With 26th Jan round the corner, here are some ideas on how to explain Republic Day to the kids and also celebrate it in your own way.
The beginning words of the Preamble of the Constitution of India - "We, the people" - signifies that power is ultimately vested in the hands of the people of India. It also tells that the constitution is made by & made for the people of India and not given to them by any outside powers. The Preamble lays down the most important national goals which every citizen and the government must try to achieve - justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity. The Republic Day is the celebration of adoption of this Constitution and a pledge to uphold it. Children would learn about the Constitution in school, experience the zeal of parades to celebrate the Republic Day and even catch some of the excitement on TV. However, with these tips, you can also celebrate it in your own way. After all it is all about We, the people.. ..
What makes Republic day Special?
- It can be thought of as a birthday. It is on the 26th of January 1950 that ‘The Constitution of India’ was adopted or came into force.
- On 26th January 1950, India elected Dr.Rajendra Prasad as its first President. During the transition period from 1947 to 1950, King George VI was the head of state. Lord Mountbatten and C. Rajagopalachari served as the Governors-General of India during this period.
- On this day any Citizen of India can fly the National Flag on a vehicle, or at the top of his house, because he is supreme. Like kids can wear a special dress on their birthday, on this day every Indian citizen has the privilege of being able to fly the National flag.
- It is a paid holiday. In fact it is illegal to make people work on this day, offices have to be shut down. And this year it falls on a Monday, which means, that if you want to take off for an extended weekend break, now’s the time!
- The Republic day celebrations are marked by flag hoisting ceremonies and parades by armed forces and school children in various parts of the country. The grandest of these parades is presided by the President of India and is held at Rajpath in New Delhi. The parade also sees the Indian military showcasing its latest acquisitions such as tanks, missiles, radars, etc. The parade is succeeded by a pageant of displays from the different states of the country.
- Children are a very important part of these celebrations as they participate in the cultural show put up, they participate through the NCC and most of all they are also conferred the Bravery Awards every year.
- The children who win the bravery awards ride elephants in the Parade every year. But owing to protests by animal rights activists and also the potential danger of a stampede due to two elephants last year, in 2009 the same has been discontinued.
Few unconventional ideas to celebrate the Republic Day
- Make tri-coloured sandwiches for breakfast. With cucumber and tomatoes and a dash of imagination, it shouldn’t be tough.
- Serve the idli like the tri-colour on the tray. Gun powder coating for the saffron and chutney coated for the green, exciting beginning to a national holiday.
- Breakfast not such a big deal? How about a tri coloured pulao or biryani at the lunch table. With carrots and peas available at the market, shouldn’t be difficult.
- A community lunch where the dress code is wearing tri-coloured clothes can add Republic day flavor to a luncheon session. Even apPot luck lunch among friends can be spiced up with a nationalistic theme on Republic day.
- Get inspired by Nicholas Cage in the movie National Treasure. Have your own National Treasure Hunt in the apartment complex. Let the clues be from the ‘Constitution of India’ or use the National Insignia as the clues in the Treasure Hunt. You could have a quiz contest with the nationalistic theme.
- Frame a copy of the Preamble of the Constitution of India and put it up in your kid’s room or study area. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Constitution_of_India.jpg)
- Rent a DVD of your favourite patriotic film and watch it with your children. Have a discussion over hot chocolate later on why you liked it so much. Once you do this, you may just get inspired to start a film club with your kids.
- Have a local version of Bravery Awards for kids. Reward all the brave and courageous gestures that the kids in the neighborhood made through out the year. Start new categories of Most Helpful, Most Empathetic, Best Team player. There are enough awards for toppers in academics and other competitive events, reward team play and generosity instead. Remember, it is giving recognition to these qualities that will nurture them further.
- Have a picnic with a jingoistic theme. Take your kids to see a national tree- the Banyan tree close to where you stay. Sing patriotic songs en route.
- A visit to a national monument can also become memorable. Examples, India Gate in Delhi, Vidhan Soudha in Bangalore, Gandhi Samadhi in Delhi, Gateway of India in Mumbai etc. Many of these monuments have special lighting at night for Republic day. Go for a post dinner jaunt in the car to see these lights and watch your little ones eyes fill with wonder and awe.
- The Beating the Retreat Ceremony on 29th January that is held at Vijay Chowk in New Delhi, officially marks the finale of the Republic Day Celebrations. During the ceremony the atmosphere reverberates to the rhythmic beating of the drums and foot tapping of the performing soldiers. With the Rashtrapati Bhavan , the South Block and the North Block lit up in the back drop, it is a sight to behold.
Happy Republic Day!