Celebrating Holi

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It seems appropriate to kick off this blog with a celebration of renewal!  For our adventure this past week we attended a Holi celebration at a friend’s house. 

What is Holi?

Holi is a Hindu celebration that takes place in March, on the day after the full moon closest to the first day of Spring. So if you’re looking for a local celebration, early March is a good time for a Google search. Holi celebrates the end of winter and beginning of spring. There are several different stories about the basis of Holi- like most religions’ celebrations of spring, they revolve around fertility, rebirth, and the triumph of good over evil. 

How do you celebrate? You basically just throw colored powder at each other. My art and mess loving kids loved it! There are huge celebrations, but my friend just bought the colored powder on Amazon and let the kids have at it in the yard- her toddler found the big public celebration too overwhelming, so doing it with just a few friends was perfect for the little ones. 

Experiencing Other Cultures is Important

Our family focuses on anti-bias education. This includes intentional exposure to and celebration of cultural and individual differences, and conscious discussion of issues surrounding bias (I like to use media to intentionally bring up particular issues). 

By exposing your child to various cultures and their celebrations, you can start laying the basis for respecting these cultures. You help your child understand the world, and prepare them to navigate different cultures in their future travels. 

How to Experience Other Cultures

  • Hanging out with friends: the best way to experience another culture is through someone you know! We are lucky to live in a diverse area and love sharing cultural celebrations with friends.  
  • Tavel: immersing yourself in another culture is a great way to learn about it
  • Public events: online searches and community center event guides can help you find these. 

Avoid Cultural Appropriation

When you use elements of a culture for entertainment or fashion without the consent of that minority group, you are getting into the area of cultural appropriation. This is a big deal because it strips these elements of their deeper meaning to that culture and reduces them to a novelty. 

For example, dressing up in a costume of someone from another culture generally means you are creating a caricature of that culture based on stereotypes. If your child is interested in traditional attire and you want an activity around that, try a coloring sheet with information on the style of dress and why it was culturally significant. Or check out this sticker book.

How do you teach your child about other cultures?

I’d love to hear other ideas! Comment below!

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