Boredom challenges children to explore their own passions.


Set back a few hundred years, learning invariably was one that took place in an open space through constant interaction and personal experience.In past the few decades, somewhere in between learning get compressed into closed spaces and tutoring become more theoretical where only constant interaction left, but no space for personal experience. We need to understand that not all learning takes place in the classrooms “ compare and contrast knowledge gained from personal experience. To develop personal experience, one required time to interact with themselves to become curious about their interest.

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Sporting, musical and other organized activities can certainly benefit a child’s physical, cognitive, cultural and social development. But children also need time to themselves – Do remember, children, are always happiest in self-directed play. That’s because the play is children’s work. It is how they learn to work out the emotions and experiences they’ve had.

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 Watch any group of children playing and they will organize themselves into an activity of some sort, whether that’s making a human train, pretending to be a doctor and deal with patient’s problems.

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Sometimes I noticed, Parents often feel guilty if children complain of boredom. But it’s actually more constructive to see boredom as an opportunity rather than a deficit. Parents should need to understand that rushing in with ready-made solutions is not helpful.

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Boredom plays a crucial role in child development as it gives children the opportunity to explore their inner and outer worlds, which is the beginning of creativity. This is how they learn to engage with themselves and the world, to imagine and invent and create.

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Boredom challenges children to explore their own passions. If we keep them busy with lessons and structured activity or fill their time with screen entertainment, they never learn to respond to the interests of their own, which might include making a doll from rag cloth, write a short story, or simply read comics or imagine  their own super hero and it’s new super powers.

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These calls from our heart are what lead us to those passions that make life meaningful, and they are available to us beginning in childhood — but only when children are given free rein to explore and pursue where their interests lead them.

funny-Indian-kids-band-playingIn fact, there’s a lesson here for all of us. Switching off, doing nothing and letting the mind wander can be great for adults too – we should also try to do this once in a while ..

 


 

‘GANGOUR’ The festival of Isar and Gour.

Gangour is one of the widely celebrated festivals of Rajasthan. The festival marks the beginning of spring season in the state.It’s commenced at the mid of march with a series of celebrations that last for almost 18 days!

The word ‘Gangur’ is made up of two words,’Gana’ and ‘Gaur’. ‘Gana’ is synonymous with Lord Shiva and ‘Gaur’ stands for Gauri (Parvali), the goddess Gauri who symbolizes soubhagya (marital bliss). The Gangour festival is widely acclaimed and enthusiastically celebrated throughout the state of Rajasthan. Gangaur is a festival of the women folks; Gangaur is celebrated in the honor of Goddess Gauri, who is considered as the symbol of virtue, devotion, fertility and a perfect married woman.

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The small Idols of the Shiva and Gauri are usually made of wood or clay mud. These divine male and female entities are called ‘Isar’ and ‘Gauri’. It is mandatory for a newly- wedded girl to observe the full course of 18 days of the festival and keep fast to ensure her marriage do well,  even unmarried girls fast and eat only one meal a day.

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Now, let me take you through the procedures of celebrations!

The celebration begins almost a fortnight before the main day of the festival.Girls worship the goddess all through the fortnight before the main event day.   A group of women from the town holds a procession and carry colorful Idols of Gouri. Many people from nearby villages come to take part in the procession and roam around with them from village to villages.

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On the main day of this festival, women wake up before sunrise. Prior to the worship, newlyweds and unmarried girls leave the house with an earthen pot with a lamp lit inside, called ‘Ghudlia’, on their head to near the pond and garden, to collect fresh water and fresh flowers respectively.While coming back to the house, women chant hymn and (mangal) songs.

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After making home holy by sprinkling this water, women construct twenty-four finger-high and twenty-four finger-long square base of the holy clay in the solitary place.During this Pooja as a symbol of virtue, sixteen dots by  kuncum, sixteen dots by mehndi  and sixteen dots by kajal  are made.

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Women Decorate the Isar and Gauri with beautiful clothes and ornaments specially made for the occasion.the beautifully decorated idols look like they are brought to life by these girls and married women. Women worship ten forms of Mother Gauri: Gauri, Uma, Latika, Subhaga, Bhagmalini, Manokamna, Bhavani, Kamada, Bhog Vardavini and Ambika, with great devotion and faith.

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The idol of Isar and Gouri placed on the head of married women are taken in a procession in the afternoon, to a garden, bawakdi or well. Vidaai songs are  sung  as  Gouri departed to her husband’s house, after that they come back to home. These prayers are persisted continuously for 18 days and are concluded with the arrival of Lord Shiva to accompany his bride home.

The married women worship Gauri for welfare, health, and longevity of their husband and cheerful married life. While unmarried girls worship the goddess to get the husband of their choice.They sing Bhajans or devotional songs as part of Gangour Puja.During Gangour festival several fairs or Jatra are celebrated in Jaipur, Udaipur and many other towns in Rajasthan.

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Gauri and Isar idols are taken out for a ceremonial procession through different parts of the city. Once the religious part of the festival is over, time for cultural events starts where the Rajasthani culture is portrayed through songs, dance and several cultural activities.

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On the final day, the procession comes to an end with the Visarjan (immerse) of all the idols in the water of Gangour Ghats. The women bid farewell to Gouri and return back towards their home with teary eyes and in this way, Gangour Festival come to an end.

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Storytelling of tribal tradition….

“Jhabua” famous for doll making, locals refer to call these doll making as ‘Adivasigudiyashilp’.

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Jhabua predominantly a tribal district located in the western part of Madhya Pradesh.There you will find Bhils, Bhilalas, and Bhagoria tribal community mainly on the whole . Jhabua has all district level basic necessary infrastructure and administration like Government hospital, bus stand, district court, police headquarters and markets.

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Although Urbanization stimulates the lifestyle of these rural Adivasis but still you can find handful followers of  Adivasi cultural  in weekly Haat bazaar (market). In these haat bazaars, you will get a variety of handcrafted material products, including bamboo products, dolls, bead jewelry and other indigenous items.

In these haats,  Bhagoriya haat festival is very famous. Bhagoria is not merely one festival, but in fact, a series of fairs held one by one in various villages on their specific market days, commencing eight days before Holi. Many interesting facts I heard about this Bhagoriya hatt bazaar. Earlier, the Bhagoria haat was the place for settling old disputes; open invitations were sent to enemies for a fight in the haat. Bloody battles used to be quite common in the past; but today, police and the administration do not allow people to go to the haat armed.

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Another interesting fact is- as earlier there was no concept of matrimonial so this festival become a place, where boys and girls of marriageable age meet and after choosing partners runaway (Run Away is Bhag in Hindi, that’s why we call this community Bhagoria), As per the tradition the boy applies gulal (colored powder) on the face of the girl whom he wish to have as his wife. The girl, if willing, also applies gulal on the boy’s face. This may not happen immediately, but the boy may pursue her and succeed eventually.

 

Isn’t interesting?, if I would be one from this tribal community, I will get dressed up in my best outfits and makeover, before to set off into my groom hunting. Otherwise in urban cities, finding groom is a wild goose chase task. Well, jokes apart. So as I mentioned , you will find boys and girls in their traditions attire during these Bhagoria haat festival.

 

I visited last year this haat bazaar to compare these doll resemblance and I found these dolls truly a symbolic representation of the Bhil and Bhilala tribe and their historical ethnicity.

 

 

 

Doll making tradition in Jhabua is many generations old. These dolls represent the tribal men and women’s lifestyle in colorful traditional outfits and ornaments. They adorn the female doll with silver ornaments like Galsan Mala (bead necklace) or Chaandi ki Hansli (silver necklace), Kadas (bangles) and colorful Bhagoriya bridal wear Ghagra/Choli together with small utility items such as bamboo baskets and earthenware.

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On the other hand, the male counterparts are seen in Dhoti & Kurti with traditional Teer Kaamthi (bow arrows) – highlighting hunting and gathering as primitive occupations of this tribe. Such symbolic representation of the Bhil and Bhilala tribe, their existence and ethos, translates these little dolls into an important medium of expression of historical ethnicity.

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As raw materials they use colorful vestiges of fabrics, clay, plaster of paris, cotton, wires, beads, metal jewelry, silver paint and bamboo. The facial expressions are painted with great attention to detail. These dolls in itself tell their glorious traditional stories . Various variety of these dolls u will find at ‘Shakti Emporium’ famously known as ‘Gudiya Ghar’ owned by a private entrepreneur Mr. Subhash Gidvani who practicing it since 35 years.

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Develop values of tolerance, acceptance and kindness among kids for different culture.

Why is it important to teach children about our culture? Why is it equally important for children to spend  time to learn from other’s culture and to respect it? How do we teach them tolerance, acceptance, and kindness? As a guardian, you’ve to likely ponder yourself in all of these questions.

On the broader vision,

What is culture?

Best designed solutions, to make way of life  interesting, smooth and organized for indigenous people and communities. Every designed solution(Culture), before to get its place in society, went through systematic designed process behind it.

That process gets influenced with many indigenos factors of mythology, history, believes, skills, climate condition and available sources of material .

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It’s not enough only to get to know any particular culture, until u not dig deep into its designed process. That would be the real learning  which will make logical sense to your kids about any culture..

For learning interaction is must. Tangible visual literacy can be great mean to make kids curious to gain more and more knowledge about the subject..

Being willing to give curiosity to see people of other cultures helps children to grow up in an accepting atmosphere, and teach them to respect  differences they will surely encounter as they continue to grow and learn.

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fWe all know it’s important to prepare children to thrive in an ever-changing and increasingly-diverse population, And doing so can be a balancing act between maintaining pride and love for one’s own culture while remaining curious, tolerant, and accepting for those who are different from us. Ultimately, the goal is to raise culturally aware kids to equip them with the attitudes and skills necessary to be able to live together peacefully with others amidst difference

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We believe, Play has an important role in learning and emotional development of all children. Play helps children to learn relationship, social skills and develop values and ethics. In India where we have diverse culture and ethnicity exist side by side, Learning and to appreciate it should be began at the early ages. On that note our toys can provide a tangible experience and opportunity for kids to build an understanding about the diverse culture of India. Toys speak lot about the cultural heritage of a place; they depict the rich history, mythology, culture and social life style of the people residing there. Through toys we can speculate a lot about any particular place and culture . This is what i believe in, what’s you  perspective ?

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Marapachi Kolu ( A couple doll)

Before let u introduced with Marapachi dolls let me describe u first from which rituals they belong to.

Bommai Kolu   is a tradition of doll figurine display festival during  Navratri in south India. This custom practiced in state of Tamil nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerla. This festival have interesting rituals; Once the initials pooja get done in Navarati, This is then followed by building a rack of odd-numbered shelves of Kolu (usually 3, 5, 7, 9, or 11), set up using wooden planks. After the Kolu has been covered with fabric it is then adorned with various dolls, figurines and toys according to their size, with the deities at the top. The Kolu is predominantly displayed with depictions from Puranas, court life, royal procession, ratha yatra, weddings, everyday scenes, toys, miniature kitchen utensils, anything a little girl would have played with. Most of the wooden toys displayed come from traditional toy makers in EtikoppakaKondapalliKinnal and Channapatna about them I will explain you respectively later on my further articles….

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It is a traditional practice to have wooden figurines of the bride and groom together, called ‘Marapacchi Bommai’ or ‘Pattada Gombe’, usually made of teak or sandalwood and decorated with new clothes each year before being displayed on the Kolu. In southern India bride is presented ‘Marapacchi Bommai’ during the wedding by her parents as part of wedding trousseau to initiate the yearly tradition of ‘Navaratri Gollu’ in her new home with her husband. These dolls come as couples dressed in their wedding attire, depicting husband and wife symbolizing prosperity and fertility and the start of the bride’s Gollu collection. Display figurines are passed on from one generation to another as heirloom. Another belief is that these dolls were dressed in wedding finery to be able to capture the essence of marriage forever. Those were the days when there were no photos so these dolls represented the marriage in the absence of photos.

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