Explaining Karva Chauth - An Amateurish Take

Today is Karva Chauth and in our attempt to keep  Driti aware of all things Indian, I tried explaining the meaning of the festival and why we do it. 

But, my timing was bad (I realized it was Karva Chauth today in the morning, thanks to m-i-l's phone call), so all the discussion happened in the car. 

It's basically from the fear that if I do not share the significance of our rituals and culture at the appropriate time, she'll be left with no sense of identity or connection with her home land. On the other hand, I wasn't sure I was fully prepared to have the discussion with her, because of the spate of follow up questions that would follow. If you don't do your homework, you'll always get into trouble.

So, here's what I tried with her : 

Me:  "Driti, today is Karva Chauth, it is a special festival when husbands pray for  the well being of wives and wives pray for husbands" 
D:    "What about children?"
Me:  "And children pray for their parents"
D:    "What about the children's friends?"
Me:  "The children can pray for whoever they want"
D:     "Ok, I want to pray for my friends" and as an after thought "and my parents"
Me:   "Great. So usually, the wife and the husband do not eat for the..." I bit my tongue. This is not what I want her to take away.
D:    "Then why do I have to eat? I am not going to eat" she said dropping her sandwich.
Me:   "No Driti, we eat. We just don't eat chicken"
Ady:  "Tread carefully. I don't want her to stop eating chicken"
D:     "But why only chicken?"
Me:  "Well, you can eat whatever you want, because you're like Krishna. All children are like Gods. So they can eat whatever they want. Remember the little naughty Krishna"
D:    "Then if I am God, why should I pray to God?"

Yes. I should've accepted defeat at this point. 

Me:   "You are like God, baby. And so you pray for other people, not just yourself"
D:   "Why?"

I was now free falling into a bottomless pit. Need to change the strategy - and now!

Me:  "And you know what we do in the evening, when we're praying?" I changed the topic.
D:    "What?"
Me:  "We dress up. Girls wear beautiful clothes and bangles and jewelry and pray.."
D:    "And papa?"
Me:  "Papa will wear pant shirt or salwar suit." I was able to successfully divert the topic.
D:     "Poor boys, they can only wear pant shirt or salwar suit"
Ady : "Tread carefully......" 

 I bit my tongue. I knew what was coming and I couldn't do anything about it, well not now anyway...

D:     "Then why do you make me wear pants? I am not going to wear pants anymore..."

"School Driti! School! Yay! We've reached school, wonderful school! Let's see how many steps till we reach the door" 

"Yay, Mamma!"

Time for me to read up about Karva Chauth, Gods and clothing - My homework.


  1. I can hear the conversation, and in actually read all of it out loud. I applaud your responsible take on raising your daughter with awareness of her heritage, and the way you record the effect this has on your own learning ;-)


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