Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Culture of India

We had another exciting day today!  We had a guest speaker (the Dad of one of our classmates) spend most of the day teaching us about the culture of India.  We started the day with our teacher reading us the book "Elephant Dance" by Theresa Heme.  It was a good review of some of the things that we've already learned about India but also introduced us to some new information.

Photo Credit: Barefoot Books

Throughout the day, we watched a number of different Youtube videos.  You can check out this webmix to see them. 

Did you know that zero was invented in India?  So was chess and yoga.  We were led through a few different yoga poses.

While we were outside for recess, our teacher got a henna tattoo!
Isn't it beautiful?!?
She had to wait for a while and let it dry.  After, the black just rubbed off and this is what was left...

Our guest speaker's daughter also got a henna tatoo...

Our principal also showed up and got in on the fun!
In the afternoon we started by reading "Gandhi" by Demi.  Our teacher had told us a bit about this peacemaker and this book helped us understand more about his life and his work.  We noticed a lot of similarities between Gandhi and Nelson Mandela and Wangari Maathai--other peace makers we had learned about earlier in the year.
Gandhi (SIGNED), Demi [Demi Hitz]
Photo credit: Appleby Books
We watched a video about how to put on a sari and then all of the girls got to try on a sari.


Then it was the boys' turn!  After watching a video on how to put on a turban, the boys got to try one.  To make them into Rajasthani men, they needed a mustache!


Wait a minute...those last two weren't Rajasthani men!
We learned about many different festivals -- Diwali (festival of lights); Festival of Colors and Eid.  For many of these festivals, as well as weddings, many families will create a "rangoli" on the steps of their house.  Rangoli are ancient symbols that are made of colorful patterns that are meant to be sacred welcoming areas.  We used chalk to create some at the entrance of our school to celebrate the end of the school year.

And with that, we have just one more thing to say...