Our biracial (African-American and Indian-American) daughter had been anxious to open the Diwali trunk box we got in the mail since its arrival. When we got home it was sitting on our front porch and Amaya automatically thinks that anything delivered in a brown cardboard box must be for her. Amaya and her dad love Pizza and Amazon Prime makes online shopping a guilty pleasure. Subsequently, Amaya immediately demanded “open it, Mom, please!” I looked at her and said, “Amaya we have to wait for your dad to get home so that we can explore the Diwali trunk as a family.”
I had reached out to a company by the name of Festive Roots after seeing that they provide Indian festival and holiday trunks for kids. Their trunks are intended to aid parents, teachers, and those interested in helping their children learn more about Indian culture do so with ease. And as many of you know, we have struggled to find resources that can help us teach our biracial daughter more about her Indian culture. Both of our extended families live hundreds of miles away from us and my husband travels extensively for work during the week. As a result, I’ve taken on the role of Mrs. Mom& Dad during the week and this includes making sure that our daughter is immersed in both cultures.
“Open it, open it, daddy, please!”
OPEN IT, OPEN IT!
As her dad, opened the garage door she exclaimed, “daddy you back home? ‘ YAAAAY!” She hugged and kissed her dad and then proceed to run and get the Diwali trunk box from the kitchen table. “Open it, open it, daddy, please!”, Amaya remarked with excitement. My husband looked up at me and I echoed, “let’s open it, she has been waiting for you go get back home so that we can all see what’s inside.”
Once we opened it our daughter’s eyes widened. Inside there is a lovely welcome letter from Festive Roots. And a gold book showing children celebrating called the Festivals of India inscribed with the word Diwali in big, bold, and bright red letters. Upon seeing it, Amaya leaped forward and ran away with the book. Calling her back to the kitchen table she was hesitant to give us back the book as she exclaimed “it’s beautiful; it’s for Amaya!” And she decided that she was going to try to read the book all on her own at the tender age of 2.9 years old.
AN EASY TO READ DIWALI BOOK FOR KIDS
After about a minute she motioned for my husband and I to help her read the book. The book is colorful and written for children. It provides a simplistic and detailed overview of the history, five day festivities on Diwali, and the meaning of Diwali which takes place on October 30, 2016 this year. “Diwali is the festival of lights and celebrations. It is a festival that celebrates good’s victory over evil. It is also known as Deepawali, which means row of diyas (earthen lamps).” Source: An excerpt from the Diwali book provided by Festive Roots.
Underneath the Diwali book we found two awesome Diwali themed projects for kids. The first is a Festive Roots firecracker craft for kids. It comes neatly packaged with instructions and everything you need to do the craft. The firecracker craft was excellent for Amaya because she loves the idea of firecrackers but is terrified of the noise. This craft provides her with the chance to make her own firecracker for Diwali without the danger, noise, and pollution. The second themed project is a Rangoli craft. Rangoli is a form of art in India in which patterns are created with sand, rice, flour, or flower petals during Diwali. The Rangoli craft is neatly packaged with instructions and everything you need to complete the craft. And it also makes a wonderful keepsake for your child for years to come because it has an 8×8 artist canvas panel. Amaya is showcasing her Rangoli craft in her room for her Amma (maternal grandmother in Hindi) and Papa to see when they come and visit us.
Overall, Amaya has enjoyed every aspect of the Diwali trunk and we as parents loved it because it was fun, engaging, informative, and a wonderful cultural tool on Diwali for our biracial child.
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Have you used the Festive Roots trunk program? What was your experience? What other tools have you used to teach your child about culture, Diwali, or other festivals? Share this post! Post a comment below! Like our content, Subscribe! Want to try this Diwali Trunk? Use promo code GUP5 for $5 off at www.festiveroots.com.
Growing Up Gupta