Is Independence Day "Just Another Holiday" ?
School days were always fun? Not really. From the mid of July, we all were forced to practice for the 15th August parade. Nothing used to work: scorching sun, rains, stomach ache, head ache or any other ache we could think of. The only part I loved was, practicing for other curricular activities. Two reasons for the happiness- Firstly, classes were suspended. Secondly, singing and dancing was fun.
After slogging for days and nights, we used to welcome 15th August with a smile. The only thing we children waited for, was a surprise return gift. The gift was handed in the end, usually comprising of – laddoos. We luckily, also had a chocolate and an ice cream twice or thrice. The grand show would start with the morning prayer. Welcoming of the chief guest was the next major act. It was usually with the use of flattery words. The flagship event use to start, followed by the parade. No matter how irritating the practicing seemed initially, the final moment gave all of us a sense of pride. The feeling of being a part of the parade, with drums beating around was a heavenly experience. At that time, every single child would dream of making India proud.
That entire day use to be inspiring. Perfect environment created to make anybody fall in love with their country. While coming back, I can hear small children saying “I want to be the Prime Minister of India”; “I want to make India proud”. I too said the same thing though.
Time really changes fast. As our 67th Independence Day is around the corner, I asked my 8 yr old nephew about his 15th August plans. All I could hear was- “what 15th August?” “We have a holiday that day”; “I will wake up late, watch TV and play video games”. I was startled at his answer. At the same time, I was proud and thankful to my school, for giving me enough reasons to understand and celebrate this historic day.
Today, we as parents can teach our children the significance of this day. Not by talking about history or preaching anything. But, in some way that is fun and learning at the same time.
Certain practices can be carried out on Independence Day-
Sing the National Anthem at the stoke of midnight on 14th August (make sure you wake your neighbors).
Do some craft activities with your kids, making tri-colored clips, hairpins, bracelets or any such thing.
Watch a movie with kids reflecting Independence Day feel.
Take a trip to a National Monument.
Read books about Independence Day with your kids.
Throw an Independence Day party at your place, make sure you make your favorite Indian dish (preferably, tri-colored).
Play some game with your kids like- Paint the Flag, Quiz and Puzzle talking about Independence Day or Pass the Balloon in the relay race(only tri-colored ones).
Don’t make this day just another holiday for your child. At least, we can take some time out from our busy schedules and teach our children the importance and value of this day and also of being a proud Indian. I would end this note with a thought-provoking question for all, rightly remarked by Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru –
“We end today a period of ill fortune and India discovers herself again. The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us. Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future?”
Happy Independence Day to all!