Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A book for all seasons!

Today is a special day for most people in India, especially South Indians – the festival of Ugadi which signifies the beginning of a New Year according to the Lunar calendar. Personally, we belong to a community that for some reason follows the Solar calendar, the result being we observe Ugadi two weeks later. Growing up amongst Bangaloreans who all celebrate Ugadi on this day, it was hard not to find the festive feeling infectious. More so, Ugadi being a holiday, I felt we were the only ones who didn’t celebrate the new year like everyone else and hated having to give an explanation when asked “What did you guys do for the festival?” Probably the same feeling our children experience here when asked by their American friends, “What do you guys do for Thanksgiving or for Christmas?” Does being loyal to one’s roots mean not observing the same holidays as the natives of the land we live in? That said, I wouldn’t blame my mom for not observing Ugadi like our neighbors. Who would want to toil in the kitchen for two Ugadis as opposed to just one? As it is, in India, today is a holiday, whereas in the US, its business as usual – with work to go to, schools to attend, classes to be dropped to and after all that you still need to have an answer when your family back in India ( read mom-in law) asks you “What have you made for the festival today’? :-)
As I couldn’t find any book on Ugadi specifically, I read a book on a year and its seasons titled “All around the seasons” by Barney Saltzberg. This is an ideal book for your little one to learn about the different seasons. This book provides a charming rhyme on what makes every season special from chicks hatching and sowing seeds in Spring to long lazy days and pink lemonade in Summer to falling leaves and flying kites in Fall to days of snowman and hot chocolate in Winter. May this season and the all the seasons of this year usher in the best for all of you! Happy Ugadi to my moon following friends!:-)

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