Friday, May 17, 2013

Religion and children.

S goes to Children's World Montessori, a Christian school. Like every Montessori school, they teach kids Christianity. They teach the prayer before food, read Bible, tell the kids the story of Jesus and more.  For the birthday song, he was taught to sing "May the Jesus bless you." instead of "May the Lord Bless you...". S used to sing a lot of Christmas carols and "Jesus, I love you" songs at home too.
When Christmas 2012 was fast approaching, all the kids were learning Christmas carols and memorizing their dialogues for the Christmas play. During this time, the children learnt a lot about Jesus, his birth and his good deeds. 

Suddenly one day S asked me, "Why don’t we have Jesus picture in our altar?" The only convincing answer I found for a 4yr old was that "People who speak only English and no other language have Christ as their God. In addition to English, we speak Hindi too and hence we have many other Gods." Hearing this he said, "So, like Hailey 's (his first girl friend) God is Jesus and Aditi's (his Indian friend's) God is Hanuman?". To this, I replied "Yes dear. That is correct."

From then on his favorite God became Hanuman. I think Hanuman struck with him because of Hanuman's naughty doings as a kid. He loved to see those videos; he never wanted to see any other Gods' stories except Hanuman's. He replaced the word 'Christ' with the word 'Hanuman' and sang all the songs he learnt at school accordingly.

One day his teacher told him that he should not be doing that. He became resistant that we got a complaint for Siddhu's songs from the school. When we asked him, he said, "I like Hanuman, that's why I like to sing Hanuman songs at school." We again had to explain him why he needs to sing Jesus songs at school and Hanuman songs at home. We also explained to him that God is one, but he has may names.

I understand it is a very complex topic, but we brought it the level of a 4-yr old with various examples from real life and then accordingly made him understand the concept. There have not been many questions or conflicts around that topic recently. So, I am assuming that all of us, mainly S, are good.
Sometimes, religion and faith are just so difficult to explain without being overwhelming...

1 comment:

  1. good one Sai. Religion can be simple and overwhelming at the same time!