We wanted to write a small post inspired on this lovely experience in the school, which our son shared with us some time back and which really touched our hearts, assuring us that we are on right parenting track.
It is also important to share this tiny story because in this world which sometimes seems complicated, unfriendly and tough, children are our hope to turn it into a much more beautiful world which is full of empathy and compassion.
This will be also our first joint post on a topic – a style which we might think of considering for our future posts also.
So let us start this post …
Our son got enrolled in a new school as we moved to Tokyo from Nagoya. The school, environment, friends, everything new. Every day with new experiences, along with it comes plenty of new learning not only for the child but also for the parents.
One day he goes to his school and sees a new Indian looking lady in salwar kameez (a traditional combination dress worn by women).
He wonders who is she, because he is the only Indian and probably foreigner too in this school.
He thinks some new Indian child has got enrolled in the school and she would be along with that child.
After some time, he meets that lady in his class.
The lady introduces herself – She is an English teacher from Pakistan and visiting the school to conduct some English conversation sessions with the Japanese kids.
The teacher first introduces herself and then the children introduce themselves one by one. Now seeing a similar face, the teacher is also curious to know about this child. Our son also introduces himself and shares that he is from India. She is happy to hear it.
The teacher then starts introducing about Pakistan, telling the kids numerous things about Pakistan – the country, climate, cuisines such as different types of dal & rice, masala or spices, and other cultural aspects. She also shows pictures and images and explains it all one by one to the kids.
Every picture shown to the kids is new to them and the Japanese kids say that they cannot even imagine such a thing – for example a rickshaw, a colorful truck…
From the rickshaws, colorful trucks to lassi and paratha, she goes on…
“Can these be really running on the roads???” The Japanese kids ask the teacher.
Every information is new for the kids. But for our son, every information that the teacher shared was familiar. While the other kids asked numerous questions, our son knew the answers of most of the questions.
The children come to know so many things about Pakistan – its culture, food, daily lives.
However, our son could understand it all – nothing seemed new.
When we asked him later, he said that he actually felt as if she is talking about India!
All the time that the teacher is telling about Pakistan, he felt as if he is making a virtual trip to India.
He started feeling nostalgic especially when the teacher mentions about lassi and parantha – Lassi and Parantha being his favorite food…
He also makes this joyful ride to India along with all the colorful and vibrant pictures from Pakistan that the teacher shows the children. He feels he is walking on the roads of India.
The session ends and the children start discussing on the whole experience. As they discuss, they see that our son is lost in his thoughts smiling and trying to process his thoughts.
The Japanese kids ask him what he is thinking…
He replies “懐かしいな”
“I am feeling nostalgic”.
Kids say –
But you are not from Pakistan why should you be nostalgic. The teacher showed Pakistan to us and not India.
I don’t know the exact truth, for some reason the relationship between Pakistan and India got bad. But the hearts of Pakistan and India are surely connected (Conveying the children’s exact feeling in above conversation might be little difficult because language is arbitrary and abstract).
Later the Pakistani teacher meets him outside the classroom and starts chatting with him asking simple things about family, how he is in Japan, in a Japanese elementary school etc.…
Both enjoy the conversation in Hindi.
Our son had returned that day from school very happy and narrated this to us the same day evening when we returned home.
It has taken us couple of months to post this small story.
We had to post it today as a sense of duty given the global situation we are undergoing now.
And as we are posting it, we feel that even though our lives have becomes drastically convenient with the advancement of science and digital technology, we are also living and experiencing an environment around us in which we as an individual and also at country level are constantly suspecting each other as if we are crawling into a dark tunnel.
This incident at school taught us that when you see things without any biases, pre-conceived notions and judgments in your head, how differently and accurately you can see things and develop a healthy outlook towards situations.
Once the global situation comes back to normal, we hope the world is seen and felt from the child perspective – The Most Matured Way, if we may say!!!
Stay Sensible, Stay Safe