Season 1 Episode 1
Religion, Culture, and Kids
Duration: 69 minutes
In this episode, moms discuss how they introduced religion and the concept of God to their children, how they incorporate culture into their daily lives, and how they make all of it fun and interesting for the kids.
Akshaya talks about her family’s aim to introduce stories and traditions from multiple cultures so that her daughter can grow up to choose what she finds most applicable.
Grace, who comes from a traditional Christian household, talks about reinventing some things for her son as he grows up, while keeping a sense of community and joy intact.
Nisha is a Hindu-Punjabi settled in New Jersey, and she speaks about bringing religion and culture alive for her daughter, despite being far away from home.
Ravijot whose daughter’s first word was ‘Vaheguru’ speaks about bringing up a Sikh child in India, where many festivals are celebrated in ways which don’t align with prescribed Sikh norms.
As is apparent from just this small panel, India is a melting pot for a wide variety of cultures and religions which peacefully coexist. It is vital that we pass on this sense of harmony to our children even as we teach them about our own. Within a religion as well, there is so much scope to adapt traditions to what works best for each family. For instance, how two families follow Hindu rituals is very different. Or, how a Sikh or Muslim family choose to slightly alter the messages their parents had adopted for them, growing up. Each panelist speaks about the ways in which they’ve made traditions meaningful and true to their individual circumstances.
Needless to say, it does upset status quo when traditions passed down over generations are altered, even slightly. Discussions about faith are rarely easy, since people feel very strongly about what they’ve grown up believing. Spouses or extended family may often feel very differently about religion, and the panelists cover how they approached the topic of religion within their own families, as they decided what to pass on to their children.
Religion, for many, is about finding a place of calm within themselves. How do you translate that for children who are often little bundles of energy? At what age can they begin to understand it? While this is a very personal choice, the panel weighs in with how they introduced religion themselves, and how their children are processing it.
Tune in for some heart-melting nuggets which show that children may often understand the core of faith better than adults! From cutting a cake on ‘Babaji’s birthday’, to saying ‘Salam Alaikum’ to Ganesha as they pass a temple, this appears to be a generation which truly understands that they do, rather than parroting what they’re asked to do blindly. There is a lot of joy and trust as the panel openly discuss how the idea of faith works as a centering force for both, them and their children, even in today’s complicated times.
Finally, the panel explores how to make religious traditions fun and engaging so that children can more easily relate to them, rather than being confused by dogmatic rituals. The panelists talk about how they get their children involved in festivities, both at home and at school.
The result? It’s heartening how many of their children think of God as being a personal friend!
Here’s to raising empathetic human beings who take generations of faith and traditions, and make them their own.
Watch the video recording of the podcast below.
If you’d prefer to just listen to the audio while you multitask, here’s the audio-only version of episode 1.