Inculcating culture

My elder sister has a son, who is just 2 and half years old.  Whenever he visits our place with his parents, our house gets filled with so much fun and enthusiasm.  There are so many fun filled yet learning moments with him.  From many memorable incidences, I remember one when he was just one year old.

It was the festival of ‘Janmashtami’ when my sister and my nephew were at our place for mini vacation, my jiju [my sister’s spouse] did not get leave, thus could not attend the festival at our place.  We celebrate Janmashtami every year with lot of fun and enthusiasm.  In the evening of Janmashtami, we decorated the Puja ghar with lots of flowers and lights and also placed new cloths and jewellery on Lord Krishna’s idol.  My nephew was so happy to see all these activities.  We prepared variety of prasads [holy food] for offering to Lord Krishna.  It was the second Janmashtami festival celebrated with my nephew and that time he could understand the activities going on around him.

It was 12 am when we worshipped Lord Krishna with holy chants and offering Prasad.  It was the perfect holy ambience with beautiful decorations and environment of pure holy chants.  After finishing the offerings and prayers, all family members [my mother, father, elder sister, myself] sat down on the floor near the Puja ghar for some peaceful feeling and sharing good words within us.  Though we all sat down, my nephew was standing besides the puja ghar [it was placed on small table in the room].  He was so happy looking at the decorations and lightings.  My sister then asked him to bow down to the god and all elders in the family to get the blessings as this is the culture that needs to be inculcated in the child from his or her childhood and which goes along with the him or her throughout life.  My nephew saw us first, how we bowed down to the god and all elders for expressing regards and getting blessings and then my sister taught him to do the same.  He cutely, innocently and obediently bowed down in front of god and all the family members for getting blessings.  We all could see the happiness on his face as he was bowing down because it was something new for him to learn.  After getting the blessings, he on his own went to the table where Prasad [holy food] was kept and lifted the small bowl of holy water and took the spoon placed besides the bowl.  We all were surprised to see this because my sister did not tell him to do this.  He then said in his cute voice that he would give Prasad to all of us with his hands.  He went to his mom first as she was sitting near him, to give Prasad and thereafter to all the family members one by one.  This made us feel so happy because it was something we did not expect from this little one.  He taught his mom and all of us that children are always open to learning new things and they show so much affection when doing any work.

This incidence taught us that we can learn so much from kids while teaching them day to day life’s wisdom.

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