Nov 14th is Children’s Day in India. Happy Children’s Day!!
Aren’t children hilarious? And they are so innocent, with such a fresh way of looking at things. They inspire us. Make us think. They teach us so much. They are our future and our most precious “thing”. At the end of day when we are all tired and jaded, one whiff of them and a cuddle and we feel like children ourselves...
For those who might have forgotten: It is Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday - the legendary freedom fighter and first prime minister of free India. He had tremendous love and pride for India. He is also the author of the classic “Discovery of India” and has left his permanent mark on modern India.
Politics apart, the fact remains that he loved children and with his child-like playfulness was quite a hot favourite with them. Children fondly called him “Nehru chacha” (in Hindi it means father’s younger brother). Usually on Children’s Day, schools and organizations have contests for children but Parentree flipped that and has a contest for parents instead.
Factoid - Universally, Children’s Day is celebrated on 20th November, every year, as decided by the United Nations. This day the Declaration of the Rights of the Child was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. But different countries have the option of having different Children’s Days. That is why in India it is Nov 14th. We have been celebrating Children’s day on Nov 14 since 1959.
What do you tell your kids about this day? How to celebrate? Some ideas.
- Of course tell your kids the historical facts. Who was Chacha Nehru, his birthday, and some things about the freedom struggle (depending on their age).
- But also, try and give specifics of his personality and his values so that kids can have a real feel for what he was about. For example:
- Chacha Nehru bit...his love and pride for India...his famous sartorial style...he liked red roses on his buttonholes...the fashionable Nehru jacket named after him...even grapevine rumours that his clothes used to go to England to be tailored or dry-cleaned. Children might remember historical figures, their personalities and their values better. And come the history test, they would be all prepared.
- Involve your children in sharing and being friends with less privileged children. Lessons in empathy, oneness, sharing and value for what they have right from the start. Some ideas and considerations:
- Go to a children’s orphanage, school etc. and share some goodies (cake, snacks etc.) Imagine how happy will these children be and your kids to will enjoy sharing and playing with these children.
- You could even sponsor a child. Many children’s NGOs have this program. Your family will get updates from the NGO about the child’s progress and you can even meet the child from time to time.
- Donate extra toys and clothes. Let your child help you select these and visit the cause together.
- Be spontaneous. You can even visit a construction site that is full of the labourers children, with goodies. If you cannot research this, then you can easily coordinate with causes that NGOs run.
- Remember that in our country, it will never feel right to ignore the fact that the vast majority of the children do not get 2 square meals in a day and cannot read or write.
- Try and research the causes well. Visit them, do not feel shy to ask them questions and get information from others. Make sure that they are well run and committed.
- Last but not the least.
- Be spontaneous with your children. Try and forget that to-do list and while you are with them, just be with them and enjoy them.
Some inspiring and thought-provoking quotations and articles about children from the Parentree community
“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself...”
“If I had my child to raise over again..."
“I dreamed I stood in a studio, And watched two sculptors there.
The clay they used was a young child’s mind
And they fashioned it with care.
One was a teacher, the tools she used
Were books and music and art;
One was a parent with a guiding hand
And a gentle, loving heart...”
Share your favourite quotes and thoughts about children...