epub Grandpa's Indian Summer
Neetu and Sanjay along with their parents are going on holiday to India to see their family, which includes the irrepressible Grandpa Chatterji. Rahul, Sanjay's cousin who lives in India finds it difficult to comprehend that his cousins whom he has never and who live in England are related to him and Grandpa explains how they share the same blood, adding that you don't need to share blood to think of someone as family. Grandpa Chatterji is very much looking forward to their visit and seems to be able to influence what will happen by mind power alone! For example when Rahul tells their Grandpa that he hopes to gets a cricket outfit as a present, Grandpa Chatteji sends thoughts to Sanjay who decides not to bring his first choice of a football kit as a present. Or when the taxi they take back from the airport breaks down and miraculously a friends rickshaw is travelling past and can help them. Through playing cricket, becoming friends with their cousins, joining in Grandpa's yoga and various other activities the children become immersed in Indian culture and grow to love it, as well as their family. The children end their visit with a trip (along with their Great Grandmother) to the river to bathe. Their Great Grandmother likes to travel as people used to in a carriage called a victoria, as they travel to the river they pass all elements of Indian life from people traveling in style, to those on foot or in rickshaws, as well as animals. When they get to the river, Grandpa Chatterji explains to the children the significance of the River Ganga and its importantrole in Indian culture.
Jamila Gavin places huge importance on the value of all generations of the family, everyone is important and has a place from the youngest to the eldest. She highlights the differences in culture between the two countries whilst illustrating how all people are essentially the same - it doesn't matter where you live, but the values you hold. The importance of the River Ganga and the stories of the god's associated with that are told in a straightforward and uncomplicated way. This book would be ideal to use in an RE lesson about Hinduism. The culture and history which underpin the story could be used as an opener to explain more about Hinduism, its god's and Indian culture. The children could be asked to work in groups to think of the differences between the two cultures and present to the class. Alternatively they could concentrate on the stories of Shiva, Ganga and Vishnu perhaps by imagining and drawing a god of their own with its own story.
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