a Namaste with folded hands whenever you meet someone, this way your child will greet others with a Namaste. A casual hello with friends will make him understand that we Indians still greet elders with Namaste, though casual friends can be greeted with a Hello.
- Celebrate Indian festivals with our own rituals and traditions. You could decorate the house by making rangolis, using colours and
flowers, hanging mango leaves to ward off evil eye, and dressing traditionally. Celebrations can also be Indianised – For example, light oil diyas instead of electric lights on Diwali, serve home-cooked phirni on Id, play with home-made colors on Holi, dress in traditional attire and go for handmade gifts.
- Take your children to watch a traditional play or folk dances. If your child shown interest, enrol him or her in folk singing/dancing classes and see your little one unhide the talent.
- If you like, you could tell your kids stories about Indian mythology, the struggle for freedom, and also introduce him to books and novels of Indian writers.
- Holiday in different parts of the country, and whenever you visit a place, take a dig at the history and culture of the place with your child. He will soon understand what a diverse country India is.
- Practicing Indian values is a sure shot way to teach your children to live a life of respect and sanity. As parents, practicing what we are preaching assumes a lot of importance when it comes to raising children.
Parenting is a journey, and parents of a child have an opportunity to give the society a moral citizen and thus shape the future of the world, this is our contribution to mankind, and lets make it a pious gift.