Today is Gandhi Jayanti, one of India’s national holidays and the celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday! A positive and transformative individual, there is much to be celebrated on Gandhi’s birthday and beyond.
Teaching Your Child About Gandhi
Who was Mahatma Gandhi? Maybe your child has heard of him but they know very little about him. Known for his principles of non-violent resistance, Gandhi was an anti-colonial civil rights activist that fought for India’s freedom in the time of British rule. He is still regarded as a pioneer of the Indian Independence Movement. He worked to organize peasants, farmers, and laborers to protest land-taxes and worker discrimination. He also led nationwide campaigns for increasing women’s rights, easing poverty, and encouraging religious harmony after he assumed leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921.
How is Gandhi Jayanti Celebrated?
Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated every October 2nd in India, commonly through prayer services and festivities. Gandhi’s life is also celebrated through painting and essay competitions to encourage non-violent efforts. School students will also commonly sing songs to honor Gandhi. Try listening to some of these songs about Gandhi to celebrate this year! There is also a memorial for Gandhi held at Raj Ghat in New Delhi where he was cremated.
The Spinning Wheel
The spinning wheel is often a symbol associated with Mahatma Gandhi and for good reason. In the time of protest against British rule, Gandhi used the spinning wheel (charkha) to make homespun cloth. He made his own clothing while being held as a political prisoner at Pune Yerwada’s jail in the 1930s in order to shun British textiles during a self-reliance campaign. The spinning wheel is still regarded as a fundamental token of Gandhi’s personal philosophy and ethics. You can teach your children about the spinning wheel with our fun puzzle featured in Shoonya Kids 😊. Learning about the spinning wheel is a great, easy way to honor Gandhi’s life!
Remembering Gandhi’s Principles Looking Forward
Though Gandhi is not around today, his vision lives on through the potential of the future. Remembering principles of non-violence and compassion are simple ways to improve future generations. Gandhi’s legacy continues to inspire thought leaders and activists all over the world and can create a sense of shared purpose for everyone looking to make the world a better, more accepting place.