bottom

Archive for September, 2016

Sep
28
2016

Yup, you are seeing it right – that’s Kali Devi on New York City’s Empire State Building (from August 2015). Designed by artist Android Jones as part of an exhibit by filmmaker Louie Psihoyos called Projecting Change, the intention was to call attention of massive wildlife extinction – with a statement that we need a “fierce goddess” like Kali Devi (which they called “the goddess of darkness”) to combat this disturbing trend.

Is it appropriate to call Kali Devi “the goddess of darkness?” She’s a little difficult to explain – especially to kids. She is, after all, a bit…er…violent in her appearance – with skulls around her neck, severed arms as a skirt, (almost) stepping on Lord Shiva – all while holding a head with dripping blood. And she’s often confused with Goddess Durga.

There’s so much to explain about Kali Devi – and an understanding of her and her symbolism would render a fairly comprehensive summary of Hinduism itself. But suffice it to say that she is a fierce form of the mother goddess – believed to have been born from the brow of Goddess Durga during a battle. During this battle, in her thoroughness, she got a little carried away in her destruction and Lord Shiva threw himself at her feet to stop her – at which point Kali Devi stuck out her tongue in shock.

In essence she is a reminder that our bodies are mere temporary dressings for the Atman – and is really a symbol of true liberation.

Share:
Sep
15
2016

To follow-up with this week’s earlier post about India-themed board games available in the USA, here are 7 incredible board games available in India.

1. Kurukshetra (pictured above – click on picture for purchase link)
Ages: Not specified, but seems to be 14+
Players: 2

A strategy game that takes players through the 18 days of the Kurukshetra War. It even has those cool rectangular prism dice.

2. Aksharit / Chhotu Aksharit
Ages: 5-10 for Aksharit & 4-6 for Chhotu Askharit
Players: 2+

Hindi scrabble – can’t get much better than this!

3. Incredible India
Ages: 8+
Players: 2+

A well-devised game designed to take kids on a tour of India’s cities, towns, monuments, forts & palaces, institutions and religious shrines, and national parks.

4. Jai Bharat
Ages: 8+
Players: 2+

A more trivia-style game with 3 variations which more focuses on Indian states.

A well-devised game designed to take kids on a tour of India’s cities, towns, monuments, forts & palaces, institutions and religious shrines, and national parks.

5. Jaya – The Real Game, Real Heroes
Ages: 10+
Players: 2-5

Wow! This game may well win our vote for First Prize. Relive the ENTIRE Mahabharata – even the 13 years of exile. Each player takes the role of one of five Pandava brothers and enacts their legendary life.

6. Chausar
Ages: 8+
Players: 2+

Also known as “Chaupat,” this strategy game finds mention in The Mahabharata. Costumes not included.

7. Indian Safari
Ages: 9+
Players: 2+

Test children’s Knowledge about locations, capitals, important Cities, languages, tourist places, and agriculture and industries of all the States of India

Share:
Sep
12
2016

For families short on time, India-themed board games are a sneaky way to incorporate culture during off-school hours. Here are a few of our picks of games available in the USA for your next Family Game Night. Stay tuned on Wednesday for some terrific games available in India.

1. Jaipur (pictured above – click on picture for purchase link)
Ages: 12-16
Players: 2

A fast-paced strategy game where players vie to become the Maharaja’s offical merchant.

2. Discover India Geography Board Game
Ages: 8+
Players: 2-4

Kids learn more about India’s states and territories as they move around the game board. This games is not updated to include the recent division of Andhra Pradesh, but it’s still a solid game.

3. Ticket to Ride India
Ages: 8+
Players: 2-5

This is an expansion to the popular Ticket to Ride series (you will need to also purchase the original Ticket to Ride in order to play). Players transport themselves to 1911 during the British Raj and try to complete Grand Tour of India.

4. India Rails
Ages: 10+
Players: 2-6

Another train-themed game which is a little heavier geography-based than Ticket to Ride.

5. Ancient Indian Board Games
Ages: 8+
Players: 2+

This is a DIY printable pack of 4 games that were played in Ancient India: Moksha Patamu, Pachisi, Chaturaji, and Ashtapada.

6. Bollystar
Ages: 14+
Players: 2+

Bollywood buffs: test your knowledge with this family-fun trivia game!

7. Sail to India
Ages: 14+
Players: 3-4

If you can look beyond the colonial imperialist premise of this game, it is a good strategy game for older kids.

Share:
Sep
6
2016

Ganesh Chaturthi may have passed, but keep Lord Ganesha with your kids always with a simple keychain. Simple hook to a zipper of their backpack – a simple and small way to remind kids daily of their faith. We’ve featured 2 of our favorites (click on picture for link), but shop around on the net and let kids pick their own.

Share: