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Are you evolving cultural traditions? A Rakhi edition

Are you evolving cultural traditions? A Rakhi edition

I have the most loving little brother, 7.5 years younger than me and we share a wonderful relationship. Growing up, Rakhi was not a festival we celebrated in our community in South India, but, it was widely celebrated in school and amongst friends, so we did it as well. Little threads of love, a small Aarti, and a gigantic hug. We didn't care much about presents or money - the hugs was more than enough. 

Fast forward to today, I have two little boys and although we don’t live in India, there seems to be enough imbibing of culture for the older one to grasp the concept of Rakhi.

“Should only girls tie Rakhi to boys?”, he asked me.

“Of course not!” I said defiantly.

But I realised at the same time, I hadn’t had a conversation about the meaning behind the festival. And this was the first time he asked me, I suppose because of the arrival of his new, little brother. Amazing how their brains work! 

It also struck me how some cultural and traditions are so wonderful, but need to evolve. Are we being intentional when we talk to our kids about "unstereotyping"? Or do we continue sticking to the norm for the sake of it?  

 …So, I asked our experts at @indigrowkids to help us with A first conversation about Rakhi..

But first, a scientific fact: Changing and evolving cultural traditions in festivals has been proven to have a positive impact on future generations by breaking down gender norms and challenging stereotypes.

It's not surprising, but we often forget it. Here are a few conversation starters. 

1. "What is Rakhi?” It’s a celebration of love between siblings. Traditionally celebrated in India.

2. "Can everybody celebrate Rakhi?” There are no real rules or limitations on who can celebrate rakhi.

3. “You can tie a rakhi to whomever you choose.” While traditionally meant for sibling relationships, you can tie a rakhi to anyone as long as it's done with love and respect.

4. “When you tie a rakhi on someone, you show your love and support for them”.  It’s always important to talk about the meaning behind why we do what we do. The message behind the action is important for our little ones.

5. “To whom would you like to tie a rakhi this year?” A great way to talk to your little ones about whom they value in their life, who gives them love and support and to whom they give love and support.

 Here is a poem you can say together. 

 My Rakhi is a Thread of love, so fine, 

Saying ‘I love you’ to me and mine.. 

My hands and yours form a bond so strong

In my heart, you belong !!

Maybe we should use festivals as a chance to spark conversation. Maybe we should make evolving our cultural traditions the norm. After all, isn't the world around our little ones evolving too?

For India inspired books and games to spark conversation, click here!

Follow here for 1 min reels on more conversations like this. 


Busy bees @indigrowkids

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