We’ve just stepped into the New Year and the newest month of the new year, and already the feeling of having gone through all festivals, holidays and celebrations is leaving a hole in my heart. Well, for as long as I can remember, this time of the year has been my most favourite time, and I know for a fact, for many many others too.
We’re not god worshippers, me and my partner, and I, in particular, am an atheist, so there is nothing religious about this feeling that I have. It’s just the joy of celebrating and participating in this global cheer (and by global I don’t mean ‘western’, but instead, something that is enjoyed by people irrespective of age, culture and region) that makes this season extra special for me.
You see, this season has celebrations like Durga Puja, Navratri, Ganpati, Christmas and New Year, followed by Lohri, Makar Sankranti and Bihu. And these are all the celebrations I have been a regular participant in for as long as I can remember, not in the traditional way, but still, in a big way.
Being a Bengali who was born in Delhi and lived there all her life before hubby and I decided to shift to Mumbai, we’re now both Mumbaikars, with this year marking the 7th year of our stay in this new ‘hometown.’ I’m an out-of-Bengal Bengali, and my hubby is a north Indian, and both of us by birth and culture, Delhiites, and both of us were very sure we wanted our daughter to enjoy all the cultures and celebrations that we have witnessed and loved as kids and have enjoyed in our adulthood.
My daughter is definitely a child of the world, and I am glad that now, as there is an open mixing of cultures and celebrations, we as parents have the opportunity of exposing our children to the richness of various cultures and traditions. With satellite TV, global schools, trips abroad and to different parts of the country and the mixing of various races and cultures, the world has now become a kind of global culture pot – you just need to dip your ladles in and out comes one new celebration each time, right on your culture plate!
We have a big New Year bash each year, followed by a combined Lohri celebration. We celebrate the Bengali New Year when I inevitably make something sweet or special at home and let my daughter know that this is a special day. Holi is a lot of fun and at Eid, our Mohammedan friends make it a point to send us yummy sevaiyaan and we do go out and have special food. Durga Puja is a huge thing for me, and now my daughter too has come to love it and looks forward to it every year. And then we have Diwali, Navratri, and the very special Ganpati, which is a big festival that we celebrate with a lot of enthusiasm for 6 days at a stretch. We have a wonderful Christmas tree in our house each year that my daughter loves decorating (this year she gave it a pink and gold touch!!!) and we always invite friends over for a Christmas party (even though this is not technically our festival).
My daughter’s tastes and celebrations are not restricted to her roots or to where she belongs. She enjoys everything. Hubby and I both believe that all cultures have something special to teach us, and it’s only natural that we try to explain these to our daughter. So, even as there is a lot of celebration during these festivals, we try to give her a little information on the origin of the festival and why we are making such a big thing out of it.
There’s so much for her to explore out there, and we hope we are doing a decent job of giving her little world a greater avenue to explore and experience.
As of now, we’re just enjoying!
Debolina Raja Gupta loves being a mommy and best friend to her 5-year old princess. A working mom, voracious reader, social activist, photographer, poet, travel freak, beauty writer and an everything-of-sorts. Best fun is story time and our fashionista time together. My blogs: The Book Worm, A Few Thoughts Here And There, My Little One And Me, Beauty Makeup And More.