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Is it okay for Indian kids to celebrate non-Indian festivals or should we just stick to ours? A mother gives a meaningful insight.
Here comes the festival season again. It is amazing to enjoy these fun-filled days with friends and family, soaking into the festivities, food, gossips, games, etc. This is the time when we feel the sense of belonging, community, togetherness, satisfaction and entertainment to the fullest.
But what are festivals all about? Wikipedia description says, “A festival is a event ordinarily celebrated by a community and centering on some characteristic aspect of that community and its religion or traditions, often marked as a local or national holiday, mela or eid.”
What I gather from various descriptions around festivals is that essentially it is a way to celebrate cultures, traditions, customs, and historical events of a community. Which in turn infuses the sense of belongingness, togetherness, entertainment and remembrance of our glorious past.
We Indians are lucky in that sense; like our gods, we have quite a lot of festivals that are celebrated locally throughout the year. Be it, Holi, Diwali, Navratri, Eid, Christmas, Vaishakhi or others. We can soak into the festivities throughout the year with some of the other festivals being celebrated somewhere.
Fortunately, in today’s multi-cultural times, it’s good for our kid’s and us too. We get to celebrate not only ours, but also others cultures, traditions, customs, and historical events. Recently I felt so good to see kid’s participating in the event of Dandiya Raas in my daughter’s school, where all the kids participated with super enthusiasm and energy. It didn’t matter whether they belonged to Gujarati community or not. Similarly, it’s fun to watch kids enjoying the plum cakes in Christmas even though they are not Christians. Or running to their friend’s house for Eid special Semaiya or Biryani.
We all seem to be ok with this. But when our kids like to participate in international festivals, say Halloween, we have a problem. We feel why on earth our children are adopting a foreign festival, which has no relevance to us. We also don’t think twice before criticizing our fellow parents for allowing their children to participate in fun ‘waste of time’ affairs.
Recently social media was full of such messages, which questioned the intention and merit of celebrating foreign festivals. Lots of people not only questioned but also condemned others who not only celebrate their own festivals but also adopt international festivals.
People who believe that we already have so many festivals to celebrate of our own, why adopt foreign festivals – for them I would like to say what is the harm in it? Anyway, festivals are here to give our children and us a sense of belonging, community, togetherness, satisfaction and entertainment. Does it really matter which festival are they celebrating? If our children love to celebrate Navaratri, Diwali, Eid, Christmas and Halloween with equal vigor and enthusiasm, why are we as parents complaining? After all, haven’t we always wanted kids who not only respect their own religion, culture, customs and traditions but also are receptive and accommodating towards others cultures and customs? Isn’t it coexistence is all about?
Plus, this will allow our next generations to become more balanced in terms of their approach to look at various religion and cultures. They are going to be more peace loving when they know that all religion and cultures have their own significance, all can coexist at the same time.
I feel we Indian’s have advantage here. We can easily adopt and adapt to other cultures and festivals.
I feel we Indian’s have advantage here. We can easily adopt and adapt to other cultures and festivals. Therefore, eventually our future generations are going to be more balanced and sensitive human beings. Imagine about twenty years later, when our children will be in the global arena, they will have an upper hand in terms of being sensitive towards global cultures and traditions. They will not only excel academically due to their education and intelligence, they will also have high emotional intelligence and receptivity around various cultures and customs as they have been practicing it since childhood.
This will place them high above not only as professionals but also as evolved, balanced and wise human beings. Isn’t that we desire after all?
With this note I would just like to broaden our thoughts and request all of you to look at the larger image. Let the festival of lights light up our minds as well this time. Wish you all a Very Happy Diwali / Deepavali / Kali Puja and more.
[Special Note: I believe in celebrating all festivals possible, I also believe in knowing the real reason behind celebrating them as well. This not only gives us the perspective around it, it also makes us appreciate our past. It helps us understand our ancestors better.]
Cover image via Shutterstock
I am a person with various interests in life. People around me love my enthusiasm,
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