Wednesday, April 13, 2011

History, India, Great Britain and Germany

It is holiday today in 'J's school. It is Bhim Rao Ambedkar's Birthday. Also this time of the year is new year celebration for most Indian states. Hindu ritual and related to hindu calendar but as India was a collection of small kingdoms of Maharaja's earlier so the calendars were different, some of them followed lunar calendars and some followed solar.

So anyway, 'J' lying in her bed and pondering on what to do with the holiday asked me, "Why we have holiday today mama"?

Me - "It is B. R. Ambedkar's birthday today".

'J' - "Who is he"?

Me - "You know from history, India was under British rule long long ago. And then when British people left India to Indian people, we did not have any rule book for ourselves. We did not know whether a child should start school at age of 3 or 6. We did not know whether a girl and a boy should get married at age of 20 or 18. We did not know which languages will we use in the offices. So we urgently needed a rule book, just like at home we have a list of rules. Bhim Rao Ambedkar who was also very active in bringing independence to India and was a historian, jurist and a writer came forward and helped in drafting the rule book for independent India, we call it Indian constitution or Samvidhan.

'J' - "Oh, I see ! Mama when English people fought world war, did India fight against them?

Me - " No, at that time we were part of britain therefore army from India which was created by British people helped Britain to fight the war."

Coming from Europe 'J' has some impression of world wars in her mind as it comes naturally there to talk about wars when they talk about history, among knights, among English and Scots and then world wars.

'J' -  "Who was in which team in the world war"?

Me -  "Germany, Italy and Japan were one team and Britain, France, Russia, USA were all in other team".

'J' - "Why Hitler had to start the war"?

This question she has asked before too. Specially after reading the book called 'When Hitler Stole my Pink Rabbit' a marvellous book by children author Judith Kerr.

Me - "Because we always want to have more power, more things, more land and more money".

'J' - " I wish Hitler was not in Germany.  I wish Britain did not rule on India ".

Being born and spent first few years in Germany she has very soft corner for Germany, just three years ago she used to call herself a German and German was her first language. Last two years she has spend in UK where she loved her days to but now she is in India. A country where  mother and father are born, a country who has given her passport and nationality, a country which she finds very chaotic sometimes but is starting to like.

Me - "Don't worry, all these things has happened long long ago, when you were not born, I and papa were not born, your grand parents were not born, there parents were also young. At present most of the country live in peace with each other, or at least try to do that. India, UK and Germany are all friendly nations.

'J' -  "Huff, that is good. Fighting is crazy."

Me -  "You are correct, fighting is not fun, it kills so many people."

Me (thinking) - "Phew! I need to brush up my history as soon as possible".

And who said in the job of mothering there are no deadlines?

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