Quite a lot, I would say.
“I hate this thing!” shouts my 6-year old as I make him try out his kurta for Diwali celebration in school. The same kurta was lovingly hand picked by me, during my recent visit to India, from dozens of similar colourful clothes. Visualizing how handsome my sons would look in it, I didn’t mind exceeding my budget for these comfortable loose shirts. “Fine, just wear what you want or just wear your uniform then!” I stormed out of his room exasperated. My elder son who was a silent part of this drama, and who would have preferred to wear his football t-shirt, quietly donned on his kurta with a pair of jeans. He expected me to smile, to feel happy as he had followed my instructions, but I was quite indifferent by then. This is not what I had visualised. Fine, I knew there would be no squeals of delight or showers of ‘Thank you mummy’, but downright refusal is something I can’t accept. What’s wrong? Why can’t my kids enjoy this festival as much as I did when I was their age, a festival that is an integral part of their motherland?
When our kids are too little to understand things and participate like robots, we think its a matter of time till they grow up and learn to share our happiness and enthusiasm. But when they do grow up other things take priority in their lives and our grand plans seem to face a roadblock! “But we did this every year, what’s wrong now?” asks a mother. If only a child would answer I have grown up Mummy, that’s whats wrong! Its easy to say that I won’t have any expectations from my child. We all say that when our kids are small and yet we all demand the attention, the response that we think we deserve for all our hard work over the years. Its our hopes, our expectations, our dreams vs their wants, their priorities. It has happened in the past, is happening now and I am sure it will continue happening in the future. This eternal Diwali vs Halloween war!
Have you faced this kind of a situation with your children? Would love to hear your thoughts!
tulika singh says
Are kids the same the world over? Just as mums all seem to come from the same place! My son at 8 years has finally rebelled against the Kurta. Yeah jeans and Kurta are doable. I thought it was in the genes since my husband donned Indian clothes extremely reluctantly for our wedding! However frustrating it might seem I think the Diwali that you strive to create will find a happy place in your kids’ memories. And they will probably laugh at how they used to rebel at wearing Indian clothes. Really, it’s all part of growing up.
Loved your outlook +tulika singh ….yes today’s pains become tomorrow’s happy memories….this blog is one of the ways I am going to ensure that they are kept alive.
Roshni AaMom says
It’s very simple; they want to do what their friends are doing! I don’t know if you have a lot of Indian friends with kids who dress up in traditional attire during Diwali etc. Perhaps if they see their friends dressed up in a similar way they wouldn’t be that self-conscious.
Culture is a big word for kids without much meaning! It means something to us because we were born and brought up in India. I think we need to accept that it’s not going to be possible or fair to completely instill that in our kids who have been brought up in a different environment!
Rachna Srivastava Parmar says
Even though I live in India, there are times when the kiddos just refuse to wear a kurta. Exasperated, I decided that I won’t buy them anymore. But this year, my younger son asked if he could wear one. I was very happy and amused. Of course, I later learned that his best friend was wearing one. 🙂 I am sure some day in the future, they will fondly look back at the lovely Diwalis they have celebrated at home.
I hope so +Rachna Srivastava Parmar I hope so….So often I tell my husband that I wish parenting also had a set of parameters, a set of deliverables that have to appraised every year….at least we would know where we stand………..thanks for sharing your experiences.
Ranveer vishal says
I think it depends on kids who are now exposed to different things, it’s a matter of taste since today’s gen like doing different stuffs. May be, they haven’t really seen our Indian wale Diwali. Howz bout taking them next time:) I am sure as they’ll grow up they’ll wanna experience Diwali:)
Happy Halloween, Mehroo:)
Hi Vishal, yes I do want them to experience our Diwali. Taking them to India one year would be a good idea. Thank you.
Sangeeta Reghu says
Happy Halloween and belated diwali greetings .. mine girl wanted the Radha dress from Student of the year .. thankfully I managed and today she’s barney … a sleeping on though as she got tired playing in the costume since 7 in the morning 😀
Really ”Radha dress”? Girls are so different from boys…..atleast they have cute looking costumes! My boys are planning to become Dracula and Zombie reaper tonight.
cynthia haller says
I live in India, and lots of kids just show up to school in western wear for the Diwali party 🙁 In my in-law family, the two oldest nephews who are early teens just refused to dress up for puja, just wearing their standard uniform of jeans and t-shirt, the only two smartly dressed kiddos in the family were my daughter and our youngest nephew. Other relatives kids are also all in their teens and rebelling against anything India. I am Swiss, and I am very clear that India holidays means ethnic wear, Swiss ones mean western wear. No ifs no buts. But my daughter being just 5 she is not yet rebelling. As long as her outfit is pink, princess like and has lots of glitter and tinsels she is very happy 🙂
Oh wow that’s interesting +cynthia haller . that way your child can have the best of both worlds. And while traditions may be dying in India, it is living outside the country that gives me an additional boost to keep it alive. Its like I have an added responsibility to ensure that there are no slip-ups. I am sure had I been in India I wouldn’t have been much bothered like everyone else.
cynthia haller says
I feel the same about everything Swiss and western. I am her only portal to that culture, and if I don’t do it nobody will teach her right.
Veena Regit says
My 4.5 year old won’t wear Kurta with Jeans either! Between Love there Halloween costumes!
Richa Sonpatki says
Haha..Dressing up doesn’t seem to be something boys like doing unless it is fun to do..read wacky ghoulish Halloween costumes. Give them a Tshirt and jeans and they will be happy! I am sure our parents had a hard time persuading us back then to wear what they liked too!
well said +Richa Sonpatki …thanks for visiting.
Swapna Thomas says
Loved this post Mehroo! I am sure they will understand where you are coming from in a few more years. Till then, put up with it and yeah Happy Halloween!
Gayathri Gopalakrishnan says
My 2 year old howled like I was torturing him when I made him wear a simple cotton kurta. He did everything else like help me put Rangoli stickers , light lamps etc. but just wouldn’t wear traditional attire. I have a drawer full of amazing traditional outfits for him which he will never wear. sigh!
Lol +Gayathri Gopalakrishnan ! Maybe they should start marketing these kurtas with spiderman and other super heroes pasted on them…..maybe that would work for both parties! Wish you a very Happy Diwali and thanks for visiting my blog.
pratyusha lakkapragada says
I faced a similar situation with my 4 yr old recently at a diwali celebration held at our apts recently where the kids were expected to dress up in traditional attire. And my li’l brat plainly refused.I tried forcing him, telling him everyone else would wear it but in vain. I gave up finally and dressed him up in his casual wear. Also he kept his ears shut through most of the time crackers were burnt. And we stay in Mumbai. So no reason for not enjoying diwali:-\
Just hoping that he learns to enjoy festivals as he grows up… But reading your post, I doubt if this is gonna happen
Hey don’t lose heart +pratyusha lakkapragada . My boys were very ”Diwali friendly” till last year. In fact this year it was just the clothes that were a ”pain”, else they thoroughly enjoyed their sparklers. I am hoping for both our sake that this is a passing phase. So let’s hope for the best! Thank you for visiting my blog. Most appreciated 🙂