We often hear our kids asking us questions, and the most common is “why”? Because humans are naturally curious.
I come from a culture where most commonly asking your elders “why?” is considered a form of disrespect. The older I got, the more annoying it got. And so i made a solemn vow to find the answers to our traditions and make sure I knew at least a little bit so I could explain it to my kids.
So that’s what we do now; whenever i am asked a question cultural or not i don’t respond with “because, I don’t know, or ask someone else.” I say, “lets figure out the answer together.”
A few weeks ago, my eldest, Pranavi, asked me “how do they make soccer ball?” I had no idea, but we Googled it and found a YouTube video. Did you know that it takes 3 and half hours to hand stitch each football?
We have several festivals and until now, I never knew why we do what we do, whether it’s Diwali (the festival of lights),Holi (the festival of colours), to Rakhsha Bandhan (the original sibling’s day). I try to explain the legends and stories behind each of them.
We also celebrate Christmas and we read about Hanukah, Eid, and Dia De Muertos (the day of the dead). We smudge sage and we have full moon and new moon rituals that are more Wiccan and new world. We do everything, and my mantra is: if it makes you feel happy in your heart and doesn’t hurt anyone else, do it. When Pranavi asks me why some of her friends don’t celebrate Diwali or all that we celebratE, I say that they could if they wanted to, but I think they have their own traditions and that’s lovely too.
It is my hope that teaching them as much as I know about the world’s cultures and traditions i will help raise their knowledge and help them empathize.
In the end, no matter where we are, and what we are celebrating, it’s always around a table full of food and surrounded by family and friends.
Here’s to raising kind empathetic children, who will create a better world and spread love through understanding those around them.
What are some of the questions your littles have asked, and how did you respond?
I am a 30-year-old mom of two beautiful girls. I got married in 2011, had my first in 2013 and my second surprise came along in 2015. I primarily stay home with them and work just one day a week at my corporate job when their dad is home with them. I knew that no matter how hard it was on me, I would be a stay-at-home mom because they are my biggest investment and because I had a working mother and father. Being an only child, I spent a lot of time alone growing up. Before we migrated from India in 1997, I had nannies, and after that, just books. I applaud the women that can do both. Even though I get questioned on my decision to stay home with them more often than I should, I am sure women that work also get questioned on their choice. A big woohoo there, because to each their own! My mission now has become to raise kind-hearted, empathetic, bad-ass girls that won’t take no for an answer and will tell you as such with the grace of a ballerina. We are East Indian as you may have gathered already, and naturally, there are some cultural clashes. I want my girls to love the roots they come from but not be entangled and restricted by them. Most of the families living here in Canada are very liberal now because our generation has made it possible. Mine is a little slow – I am the eldest of all the cousins so of course, I am the rebel. This is why my Instagram handle is _rebelmom.