The Children are watching- and learning!

Jai Hind
pic courtesy : Pinterest

“INDIA”, the largest country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. India is a fascinating country. It is home to thousand year old ornately sculptured temples, the world famous Taj Mahal, modern skyscrapers, and prevalent slums. It is framed by the daunting Himalaya’s in the north, the Arabian Sea and Pakistan in the west and the Bay of Bengal and Bangladesh in the east. The southern tip of India is washed by the waves of the azure Indian Ocean separating it from Sri Lanka. India contains an astonishing variety of geographical features from stretches of eternally frozen glaciers, deep rain-forests, fertile valleys, blistering deserts, and palm sprinkled silvery beaches. The land of Mahatma, Buddha, Maharana Pratap, Shivaji and all the legends. My and yours “Mother land” … “I described proudly to my seven years old as he was making his project on  “My country my culture”!!

This is certainly one of the best introduction, but is this all I want my child to know about his country ??

The answer is NO!! There are a lot other important facts that I would like my child or precisely a citizen to know about his or hers country. Being a parent and a responsible citizen it’s your responsibility to let these future leaders know about their Roles, Responsibilities, Fundamental Rights, about The national Anthem, The Indian Flag, Democracy and all about “OUR REPUBLIC INDIA” . I know, it sound a little overwhelming for you but if you find an easier and interesting way it s not difficult to talk a little about our country few days in a week. So, lets instill few basic points of patriotism into our little curious minds, by initiating  these 10 basic discussions with them.

The Indian Flag 

Every free nation of the world has its own flag. It is a symbol of a free country.

It served as the national flag of the Dominion of India between 15 August 1947 and 26 January 1950 and that of the Republic of India thereafter. In India, the term “tricolour” refers to the Indian national flag.

The National flag of India is a horizontal tricolor of deep saffron (kesari) at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion. The ratio of width of the flag to its length is two to three. In the center of the white band is a navy blue wheel which represents the chakra. Its design is that of the wheel which appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. Its diameter approximates to the width of the white band and it has 24 spokes. It’s called “Tiranga”in hindi. You can also tell and display them the flag etiquette here.

2. What to do during the “Indian national anthem”

Does your child know what to do at a sports event or times, when our country’s national anthem, is played or sung? It’s one of the ways to show patriotism for our country.

Jana Gana Mana is the national anthem of India. It was originally composed as Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata in Bengali by poet Rabindranath Tagore 

National Anthem refers to a musical composition that has been selected by an authorized government body and is meant to represent a country’s patriotic ethos. It generally helps citizens relate to the country’s spiritual and philosophical sentiments, its rich culture and colorful history. The national anthem presents a country’s identity to the world and it acts as an instrument of unity among its citizens.

Code of Conduct:

The following codes of conduct are to be observed by Indian citizens whenever the National Anthem is played:

1. Should stand up to attention.

2. Individual’s head should be held high

3. One should be looking forward.

4. Mass singing of the National Anthem is to accompany the unfurling of the National Flag.

5. No parody/distortion of words or music of the National Anthem is allowed.

3. Honor soldiers

There are many brave Indian serving in the military for our country, or who have served in the past. Kids should learn to “honor soldiers who have served or died.”

“These real heroes deserve all the respect and praises for what they are doing for us”.To converse about this topic, and teach about soldiers, my son’s teacher suggests, “If you go to a parade, for example, and you see soldiers walking by , talking about what they did” and why it’s important to show them respect – “Especially for families that aren’t military families,” she notes.

4. Know our basic freedoms

Another addition to the list? “To know our basic freedoms and respect that others have those same freedoms” . we not only intend to give the children a better life, but also help them in realizing their rights. This will ensure that the children have a better life, and also sets them up to explore the offerings of the constitution in the future as well to help protect their interests.

So, being a parent its our duty to keep them informed about their basic rights and freedom of speech. Learning that everybody has the freedom to hold different opinions and beliefs is valuable. “So often, especially for kids, they want everyone to be like them. Anybody who’s different, they don’t understand”.

I understand that few of us …don’t live in India, or may never come back to our motherland. But, its always right and good to let the future generations know the important aspects of the country…and the rich culture. Its extremely important to discuss the recent achievements and problems of the country during family time.

One of the important of our household is watching the live streaming of the flag hosting ceremony and parade on Republic and Independence day every year. This time 26th January fell on Sunday, and all of us sat together to see the ceremony. I remember, when I use to stand and make my son do the same during anthem and flag hosting few years back, my 4 yr old curiously asked….

Mom!! No one is watching you. why are you standing?

I smiled and said I am watching myself, and that was enough to convey the feeling . I further added…It is a way of showing respect to my country, beta ( son).

After that, he made sure to stand and respect the emotions and tradition of our house. We don’t decrease the volume level of television on the onset of the anthem but we sing it louder. I admit  that, both my 8 and 4 years doesn’t know the anthem by line until now,  but the tune (dhun) of it…is enough to make them stand and look at the flag with pride.

I feel extremely happy to see and hear them singing the American anthem “The Star Spangled Banner” with right hand on the chest, and I feel proud to see them standing and humming “Jana Gana Mana”with head held high. This year on January 26th, I got the goosebumps hearing my little one as he sang the last line…..

JAYA JAYA JAYA JAYA HE!!

Children learn by example how to be a loving person then they will grow up showing love to others. If children understand that they are responsible for their actions, then they will grow up to hold others and themselves to high standards of responsibility.

“If children understand the importance of being contributing members of their communities then they will grow up to be active, caring citizens. These three values are integral in making our country a stronger, safer place to live.”

You work for it and you feel it, as the feeling can’t be described in words here. Let the kids know the national ceremonies of your country, and enjoy the after effects of it. You both will treasure it forever. It is not just showing the patriotism by living in the country, but its all about how you feel about it and what are you doing for it. “Independence day” 15 th August is not far away..so let us sing together with pride and with family. 

JAI HIND!

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