I grew up in an old colony like atmosphere, where the premises were closed like the modern day residential complexes. We did not have to worry about trespassers and our parents let us lose anywhere within the premises. Also because all heads of the families living in the colony worked in the same office, our parents did not really have to worry about our naughty endeavors, because in every nook and corner of the colony, there was someone who would identify us. Before we would reached our homes, our parents would be informed over the phone, about what we have been upto. But then we had the craziest fun during the festivals with dozens of kids forming groups based on their age groups and having the fun of their lifetime.
My earliest memories of Republic Day are waking up and jumping infront of the television to watch the Republic Day parade. At that age, I was more excited about the tableaux from various states and the cultural performances. A few years later, we participated in the school parade and witnessed the flag hoisting ceremony by our principal. The significance of Republic Day came in much later when we academically understood the meaning of the ‘The Republic of India’ and ‘Constitution’.
When I came across this prompt, I wondered that what I could tell my 5 year old, to mark the significance of the day. He is too young to understand the concept of ‘Constitution’ and ‘Republic’, yet I definitely wished to make him realize that this was a day as significant or rather more than other festivals that we celebrate actively. I raked my mind for things to do with my son but could not really come up with anything of significance. But as the day progressed, it turned out that my son and I were automatically tuned into the patriotic spirit. Here’s what we did –
Stand Up to the National Anthem
Nik like every student is used to the national anthem in school, but I made a conscious effort to play and sing the national anthem even at home. He obviously asked me that why I was playing the ‘Jana Gana Mana’ song at home today. I told him 🙂
Watched the Parade on Television with Him
This year I was keen on watching the Republic Day parade after several years. Reason that I had pulled Nik out of the bed and put him infront of the Television for him to watch the parade. To my delight, he was really excited on watching the various armed forces. He wanted to understand the difference between the Army, Air Force and Navy. It goes without saying that he enjoyed the tableaux.
Draw and Color the National Flag
Nik’s cousin who goes to playschool received a paper national flag in her school. Nik saw the same and was immediately keen on drawing one. So we got to the job and colored our way to make a national flag.
I have come to believe that story telling is an omnipresent rescuer. I spent some time telling Nik about how we were a child country and did not know how to do our work. So to tell everyone about how work is to be done and who should do what, a book was written. On Republic Day, we celebrate the buying of that book.
I know this is only a remotely related description of a much larger and wider subject. But I thought, for starters it’d be good to go and do enough to instill some sense of purpose to the school holiday named ‘Republic Day’.