Posts Tagged ‘multicultural kids’


We’re shaking things up a bit!

The South Asian Diaspora is blessed with individuals who shine in virtually every field imaginable.  We have artists and aerospace engineers, educators and entrepreneurs – all of whom are can offer wisdom and advice that can enrich our lives and inspire our children.

Starting Monday, we’ll be be turning over our blog to a Guest 1 week out of each month.  We’ll be featuring experts in the fields of health, design, ayurveda, architecture and more.  And you’ll hear from South Asians with different religious and cultural perspectives – because we recognize the importance of educating and exposing our children to all  of what the region has to offer.

Join us on Monday as we introduce our first guest, Ms. Ulash Thakore-Dunlap:  a San Francisco-based mental health consultant, trainer and psychotherapist.  She’ll be blogging about important issues that touch upon a subject that should be top priority on all of our lists:  the mental health of kids and moms.  Ulash has authored several multi-media presentations – at the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) Annual Convention, the National Multicultural Conference and Summit (NMCS) and others. 

She is also the creator of soon-to-be-launched Understand My Mind ( – a resource website dedicated to helping people understand how the mind is affected by trends and stressors in modern society. 

Until Monday…


Nala and Damayanti…a classic Indian love story.  It’s about a brave King (Nala) who falls in love with a Princess (Damayanti) he has never seen.  He merely hears about her beauty and intelligence through a sage who comes to his court – and he’s smitten!  Social decorum prevented Nala from professing his love for Damayanti in person, so he sends her messages via a golden swan.  Damayanti falls in love with Nala too this way, but in order for the couple to be united, she has to outwit the Gods Indra, Agni, Varuna and Yama – who also vie for her hand.

My father told me this story when I was a little girl – and I was so inspired that in my secret playtime I would pretend that I was Princess Damayanti.  So beautiful that even the Gods wanted to marry her…and so intelligent that she could outsmart them!  What a role model!

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, we’ve designed these precious printables  – based on the story of Nala and Damayanti.  And they’re free!  Just download, print (on cardstock), cut and fold.  (We’ve also included an option to print a simple “to” and “from” block for the front of the card).  The cards fold to a 3.5″ square – cut marks are indicated on the printout. 

You can punch a hole and secure with a ribbon (like we did), or just fasten with a sticker – no envelope needed (i’m sure the trees will thank us)! 

Download here:  Nala Card, Nala Cover
Damayanti Card, Damayanti Cover

And you can read the story to your kids here:  The Story of Nala and Damayanti

I hope your children are inspired as I was by the story!


We featured Chachaji’s Cup, a wonderful book by Uma Krishnaswami about an Indian-American boy, his great-uncle and the 1947 partition of India in our November Newsletter.  Now – guess what!  It’s coming to life in NYC!  Yes, folks Making Books Sing is staging a musical called Tea With Chachaji featuring traditional dance and live music.  The musical is geared towards kids, but book-lovers of all ages are of course welcome to attend.

Performances are on January 30, 31 and February 3.

And the best part:  Gnaana families will receive a $2.50 discount off the ticket price.  Click here for details.

So mark your calendars – don’t let your kids miss-out on this one-of-a-kind experience!

The Skinny On Skin
Author: Aruna


As an Indian parent, I want to strangle those people who, when they see my kids, just have to comment about their skin colouring.  “Oh, how fair she is!” or “How dark he’s become this summer – too much time at the beach?  You should use SPF 185.”  Aaaaargh!

I think my 3-year-old gets really confused about comments like these – are they compliments or criticisms?  Either way, my kids are going to be armed and secure about their skin:  we’ll be reading The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler many times over.  Published by the Chicago Children’s Museum, this children’s book is pure poetic brilliance.  It’s a celebration of all different shades of skin and it certainly has us talking.

So if any aunties and uncles out there comment on my kids’ skin colour in the future – watch out – because the kids and I are choreographing a Broadway-style song-and-dance-routine to this book.  And we’ll be singing it to you.