Saturday, August 24, 2013

Rakhi/ Friendship Band Activity


I am in love with this tradition from India. A little knot with big values - that's how I would describe Rakhi. I didn't know about this before. It is always so exciting to learn something new about a different culture. Even though the play date we had was for the little ones (of course, :) ), I thoroughly enjoyed it (maybe even more than Camilla).

So, for those who, like me, don't know about this festival: A person buys or makes a bracelet and gives it to his loved-one as a warm thought straight from the heart. The original Rakhi is red and gold. It is given by a sister to her brother and symbolizes the love and respect. In return, a brother promises to always support and protect his sister.  By following this ritual every year, brothers and sisters are able to keep and cherish their special bond.

I love it! My brother lives far away. He is always very busy with his job and his family, barely finding time to talk to me. That's it: I need to send him a bracelet!

Our toddlers watched a Sesame Street episode about Rakhi. The old tradition is getting a new meaning. Not only sisters give their brothers bracelets, but everyone can give it to a loved one. A nice way to say that you are glad this person is around.


Friendship Band Activity

We had to get ready for this play date beforehand. I bought different kinds of beads, but tried to choose the ones with bigger, 4-5 mm whole. Camilla was mesmerized by the view of different colorful beads when she saw them for the first time. I did buy the glass ones and watched her very closely at all times she had access to them!

I thought, the easiest would be to use chenille stems. They were very easy to get the beads on. I had to hold the end of the stem steady for my 21 months old. She learned to get the bead on and move it further along the stem very fast. She really enjoyed the process (but not the end result - that one she could care less). She put the beads on and took them off the stem again and again... until I was tired.

Here is a nice tip we are going to use for our new lacing cards. Make a "needle" from the piece of a chenille stem. Attach the needle to a piece of lace or ribbon for your toddler's beading or lacing activity. These are great activities for fine-motor skills and hand-eye coordination. 

At the play date, we watched the Sesame Street episode about Rakhi, made bracelets, and had some Indian food. At home, we made a bracelet for Camilla's big brother. I gave her one bead at a time for that one to keep a pattern on the bracelet. We used a metal string with specially made lock that allows you to get the beads through. The drawback: it can be unscrewed easily by accident. If that happens, all the beads would be lost.

 It happened, that she gave her brother a bracelet for his first day of school; together with the tickets for the hockey pre-game that she won for him (that is a completely different story - a cool one - the girl has a lucky hand!). 

Indian dishes

Fruit. They have different kinds of fruit there: tasty and naturally ripped, fresh and sweet.
  • Spices and teas
  • Pineapple and chicken skewers, my favorite dish.  The perfect things used: pineapple, bell pepper, tomatoes, onion, and chicken. Spices and yogurt for marinade. Oh, so delicious, spicy, and sweet, and hearty, and yummy... I need to learn how to make it. Anybody has a good recipe?
  • Mango Lassi. It needs a good, ripped mango! I'd love to know where one can find it here in this country. Blend it in a blender together with some yogurt or buttermilk, ice cubes and ice water, if desired. Again, the key is a perfect mango which I couldn't find, bummer.
  • Indian Trail Mix from Whole Foods, kids' favorite!

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