Saris and Samosas in Year 4 Geography Lesson

This term Year 4 at the Royal Alexandra have been studying the geography of India. To bring the subject to life, Mrs Patel who is the parent of one of the pupils in Year 4, was invited to come in and talk about Indian clothes and food.

Mrs Patel, whose family is from India and who regularly visits India, came in to the lesson wearing a sari which is the traditional dress for women. She explained how there are different saris for different occasions and how heavier, more elaborate fabrics are used for weddings and other family celebrations. The lighter weight material saris are worn on other days and they suit the climate of India which is often very hot.

Children noticed that Mrs Patel had a pink mark on her forehead and she explained that this is a ‘bindi’ which is a mark that Indian women wear to show they are married. She also showed pupils the bangles that she wears and told them how bangles and other costume jewellery are an important part of an Indian woman’s outfit. Pupils were particularly impressed by a pair of diamond-encrusted bangles Mrs Patel had been given by her mother and father in law when she got married.

Mrs Patel had brought along some traditional outfits for children and had no trouble finding volunteers to try them on. Daniella Hince tried on a girl’s sari, and Lester Baylie and Jamie Beck-Roberts modelled the tunics that are worn by boys.

Pupils were offered traditional Indian food to try – samosas and bhajis. Mrs Patel described the Indian attitude to food and how important it is that every visitor to an Indian household is offered something to eat. She also explained how the elders in a family are always given their food first and then the men receive their food, with the women always eating last.

Teacher Dionne Williams commented “The class loved hearing about life in India and learning about the clothes, food and customs. Some of the traditions are very different from the lives they experience here in the UK but they found the whole presentation fascinating. I would like to thank Mrs Patel for sharing her culture with us and providing such an absorbing session for the children.”

March 2012

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