Incredible India

Today was another of those days when we made some changes to our regular schedule. They day was filled with learning about India, celebrating Pooja’s party and doing Yoga, so you can see how full it was.

We arrived at school to see a cooking pot, some plates and knives and a chopping board on the table. What were we going to do? Were we going to cook? If yes, what were we going to cook? It turns out that we did a sort of cooking experience which also could be called a science experiment. Ashwini, Rian’s mum and Pooja, Dev’s mum, came to Petals Class to teach us about India. Pooja was dressed in one kind of traditional Indian dress called “salwaar kameez”. The material was shiny and there was some gold on the edges which looked so beautiful. Dev too was dressed in traditional clothing and his was called “kuruta pyjama”. His top is called “dhoti” and the pants are called “pyjama”. He looked so elegant and handsome in his outfit which also had some shiny gold trimming on it.

There were so many interesting facts that we learn about India, before we started working on our tie dye experience. We learnt that the flag of India has three horizontal stripes. The top one is yellowy orange, the middle one is white and the one on the bottom is green. Officially the name of the colour of the top stripe is saffron. Saffron is a special spice and if you cook rice with saffron, it becomes yellow. In the middle of the white stripe is a circular shape that looks like a wheel. It is called the “dharma chakra”.  There are 24 spokes on the Wheel of Chakra on the flag which represent the 24 hours in a day. We learnt that there are a number of sports and games which originated in India. Cricket, Chess,

Snakes and Ladders (Meg said that she loved playing this game with her Papa) and Yoga. The national animal is a tiger and the national bird is a peacock. We have a peacock feather in our class and Pooja brought one from her home, to show us. Food is something really important to all cultures and something that is not accepted in some cultures is accepted in others. In India, you are allowed to eat with your right hand). We learnt how to make our fingers like a spoon so you can scoop the rice and we also learnt how to make our fingers like a fork. It was interesting to learn this about eating food in India. Our teachers all love Indian food. Pooja brought along some of the spices that she cooks with every day. She had cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves etc. They looked like colourful powders with interesting smells. We looked at Indian puppets and saw a picture of a beautiful flower, called the Lotus. There was also a picture of a white building that a man built for his wife when she died. It took 40 years to build it and it is 100’s of years old.

You can see that we had our fill of India and we even wanted to hear more. Then Ashwini took us to the small table and we put some yellow powder into water and boiled it. The water became yellow and this is one of the colours that we used to make our tie dye pictures. The second colour we made from beetroot. We chopped beetroot into small pieces and then put it into water. We let it cook a lot longer than the turmeric and in the end the beetroot lost its colour. The pinky red colour went into the water. This was the second colour that we used for the tie dye design. We learnt from this, that colours for dying can be made from food. In fact artists long ago made paint from mixing sand and water together. We are so

used to having things bought from stores and we enjoy finding out about nature and how we can use natural things more in our lives. We folded the cloth into a triangle shape and dipped it into the turmeric liquid first and then the beetroot liquid. We made amazing designs and then Ashwini dried them and put them into a frame for us.

We celebrated Pooja’s birthday downstairs in Buds Class and enjoyed singing with the guitar together with all of our friends in school. We sang “Twinkle, twinkle, little star”, “If you’re happy and you know it”, “Happy birthday to you” in English and Japanese, “Mary had a little lamb”, Baa baa black sheep”, and the “ABC song”. Thanks for a fun morning celebrating with our friends. Happy birthday Pooja! We hope that all of our friends have a great weekend and that some of them will go to watch the taiko show in Yoyogi and see Jen (Sofie’s mum), Shelley, Seneca (Jasper’s mum) and Toshiki (Maryna’s son) playing.


 All the children in Petals Class.