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Archive for February, 2012

Feb
6
2012

Our struggles as parents to keep Indian culture alive and relevant to the next generation is no different now than it was 50 years ago.  As modernization and general “busy-ness” envelop family life, cultural education of our kids often gets pushed to the bottom of the priorities pile.

In 1967, Uncle (Anant) Pai was struck by how little Indian children knew about their own culture when, on an episode of Doordarshan, participants were unable to answer the question “In the Ramayana, who was Rama’s mother?” (though they were able to effortlessly answer questions about Greek mythology).  And so, as the story goes, Pai quit his job and started developing the Amar Chitra Katha series.

Now, at over 400 titles published in 20 languages and over 90 million copies sold, it’s hard to fathom a children’s bookshelf without at least a couple of the titles.  There are even several videos (put out by ACK Media).

Are you reading ACK with your kids?  Why or why not?  Which are your favourite titles?

If you are in the New York area, check out the Asian American Writers’ Workshop Tribute to ACK on Thursday, February 16th.

Also, for a deeper (and perhaps more accurate?) understanding of the origins of ACK, see Outlook India’s article last year about G.K. Ananthram – which reports the first of the ACK comics was produced by him in 1965 in Kannada – not English.

Images via Google Images

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Feb
3
2012
Tooth Tales
Author: Aruna

Can a 5-year-old really believe there’s a tooth fairy?  Maybe it’s all the years of training in logic and legal reasoning, but I don’t think even sounded convincing:  yeah, so when you go to sleep, a little tooth fairy comes into your room, reaches under your pillow, takes your tooth and replaces it with a surprise...

I thought the tooth fairy thing would be a sweet and magical way to remember loosing his first tooth – and in any case better than the alternative of standing in your front yard and throwing the tooth over your shoulder and onto the roof (what we do in my part of South India).  At least this way I get to keep the tooth for memories.

Curious about other tooth traditions from around the world?  Check out Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World – a very cool read.  It’s interesting to know that some cultures makes charms out of the tooth (Chile) or grind it to a powder (some part of Australia, I think).

What’s your tooth tradition?

above:  Oeuf Tooth Fairy Pillow

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Feb
1
2012

That’s Sushmita Sen’s kids (you can see her in the background) sporting Nishka Lulla’s designs at the first ever India Kids Fashion Week in Mumbai last week.  About 200 kids from ages 5-15 got their chance to be famous for a few minutes showcasing 20 kids’ brands and designers.

Critics and conservatives were concerned that the event was an exploitation of children.

Do kids stand to gain anything from this?  Confidence maybe?

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