When my daughter’s school invited us to set up an exhibition about India, on the occasion of International Friendship Day, which they interpret as kids from different countries coming together and forming friendships forever, we were thrilled to be a part of it. As a non-resident Indian living in Singapore, the opportunity to represent my country India and showcase our rich culture was an incredibly enriching and rewarding experience for me and my family. 

Setting up the exhibition was a wonderful way to share our culture with others. We displayed various artifacts, such as miniatures of Indian landmarks, folk art, traditional clothes, traditional handicrafts, and games from India like lattu and chess. We also brought in some delicious Indian snacks, which everyone enjoyed. 

As we interacted with people at the exhibition, we were overwhelmed by the positive response and interest in our culture. Many people asked us about our customs, traditions, and beliefs, and we were more than happy to share our knowledge and experiences. The most fun part was teaching kids from different cultures how to say ‘Namaste’! I also got a chance to visit other booths set by moms from different countries, including Korea, China and the Philippines. 

Finding Meaning In Little Things

On the day of the exhibition, my daughter and I obviously wore sarees– elegant, and clearly symbolic of our culture. The process of getting dressed in the sarees was a beautiful experience in itself, as it brought back memories of my childhood. It reminded me how badly I wanted to drape any piece of cloth like a saree every time I saw my mom wear one. 

However, the showstopper of the day was a simple red rose hair clip. Actually, I decided to use the same red rose hair clip that was a part of my bridal look for my daughter. Seeing her wear the hair clip that I had once worn on my special day was an emotional and beautiful moment for me. As I clipped the red rose into her hair, I couldn’t help but feel a rush of emotions. It was a small accessory, but it symbolized so much to me. It reminded me of the love and commitment that my husband and I share and the beautiful memories of our wedding day. And now, to see it on my daughter was a reminder of the family that we have created together and the love that we have for our child.

Seeing my daughter wear the hair clip was a powerful moment for me as a mom. It was a reminder of how much she has grown since she was born and how quickly time flies. It was also a reminder of the special bond that we share as mother and daughter. And to see her wear something that was once mine, made me feel like we were connected in a special way.

Going Back To The Roots

Coming back to the exhibition, the experience of representing India in a foreign land was truly gratifying, and it made me feel happy and proud of our heritage. It was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the beauty and diversity of India and to connect with people from different backgrounds and cultures. 

But beyond the immediate joy and pride, we felt in representing our culture, there is a larger importance in teaching children about their roots and culture. In today’s fast-paced, globalized world, it’s easy for children to become disconnected from their cultural identity and heritage.

Exhibitions like the one we participated in offer a chance for children to learn about their culture and understand their roots. Through exposure to traditional clothing, food, music, dance, and other cultural artifacts, children can develop a deeper appreciation for their heritage and identity. This knowledge and appreciation can provide a strong foundation for their personal and cultural identity, as well as their relationships with others.

Instilling A Sense of Pride and Belonging

Teaching children about their culture and heritage can also help them build important life skills. Children who are grounded in their cultural identity are often more confident, resilient, and adaptable. They are able to navigate cultural differences with ease and grace, and they are better able to appreciate and respect diversity in others.

Moreover, children who learn about their culture and heritage are more likely to develop a strong sense of pride and belonging. This can be especially important for children who are growing up in a foreign land, where they may feel like outsiders or struggle to find a sense of belonging. Understanding their culture and heritage can provide a sense of connection to their roots and a sense of belonging to a larger community.

In today’s globalized world, it’s more important than ever to help children connect with their roots and understand their cultural identity. Even simple school functions and activities like this one can prove to be an important opportunity to do just that, and we feel grateful to have been a part of it.