Children’s author shares what the Festival of Colors can teach us about race and consent
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Festival of Colors - or Holi - just wrapped up. The traditionally Hindu festival is celebrated by millions around the world.
A local mom and author says that it’s a great chance to have fun with the family and open the conversation to some important lessons.
If you’ve never seen Holi celebrated, it’s a beautiful celebration of color. Those who celebrate have a bonfire and then wear all white and decorate each other with colors.
The celebration is based on three mythological stories.
“So the first story is about a lot,” said author Aditi Wardhan Singh. “Krishna, when he was a baby, he asked his mom like, ‘Why am I blue?’ Because he’s like a bluish tinge. And his mom said, ‘but you’re unique, you’re beautiful, because that’s what’s special about you.’ And he said, ‘but I’m not happy with it.’ So he went out and he got some color and he put it on his friends. So that’s the first story of Holi.”
Singh says she always tries to take relatable experiences for kids and create a bigger lesson.
She says Holi is a great opportunity to talk to children about big subjects like race and consent.
“You get really messy,” she said. “Life is messy, right? And at the end of the day, we have to remember that your experiences, your choices, everything is what makes you special. It’s not what is outside your skin color or you know how you look when it’s what inside that counts.”
Singh says how you have the conversation and how far you discuss the topics depends on your child and your child’s age.
But she says when you take something the child can see and understand, like the festival of colors, and use it to talk about important conversations, you can find better understanding.
For example, she teaches her children that before they throw colors on someone, they should ask.
“A lot of people don’t want to have the color on them,” said Singh. “So you have to always ask is it okay?
She says talking about Holi is also a chance for her to share a different culture with children. She says most kids love playing in the colors.
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