Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Ganesh Chaturthi: Crafting and Storytelling

29th August was a grey day here in the UK and it was extra miserable due to Big Scribbles and Little Scribbles feeling a little under the weather. To brighten up our day and add a splash of colour we thought we would join in with the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. Ganesh Chaturthi is the Hindu festival celebrated in honour of the god Ganesha, the elephant-headed, remover of obstacles and the god of beginnings and wisdom. Clay images of Ganesh are placed at various public shrines and rare worshipped for up to 10 days. As people will still be celebrating, why not hold your own Ganesh craft afternoon. We began our session by reading a short story from Barefoot Books fantastic Indian TalesThe eight stories in this anthology, each from a different Indian state, feature educational facts and information about the cultures from which they are chosen.

To set the mood for our crafting sessions we put on our Asian Dreamland CD which is full of soothing music from across Asia. The ten tracks are accompanied by extensive liner notes in English, Spanish, French and German.

Our craft session consisted of making our very own Ganesha mask! Now, I am not the best at drawing but I think we got it to somewhat resemble a colourful Indian elephant. The thing I love about children's crafting is that the fun and the learning is all in the process of design and making with the outcome not the most important. We simply took a paper plate and cut out two semi circles on either side, leaving a trunk like shape in the middle, perfect! The semi circles acted as ears, which we stuck onto a circular piece of metallic card. With a little paint, some glitter and stick on gems meant we had lots of fun creating out very own Ganesh.

Look how cute it looks! Maybe not quite as good as traditional images but it was a great way to introduce multicultural traditions and celebrations through storytelling and crafts.

There are lots of Hindu and other India based religions throughout the year, with Divaali (or Diwali as it is more commonly known) being the next big festival in November. Plan ahead by practising your storytelling skills and checking out out Pinterest page for ideas on snacks and crafts.

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