8 Creative Ways To Teach Your Child About The Indian CultureIn this country study lesson, our guest blogger, Aradhana, shares about the homeschooling experience in India. Scroll down to learn creative ways to learn about Indian Culture and to watch some Indian videos. Enjoy!
|Country Study Lesson on India includes dress up time!|
Long before the arrival of our little one, my husband and I had decided that we’d homeschool our child. Having understood all the pros and cons of homeschooling, we made this choice for our child to be able to shape up his future in the best way possible. In India, the concept of homeschooling is still in its nascent stages, and unsurprisingly, our decision wasn't received well within our community. Even today, we battle people’s preconceived notions about our choice.
We know, however, that homeschooling is the best way to ingrain the importance of culture and values in our child along with training him on various academic concepts. Being so artistically
inclined myself, I always opt for fun and creative means to train my child on various subjects, especially cultures. Not only does this improve his grasping power, but it also makes learning a lot of fun.
Here are eight creative ways you can teach your child about the Indian culture:
2. Exploring Local Cuisines – I am lucky to be a part of a family that loves food! My son (thankfully) has no qualms about trying out new cuisines, which makes my life a lot simpler!
Every Sunday, we as a family go out to try authentic Indian meals where I also share fun facts about that particular cuisine with my child. After the dining session, I organize a quiz for him by including questions about a region’s cuisine, the dining style of people there, their cultural and religious symbolism, etc. For example, in many South Indian states of India, people eat with their hands because according to ancient Vedic wisdom, doing so benefits the mind, body and spirit.
|Authentic Indian meal.|
3. A Trip To The Houses Of Worship – I have been brought up with the belief that all religions are equal, and there is something beautiful to learn from every caste and creed. Though my husband and I follow two different religious beliefs, we have given our child the freedom to practice whichever religion wants. Along with imparting him the knowledge about all religions, I also take him on regular visits to places of worship, so he gains a better understanding on what every religion practiced in India stands for.
4. Dance and Drama – Me along with my group of friends, organize a monthly dance show put up by the kids in our locality. Since the locality we live in has families from different parts of the country, each month we follow a new theme focused on regional dances from different Indian states. This gives the kids abundant cultural exposure while it also promises the audience a visual treat!
|Indian dances and culture.|
5. Handmade Cultural Keepsakes – My little one thoroughly enjoys craft activities! He insists that each of his lessons have at least one craft activity. He loves to decorate his room with the outcomes of his artistic endeavors. Given his fondness for art and craft, I try to teach my child as many Indian crafts as I can. Diyas for Diwali, Indian flag for Independence day, rangoli for auspicious occasions and collages and coloring activities inspired by the Indian ancestry are a few of his favorites!
|Handmade Indian crafts and Cultural Keepsakes for Diwali.|
6. Historic Storytelling Sessions – One of the most amazing things about India is its glorious heritage and history. It has a marvelous collection of folklores that can be dated back to many centuries together. My son loves hearing fanciful stories from the Mahabharata, Ramayana, Panchatantra, Puranas, Hitopadesha and Jatakas. I also read to him about our struggle for independence and the notable personalities whose sacrifice and patriotic fervor got the country where it is. He is always intrigued about India’s history and refuses to sleep until I read out at least one tale to him.
|Panchatantra Stories in English.|
Here's a video for The Monkey and the Wedge.
7. Cultural Movie Marathon – Thank God for technology to have sparked kids’ imagination by leaps and bounds! Whenever I teach my little one any lesson on Indian culture, I try to end it with a movie. Doing this helps him remember even the little details about a subject, better. Especially while teaching my son about Indian mythology, films work the best! He is better able to connect with the characters, visually. My Friend Ganesha and Chhota Bheem are his favorite films.
8. Travel – I have always been fond of traveling and adventure, and I think it’s from me that my child gets it too! In about every three months, we plan a trip to a new part of the country we haven’t seen before. The diversity of India can never cease to amaze you. There’s something new to see and learn from each and every city, town or village of the country. My son carries a travel journal where he makes a note of all the places he has visited and the stories behind each of those places. He also loves to stick a “memory’ of each place in his travel journal.
I love the concept of homeschooling for the very fact that my child gets a lot of first-hand and practical exposure than mere bookish knowledge. It helps widen his horizons and makes learning a memorable and enriching process! You could try these activities to teach your child about other cultures as well.
Aradhana is from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Huffington Post, Natural news, Elephant journal, Thehealthsite, Naturally Savvy, Curejoy and MomJunction.com, Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.
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