Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Kids Punjabi and Hindi Info

Sikh, Life: In response to my post Raising Sikh Children in a World of Illusion, I was asked for more detail on books/videos etc. Here is my response:

Re: children's books - there are a number of cartoon like books; one for each of the Gurus - you can find them in Delhi in nearly any book shop in Connaught Place. Occassionally we find something in the Punjabi section on main street in Vancouver. There is a beautiful book on Guru Nanak published recently in India though I can't find it here; all the pages are hand painted by a famous Indian painter whose name I can't recall now. I'll try to look it up tonight.

Re: videos - there is a kids video on Hindi called Chalo Hindi Bolay that Nayan has watched hundreds of times; it's extremely well done. In Jallandar and Chandigarh you can also find select popular movies dubbed in Hindi. We have purchased titles like Stuart Little, The Harry Potter series, etc. I have been trying, though with no success, to find a source for all of the cartoon network cartoons which are dubbed in Hindi (the ones nearly every Indian child is heavily addicted to); I'd be thrilled if anyone could identify a place to purchase these. Sadly, there are no kid related videos in Punjabi, either here, or in India that we could find. In Punjab, most kids are fluent in Hindi, and Punjabi is not treated that seriously (it's considered sufficient if kids speak it -- no need to read and write it too well). Here, most people just don't seem to care enough to expose there children to Punjabi, or if they do, it is dealt with casually and not treated with the rigor, or the all encompassing environmental exposure required for children to be truly bilingual, let alone on a path toward understanding Gurmukhi.

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