By Suseela Santhosh,
Indian culture is unique and is the land of some of the oldest cultures in the world. India is one such country that has many religions, beliefs, languages, and foods. Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Christianity, and Islam are some religions followed in India. Children know about festivals and celebrations but are still missing out on the deeper diversity that is rooted in our culture.
Why is it essential to teach students about Indian culture and traditions?
The saying “Unity in Diversity” is not just words. From ancient times, India has always been famous for its traditions. The warmth of people and euphoric celebrations makes our country so special. Indian culture has a vibrancy of all sorts, the country is an example of tolerance, cooperation, secularism, coexistence, and social bond among brethren.
How does teaching children about Indian culture and traditions help?
Parents and teachers need to inculcate moral and ethical values in children. Children understand the importance of family and how it acts as a support system. They learn to accept their heritage and will not develop insecurity of any kind. Children learn to respect elders, continue to uphold their traditions, and maintain the values passed on from generations.
There are many ways in which children can learn about Indian culture and traditions. Here are a few tips:
Follow Indian culture at home
Learning starts at home. Celebrate festivals following Indian culture, tradition, and rituals. This is an interesting and fun way that can give them a true sense of their identity.
Show them examples of Indian culture
Children learn through examples. Indian culture is rooted in different beliefs. Every family has a way of celebrating festivals or a way of performing rituals. Schools are an ideal platform to inculcate tolerance and educate children of different faiths, traditions, and cultures through the celebration of festivals and special days.
Watch Indian cultural programs
Show them folks dances or attend Indian cultural programs in and around the community. Such activities spark curiosity in a child’s mind and help them to come closer to understanding Indian customs and traditions.
Give them books on Indian culture and make children participate in traditional games and activities
Give them books on Indian values and culture. Reading promotes imagination and develops language and emotions. Reading can also give children facts about culture and heritage. Traditional games have been passed down from one generation to another and their origins go back centuries. Traditional games can help children remember their roots and aid in the development of the mother tongue.
Discuss the different cultures of each state
India is a big country and each state has a unique culture and different traditions. Festivals are celebrated differently in states. It is important to talk to children about these unique traditions so they are aware of the vibrant side of the country.
Take a trip to another state
Take children on a school or family trip to another state or region. Travel is the best way to learn. Children can experience the different sides of Indian culture by being physically present, interacting with locals, eating authentic food, and living as the locals do.
Encourage traditional dressing and food
Wearing traditional ethnic clothing in day-to-day life or festivals is a way of showing love, and respect, and acknowledging the traditional values that have been passed on from one generation to another. With fast food becoming prevalent in the country, children forget the value and benefits of traditional food. Traditional food brings out a sense of comfort and belonging. These all contribute to the values of India. It also helps children bond with friends and family.
The world today is changing rapidly, and children are confused between modern living and tradition. It is the responsibility of parents and teachers to strike a perfect balance between retaining the required traditional values, culture, and customs so that it helps children embrace their identity and heritage and also remain connected to their culture no matter where they aspire to live in the future.
(The author is Director, Vishwa Vidyapeeth Group of Schools. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the FinancialExpress.com.)