Growing up in small town southern Virginia, we were one of only a handful of Indian families. My parents did wonderfully at helping us learn about our culture, religion and celebrating all things Indian especially our traditional foods and stressing the importance of preserving our language. But I have just as many memories of the time they took to let us experience the joy in holidays like Thanksgiving and my favorite Christmas. Our southern neighbors and friends helped my parents and in turn my brother and me to celebrate with lights, decorations, gifting and most of all remembering the purpose of the season…sharing time, merriment and cheer with family and friends with love and faith.
As I’ve become older, I have to admit that sometimes I’ve questioned whether as a Hindu I should be celebrating Christmas. And now that I have my own boys, I’ve thought about it even more. But each time I go there, I come to the conclusion that I want my children to experience their childhood just as I did. To understand and learn about more than just their religion…to celebrate the culture and customs that are not only Indian and Hindu but those that we as first generation Indians have adopted because of our immigrant parents who embraced America and all the cultures within this beautiful country. So when my mommy friend Naiya told me just last week that she wrote a children’s book that merged the two cultures together, I jumped at the chance to review. I thought what a wonderful way to teach kids – not only Indian children – about the parallels in the two religions and cultures and to celebrate both.
A Very Merry Hindu Christmas written by Naiya Mehta is a fun little book for kids…especially helpful to introduce Hindu concepts to those of us with kids growing up in Western cultures (can’t wait to read it to my son Jai!). It’s great because it showcases similarities between the Indian New Year holiday called Diwali and Christmas, making it easy for little ones to enjoy both holidays and to understand the reason and importance of each.
What I especially love is the concept, the simple/rhyming words and the illustrations are so vivid and colorful for all eyes. This book would make for a fun gift for all the little readers in your life especially with Christmas just around the corner. And it’s currently on Amazon for just 99 cents…what a steal.