As our families grow we try and find ways to make sure our children stay connected to their roots. We draw from our own childhood experiences and build new traditions with our partners, children and the friends we make along the way. In our Then and Now series we talk to moms and dads about how they channel these rich customs, that have been passed down through the generations, in their parenting today.
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Tell us a little about yourself...
Now that you have kids, has the way you embrace traditions changed?
Absolutely. I don't think we had the luxury to embrace our Indian heritage as strongly as we can now. My parents, immigrants (both doctors), were busy training and working to build a life here, and raise some good children. Once my older brother had kids, we started to celebrate Diwali more traditionally and is one of the most fun days of the year for our family! We have a big pooja and feast at my moms house with gifts and sparklers.
Do you have a favorite dish or recipe you grew up eating at home that your kids also love?
Yes! My kids love Kesari a wheat based dessert that is buttery and delicious! They would eat this any time of the day if I would let them!
How do you use clothes and accessories to teach your kids more about your heritage?
My son is constantly learning about Indian culture through clothes and accessories. Every sticker has now become a bindi and he loves picking out Indian clothes that he can wear on special occasions. He recently wore a kurta to school to celebrate Diwali! Because our clothes are so different than his everyday play clothes, he really understands that these are special items that he is excited to wear and show off to others.
What were your parents or grandparents favorite traditions growing up?
For them it was definitely days off of school for festivals and all the food (and sweets) associated! Unlike my children today, dessert or something sweet was not an everyday occurrence -- so they definitely savored every bite. It was also a tradition to get new clothes on festival days, so my parents fondly remember that those were times when they would get new items.
What was an important aspect of their culture they wanted to ensure they passed down through the generations?
I think similar to above, to have gratitude for everything we have been given both the simple things and the special treats.