Krishna is our Megadolls family member all the way from the beautiful and vibrant country of India. India is known for its spices, elephants, and colorful clothing.
India is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country in the world. Although India is not the largest country in the world, it has the second most people. Over 1.3 billion people live in India – about four times more than the number of people in the United States!
There are 23 official languages in India and two official classical languages: Sanskrit and Tamil. The classical languages are ancient (old) languages that were spoken by the ancestors of the Indian people who live today. Most people in India speak Hindi. Many have also learned to speak English as a second language. This makes it easier for people from different parts of the country (who may speak different languages) to understand each other.
Unique things about the culture in India.
Indian people may have a different way of living than you at home. They greet others in a special manner and likely practice a different religion from you. Oh, and they love a good festival or celebration!
Indian people say Namaste when they greet each other. Namaste means 'bow to you and shows respect to the person you greet. Many people combine this greeting with a hand gesture. They put their palms together with their fingers pointing up as if praying. Then they hold their hands, so their thumbs are in front of their heart or brow (between their eyes and just above their nose). They may also bow their head down a little. Most Indian people only hug or kiss people that they know very well.
Most people in India are Hindus, although some are Muslims, Christians, or Buddhists.
Hinduism is a collection of different traditions and beliefs. It can almost be described as a way of life instead of a religion because the practices are ingrained into the everyday lives of Hindu people. Hindus believe that the universe has one large soul or spirit. This is known as the Brahman. The Brahman is always present, everywhere. It is in the things around you, your friends and family, and even you.
Hindus believe in something called samsara and karma. They believe that we are all a tiny part of one large soul. When someone is born, a small part of the giant soul comes to earth to experience life. When they die, the small soul re-joins the large soul. Hindus also believe in reincarnation – the same small part of the large soul comes back repeatedly to experience even more of life!
Samsara is the belief that when a person dies, they come back to life in a different form to have a different experience than they had in their previous life. Karma is the idea that what you do (good or bad) not only affects other people but also affects you in this life and your next life or lives.
Indian people love festivals. One of the biggest festivals in Krishna's country is called Diwali. In ancient times the Hindu god Krishna (where our Megadoll got her name from) won a battle against an evil demon called Narakasura. The light in the world beat the dark. To celebrate this, many Hindus light lanterns or string lights and set off fireworks. Because of this (and the victory of light over dark), Diwali is also sometimes called the Festival of Lights. Diwali lasts for five days in late October and early November.
Holi is the festival of colors that happens every year in March. The night before the festival, people gather around a large bonfire to sing and dance. On the day of Holi, people wear white and throw different colored powder or water at each other. Each color represents a specific good wish. For example, orange is for optimism, blue is for vitality, and red is for joy and love.
Ganesh Chaturthi happens in August or September every year. This festival honors the Hindu god Ganesh. Ganesh has a human body and an elephant head. He is believed to remove any obstacles in the lives of the people who pray to him. During the festival, giant statues of Ganesh are placed around India, where people bring offerings or do religious rituals. These statues are placed in the ocean on the last day of the festival.
What do Indian girls traditionally like to wear?
Many Indian girls wear a Sari every day. A Sari (or Saree) is a piece of cloth that they wrap around their bodies. The cloth is wrapped around the waist and then draped over the shoulders, leaving the midriff bare. Some women and girls wear short shirts underneath their Saris.
Indian girls also wear Salwar Kameez. The salwar is pants that are loose around your legs and tighter around your waist and ankles. The top, a Kameez, is a long, loose dress worn over the pants.
The clothes that Indian girls like our Megadolls Krishna love often have bright and vibrant colors. Dark red, cerise pink, burnt oranges, bright greens, and sapphire blues are just some colors you can see the girls in India wear. Each piece of clothing usually has beautiful designs woven into the material. These patterns could be made in a different color or even gold-colored thread.
Indian girls also like to decorate their bodies. They often wear bangles made of glass, gold, silver, ivory, or wood. Bangles also have lovely designs, often with glitter or sparkling stones.
Special occasions call for Mehndi's. A Mehndi is a pattern drawn on the hands with a Henna. Henna is a special dye that stains the skin temporarily. It is believed that Henna brings good luck and positive spirits. These patterns slowly fade and can stay on your skin for about two weeks.
Here are some more fun facts about India:
· The money that they use in India is called Rupees.
· Hindus believe that cows are holy or blessed. That means no one in India eats beef. Although many only eat fruit and vegetables, some eat chicken and fish.
· India has many famous monuments, including the Taj Mahal, which many travelers would love to visit!
· India is known for its majestic elephants.
Krishna is an Indian member of our Megadolls family. Our Play range of paper doll clothes has different kinds of clothing in which you can dress your Krishna paper dolls. Our Create range has blank templates you can decorate and make unique dresses for your pretend play with your Megadolls.
Krishna loves playing and dressing up with her friends from around the world. She is friends with Dakota from North America, Mei from China, Salka from Iceland, and Zula from Eritrea. Together they explore each other's cultures and backgrounds to understand and welcome how people in other parts of the world live.
With Megadolls, may we all inspire, encourage kindness, experience creativity, and promote meaningful play with awareness and compassion for others.