Dec 18, 2007

London Queen for Indian KinderGarten Kids!

Indian children learn English History, English Values, England Queen and London Bridge right from Kindergarten. All our poems, literature for the kids are derived or modified from English literatures. Every character in the story is English. This has not changed ever since the British nailed into our great grandfathers' brains that whatever is English is high above anything Indian. Those veterans still hold the Britishers in high esteem for their governance and education. I feel ashamed when my grandfather feels so. I feel ashamed that we are not proud of whatever we are. I have hated to have learned about the British Queen and London Bridge in my school poems ever since I started to love my country. But that love did not come from this education. It came from my upbringing and from being associated with various groups at an young age. I should talk about myself here only to believe that there are millions of Indians who have also felt the same but are as helpless as I am now. But to think there are others too with us is good to know. I use this media to attempt at what I think can change the way we educate our children in India.

I am seriously looking for creative poets from India to come up with Poems for school kids below 5th standard, which can replace the British left overs that has been there ever since my great grandfather was in school.

The purpose of this is to make our children imbibe values of India and not about England Queen or London Bridge or whatever. Our kids are made to learn these only because we never could come up with poems as good and as simple as them. Don't we have such creative minds in India? Please don't ask me why I am not trying to do this myself. I accept my inability to do it. But with a group, with other intelligent minds, I can definitely attempt something.

Let our children learn to be patriotic right from the school. What needs to go into their books is NOT Pooh The Bear or the Mickey Mouses. They need what they can relate to in their life around them. Only in India we place Mother, Father and Guru (Aachaarya) in a very high esteem in that order. If we do not provide these values at their tender age, they grow up without them. Today the TV shows for children no more carry any such great values we had when we were children. Those chinese cartoons, disney movies are good to watch but not good in values for OUR children. None of the events that these movies show can be related to life here in India. Everything our kids observe and learn becomes guided and taught by the western media. They can only love English!

Our governments do not attempt to do this. But you and me can make them do only if we are equipped to show them an alternative. In this regard, I request you to make an attempt to write poetry for children which can be way better than what we have inherited from the Britishers.

I propose to do it this way:

*** If you have a Blog or Webpage that already has indigenously Indian Poems for Children provide me the link
*** If you already have written some, send them to me by email
*** If someone you know is talented you can help them upload the poems
*** Let you know that your poems must carry values from our Indian culture and should always portray only about India and what we see around here in our daily life
*** This is nothing about religion. Kids must learn to respect all religions. They should never learn about Castes. They must never under-estimate any other human being (many movies talk low of blind people or limps goes unnoticed)
*** Our children should know history of our land before they even get to know history of England or USA.

Please write your comments. I greatly appreciate it.


Uma said...

Hear, Hear!!!!! I don;t remember whether i read it somewhere or we discussed among friends but it was about the same topic. If you remember there is a poem called "Rain, Rain go away" and we were discussing that why should we read that, we should actually be reading it as "Rain, Rain please fall regularly". Like you said we should be teaching our own poems and history, not somebody else's.

Legally Me said...

I only partly agree with your post. It all depends on which School our child goes to. If we send them to "English" Schools, yes we do have the "leftovers" ;of the Raj to contend with. But the vernacular schools do have "our" poetry and rhymes. Like in Kannada, there is the "Karadiya thaka thaka" and "Aane banthondaane". In Tamil, there are umpteen like "Dosai venama Dosai" and "Poonaikkum poonaikkum kalyanam", in Malyalam, there are ones like "Vaa kuruvi varu kuruvi", "Kaake kaake koodevide" which are very very popular. My children for instance enjoy these much more than the "Twinkle twinkle" and "Ring-a-ring-a roses".

We do have a treasure trove of Indian Rhymes, not that it is not there. There are some music companies which knowing the rise in people requesting Indian Rhymes have come out with albums, I have seen them but havent had the opportunity of buying or listening to them.

There are also people who work towards popularizing all these very "Indian Rhymes".

Suchin said...

I agree Rama. But I am only concerned with the English Rhymes that we have. Regional languages have umpteen ...we have our ancestoral poems too dont we? I remember those songs for kids my mother used to sing to put us to sleep. But the English rhymes in schools are yet to change.

Susannah said...

Interesting to know.