It is crucial to develop an awareness of our rich cultural heritage in children from an early age. It gives them a sense of identity and belonging.
The National Education Policy 2020 lays emphasis on the importance of India’s varied cultural heritage in terms of arts, crafts, traditions, and literature. It recognizes the potential and power of teaching arts to students. In this rapidly changing world, there is a real need for inventive thinking, holistic exposure, and maintaining a thirst for learning throughout one’s life. An encompassing arts education fosters the development of such critical skills.
Read on ways on how to teach your child to appreciate this rich tradition
If your child is 6 years and below:
Follow your culture: Celebrate Indian festivals in the true spirit as a family by following the traditions, customs, and rituals. Tell your child stories behind the festivals and why we celebrate it.
Tell stories: Narrate stories from the past to your children such as the Panchatantra and Jataka tales. These stories are rich in morals and understanding the history of India. Find a treasure trove of stories here.
If your child is from 7 to 10 years:
Encourage traditional food: look for recipes and cook food that represents a particular state, involve your child in the process. Most foods have a story behind them such as the influence of the climate, history and so on.
Arts and crafts: Every state of India has its unique arts and crafts and children of this age love creating things. Here your child can follow some easy step guides to create a Warli art for example.
If your child is from 11 to 17 years:
Mix it up in the kitchen: Involve your child in the kitchen while cooking a traditional meal. This creates a special time for bonding and an opportunity for cultural conversation. Talk about your childhood and narrate some special anecdotes around that food.
Share stories of family history: Talk to your child about your family tree. Having a better understanding of family can help children be confident in their identity. Old photos are a great way to explore the heritage and social conditions of the time.
Children will be able to understand and appreciate the diversity and rich cultural heritage of their country only when they are taught about it.
-Ridhima Somaiya, Teacher British Council India