Tuesday, December 20, 2005

What they do teach you in preschool

Last year, in preschool, our son was taught this little Kannada song that goes:

"Chamma Lakka, Chamma Lakka, Elli Hogidhe?"

It is full of a little child's observations about his/her own place in life in comparison to that of the mother and father. It's quite catchy, and when the singing is accompanied by expressive gestures (hands on both cheeks, rolling eyes!) by the child, it is indeed cute.

I don't know all of it, but stanzas are simple enough for me to memorize. Here is a rough translation of its three stanzas:

Appa gets to wear pants and shirt
Amma gets saree and blouse
But I get only half-trousers
I don't know why. I don't know why.

Appa has office work
Amma has kitchen work
But I get only home-work
I don't know why. I don't know why.

Appa gets two rotis
Amma gets one roti
But I get only half a roti
I don't know why. I don't know why.

If I were to guess, I would say the song was written about fifty years ago. What I don't know is: does this song reflect the reality of its time? Or, was it written to tell kids about how things ought to be?


  1. Anonymous said...

    I think it is both. Fifty years ago things were probably like that, and children by learning it at an early age believed that it ought to be like that!

    I remember reading somewhere that a children's book publisher made it a point not to depict a 'family picture' in his books as - the mother cooking, the father reading newspaper, sister playing with a doll etc. He wanted to depict them as doing things relevant in today's times.

  2. Abi said...

    Sowmya: I didn't state this explicitly in the post, but here it is anyway: why are children being peddled this sort of stuff now?