A Desi Mother’s Information to a Easy Summer season 

summer activities

We survived a number of lengthy months of frigid winter, questioning when sunshine, blue skies and a wholesome quantity of humidity would return. Now that it’s all right here, we want we had deliberate out and meticulously scheduled the times. For those who’re like me and aren’t sending your youngsters to a summer season camp this yr, listed below are some concepts to make sure your little ones keep entertained and also you keep sane. All whereas being linked in the most effective methods and making probably the most cherished recollections for years to return. 

Lovely Bakes  

The yr 2020 noticed many loaves of banana bread so make this summer season barely spicier with one thing totally different. My daughters love getting their arms messy and bringing creativity into the kitchen. There are two several types of meals we like to snack on; one thing savory and one thing candy. For a savory snack, we take pleasure in a Punjabi favorite: samosas! I do know it’s possible you’ll be considering that it might be a greater concept to only jump over to the Indian retailer and order a field of them, however the place’s the enjoyable in that? Additionally, it’s not as arduous as it could appear. For those who’ve made aloo parathe earlier than then you definitely’re already forward of the sport! You gained’t even should do a lot of the grunt work in case your youngsters take pleasure in being concerned within the course of. They’ll get their little fingers within the wheat flour and knead the dough, stuff the triangles with the potato combination and pinch the sides closed! Here is a brilliant easy and fast recipe you should use (I personally love that you could bake them within the oven, so it retains the method utterly secure for the youngsters). These samosas can be excellent with a stunning cup of chai! For candy, one in every of our favorite desserts to make is a mixture of two heavenly treats: gulab jamun ice cream. It doesn’t get any higher than this! Don’t fear, you do not want to personal a elaborate ice cream maker. In truth, you don’t even should do any churning! If in case you have heavy cream and condensed milk, simply seize a field of frozen khoya from the Indian retailer, and you might be good to go. Here is a 10-minute recipe that doesn’t disappoint! 

[Read Related: Get the Weekend Popping With These Naan Popper Pizzas ]

How Many Seashores?

We have been just lately invited to a vacation spot wedding ceremony within the Dominican Republic which might have value upwards of $6,000. For lots of oldsters — extra so single mother and father — these funds have just one vacation spot: the mortgage firm. There’s a neater method to get to a physique of water and a few sand! What I love to do is search the realm for native seashores. For a superb, clear seashore, I’m keen to drive two hours and spend a full day there. What I look out for when researching seashores are: Is it dog-friendly? Are washrooms clear and simply accessible? Is there a charge for parking? Are there sufficient picnic tables? (You guess I’ll be packing meals from residence as an alternative of buying from the snack bar on the venue! Once I do that it takes me again to my very own childhood, when my household would all get collectively at Canada’s Wonderland, and my mother and father, Massis, Mamajis, and cousins would unfold blankets on the grass and open up the foil-wrapped piles of steaming parathas). Final summer season, we made a purpose to try to go to a special seashore each couple of weeks. Belief me, the youngsters gained’t care that it’s not an all-inclusive resort. Bear in mind, the sooner you get to the seashore, the higher to keep away from massive crowds! My daughters made me promise that this summer season I’ll really get within the water. So placed on the washing swimsuit and begin splashing your youngsters, mama! 

Brunch and Books

Sunday morning cafes and bookstores (and/or libraries) are, in my humble opinion, absolutely the superior highway to rest and bliss. Books and the areas they’re stored in are my place of calm. While you arrive on the cafe (and I imply an impartial cafe, not Starbucks) every particular person orders one thing they’ve by no means tried earlier than and everybody shares what they love or didn’t love in regards to the pastries or sandwiches or drinks. You’ll be able to ask your youngsters questions like, what did the meals make them really feel? Pleasure? Unhappiness? Confusion? Why? Did what they tasted remind them of something? Did it make them consider any colors? Typically, my daughters and I wish to faux we’re judges from “The Great British Baking Show,” and discuss in regards to the textures of cake or if the lavender is admittedly “coming by means of” in that scone. After the café expertise, head over to the closest impartial bookstore or library and flick through the kids’s/youth part for books you and your youngsters haven’t learn earlier than. I like to recommend books written by BIPOC authors and/or culturally particular tales that your youngsters can actually relate to (one in every of our favorite authors for youngsters’s books is Supriya Kelkar). Get cozy in a bit of studying nook and browse collectively. 


Dawn, Sundown 

In my family, we’re a bit of obsessive about staring on the sky when it’s lit up in varied hues of pinks, reds, oranges and purples (taking images of them by no means does the wonder justice!). Being within the presence of the solar, whether or not it’s rising or setting is such a spiritually refreshing, humbling and shifting expertise. I strongly urge you to select in the future every week to get up with the solar and create your individual little dawn ritual. This might be praying to the solar, making an attempt a couple of new yoga poses or a easy solar salutation. Sit together with your youngsters on the ground and every of you takes turns setting your intention for the day and stating one thing you might be grateful for. For instance, “My intention for immediately is to create one thing new. I’m grateful for our residence and the household in it.” Closing your eyes and taking a couple of deep stomach breaths releases unfavorable vitality and will get you in the most effective mindset to begin the day. When it’s time for sundown, sit collectively once more and this time every particular person says out loud what they love about themselves. This small follow, when completed constantly (not simply in the summertime), really does wonders to your youngsters’ psychological well being and self-compassion.   

Selfmade Henna 

My youngest daughter is all the time experimenting with varied objects in the home, whether or not it’s components from the kitchen or outdated bins and paint. At some point she someway made her personal model of mehndi! She known as out to me to return and get my mehndi completed and showcased what she had already completed for her sister. She blended collectively totally different colors of water-based paint, pink, yellow, a little bit of purple, and a few inexperienced. The result was a pleasant “chocolatey brown, virtually caramel,” she described. She used a skinny paintbrush to make small designs on the palms of our arms and alongside our fingers. The paint dried and fell off (much like mehndi) and washed off after a day or so. She was actually pleased with herself and we had a lot enjoyable with it. If you wish to make precise mehndi at residence, that’s one other nice exercise for the youngsters. Here are actually nice directions for a DIY henna paste. You don’t have to attend for a marriage to adorn your pores and skin; do it on a Wednesday afternoon!   

Printing Photographs 

Bear in mind the times when pictures didn’t simply exist inside our telephones? They have been on a reel of movie inside a bodily digital camera and if we ever wished to have a look at these recollections once more, we needed to go to a photograph middle to have them printed, and wait a minimum of 48 hours! (And generally we waited simply to seek out that the images have been blurry or all of us had crimson vampire eyes). I’m right here to inform you please don’t depart these images in your telephone! They aren’t simply meant to be posted on Instagram. Make a day of going to your native printer and bodily print out pictures from the final 10-12 months. I recommend making a folder in your telephone the place you and the youngsters have already chosen the images you need to print, in any other case, it can take endlessly to load on the picture kiosk! Then head to the artwork retailer and even the greenback retailer for a scrapbook, and enjoyable artwork provides. Something from glitter to googly eyes. Have the youngsters give you a theme or a storyline for the images (for instance, visits to the park, college images, sibling love, and so forth). Simply have enjoyable with it. One other concept is to reward the scrapbook to grandparents! They’ll adore it.   

[Read Related: Capturing Childhood: How to Take Great Photos of Children ]

We hope you may have a very magical and clean summer season together with your households! Discover small moments for your self too — don’t neglect, you’ll be able to’t pour from an empty cup! Might your days be as refreshing as biting right into a cool slice of watermelon. 

Characteristic Picture courtesy: Taneet Grewal

Taneet Grewal’s ardour for storytelling started on the age of six with many fictional/magical characters. This grew right into a love … Learn extra ›


Eid-ul-Fitr is a particular vacation that marks the tip of Ramadan — the month of fasting — for Muslims worldwide. Ramadan is a time of gratitude, religious focus, forgiveness, celebrating neighborhood and serving to the needy. Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations mark the conclusion of the holy month of Ramadan.

[Read Related: Tips and Resources to Teach Your Children About Ramadan]

This Ramadan, Brown Lady Journal had the chance to attach with 5 in style immigrant mothers and focus on how they make Eid celebrations significant and memorable for his or her kids.

Rubab Bukhari is a busy mother of 5 primarily based in Calgary, Canada. She shared that Eid, for her household, is a day of gathering with family members and sharing a scrumptious meal collectively as a logo for breaking quick. “Eid is well known as probably the most joyous event the place we put up Eid decorations and alternate items with everybody in the home. New garments are made for everybody; the women get enthusiastic about getting henna on their arms and the boys get extra enthusiastic about receiving their Eidi (items/cash).” 

Whereas many household traditions are sometimes handed down from era to era, these mothers have added some newer customs to the Eid celebrations, giving the pageant a private contact.

A printed writer, spoken phrase artist and dance health teacher, Nazhah Khawaja shares how she’s constructed new traditions along with her two kids and husband in Illinois, Chicago regardless of not being uncovered to the “Eid taste” herself whereas rising up. 

“My sister advised adorning the home for Eid with the purpose of getting the youngsters within the vacation temper,” she stated. Whatever the exhaustion that adopted as a consequence of adorning whereas fasting, Khawaja realized that her sister “was onto one thing.” She added that “youngsters are very visible learners and interpreters — the visible show of decorations helps them to really feel the festivity extra. Ceaselessly grateful to my sister for encouraging this custom that our household has embraced.”

One other new custom that she has embraced is celebrating Eid festivities along with her husband’s household who’re non-Muslim. Moreover, she insists on taking pictures throughout Eid-ul-Fitr to maintain recollections alive as a result of one by no means actually is aware of if the individuals within the images can be there subsequent time round. She additionally contains that the “Eid nap is a should — which implies adults are dozing off whereas the youngsters are working wild; ample heavenly chaos and exquisite noise.”

Passing down familial customs from her mom, Khawaja remembers a narrative she had advised her of how as quickly because the daybreak of Eid arrived, the villagers in Pakistan walked down unpaved streets welcoming Eid with a tune: “Mubarak Eid Mubarak/ Mubarak Khair Mubarak/ Saheliyon Eid Mubarak!” Khawaja’s mom used to sing it each time. “Rising up, my siblings and I might sing this tune in our not-so-refined Urdu, giggle at each other, create our personal, typically goofy lyrics, and even dance foolish strikes,” she shared.

In the meantime, Bengali shemai, Kashmiri kheer and ma’amoul are the favourite Eid desserts in Janan’s family! She is the founder and CEO of the publishing firm, Global Bookshelves Intl., a pharmacist by occupation and a mom of three younger women, primarily based in Louisville, Kentucky. They sit up for dressing up their greatest for Eid prayers probably the most.

“We like to create small reward baggage for mates and at hand out to young children on Eid day,” Janan shared. 

Likewise, Ursula Sarah Khan who’s a mother influencer and an accountant by commerce, stated that they fill their Eid-themed reward baggage with all kinds of goodies like sweet, bubbles and pencils. On Eid-ul-Fitr, her eight-year-old son, Ibrahim, distributes these baggage amongst the boys after Eid prayers, whereas her five-year-old daughter, Eliyah, arms them to the women. 

In addition they bake Eid cookies collectively along with swapping their Ramadan decor with Eid decor, whereas nonetheless of their Eid pajamas of their Northern Virginia residence! 

Mixing older traditions with some newer ones, Sarah carries on her mom’s age-old custom of creating sheer khorma — a Pakistani dessert made with vermicelli, milk, dates and nuts — within the morning. 

[Read Related:6 Muslim Content Creators Share Their Favorite Eid Recipes ]

She additionally explains to her kids the significance of Zakat or charity, which is what her mom taught her: “I now take this identical method with my kids to make sure they’ve a deep understanding of the generosity Islam teaches.”

Talking of residence and household, Haffsa Rizwani — a Canadian, at the moment residing in Stockholm, Sweden, as a PhD candidate — stated: “Dwelling away from residence, Canada, the place my quick household resides, we’ve got a convention of touring from Stockholm to my aunt’s home in Oslo, Norway, each Eid. Particularly to mark the celebration as a household occasion for my kids.” Collectively along with her aunt, Haffsa’s daughter will get her henna completed and goes purchasing for bangles! She goes on to elucidate how Eid-ul-Fitr is a chance to not solely gown up, but additionally regain that morning ritual of chai and evenings with video games like carrom board; “a recreation performed until my uncle wins.”

As Rizwani so eloquently places it, “Whereas my kids are nonetheless fairly small, my daughter is now of age to understand and perceive the that means of gratitude, blessings, and giving again. She now has the empathy to understand the inequalities and injustices on the planet. Ramadan is subsequently a month of being grateful and making further duas. Eid is a day of celebration with gratitude and blessings.”

What these mothers want for his or her kids to be taught from the spirit of Eid are the values of gratitude, generosity, compassion, togetherness and information. 

Rumki Chowdhury was born in Bangladesh, however grew up within the USA. She has additionally lived within the UK and … Learn extra ›

Raising an atypical child in a typical world

Hello! I’m Sara and I’m a mother to a ravishing, neurodivergent child. This piece explores some challenges of parenting an atypical little one in a typical world.

It’s a sunny day in the summertime of 2020 and I’m making an attempt to take pleasure in the one leisure that has lastly been “allowed” by our province. Parks. Sunshine was all the time free; scarce however free. I’ve eyes on my daughter, working and somersaulting, with that untethered high quality they are saying she will get from me, whereas socializing with two women her age from a distance.

Rapidly, the gap known as ‘social’ will get smaller and as I run and name out in useless my little one has the child in a good and loving however forbidden hug. I perceive that pandemic or no pandemic, bodily area is a primary proper however for my daughter, it falls below the ‘however why?’ class.

The subsequent quarter-hour are spent apologizing to an exasperated mom asking me why my child was not taught the risks of COVID-19 and private area. She is 4, I inform her, she simply received excited. In some unspecified time in the future, I zone out and simply let her say her piece. A few of it’s in a language I’ve by no means heard earlier than, full with hand gestures and melodrama as if it was not a preschooler however Bigfoot.

Perhaps later I’ll do the factor all of us do; oh, I ought to have stated that. Perhaps I gained’t. This isn’t the primary time my child has drawn public consideration and it isn’t the final.

Six months later, we obtained a analysis for Autism Spectrum Dysfunction (ASD). After the response time (learn stress consuming and ugly crying) ended, we started our journey of elevating an atypical little one in a world that insists on the everyday.

Textbook smart, neurodivergence contains Autism, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, OCD, hyperlexia and Tourette Syndrome.

I might write a guide on my journey as a mother elevating a baby who’s neurodivergent (ND). I’ll in due time and the primary chapter can be, “Preventing for inclusion in a world insisting on exclusion.” For those who ask any mother or father with a neurodivergent child, they may inform you that it isn’t funds or the concern of the longer term bringing them down, it’s simply individuals. However that’s been the case for the reason that daybreak of time anyway.

[Read Related: How Model Minority Myths Fails Neurodivergent South Asians]

If you’re somebody who’s type and inclusive however are confused by the jargon, learn on for some steerage that may make you an ever-favorite ally and, effectively mainly, simply first rate. It’s simply primary decency in any case to be inclusive and type.

  1. If in case you have a child on the spectrum for ASD or ADHD or every other neurodivergence in your social circle, step one is to not cease being mates with their mother and father. Sure, that occurs. Dad and mom can get tremendous remoted and alienated as a result of their child is a sure manner. Give ND households an opportunity to breathe. Invite them to BBQs, ask them what their child will eat, encourage your youngsters to incorporate them — the entire 9 yards.
  2. There can be meltdowns, at birthday events, on the mall, in eating places. Typically the most effective factor to do is to look the opposite manner. Ask the fitting questions. Moderately than asking “what occurred?” or “why are they doing this?”merely say “how can I assist?” Perhaps you’ll be able to assist with one other sibling or give the kid some area.
  3. Don’t equate a sensory meltdown or in any other case to a parenting failure or a scarcity of self-discipline. ND mother and father face a variety of judgment on these grounds. That is likely one of the high causes they scoop up their youngsters and depart earlier than dinner is even served.

The most important problem in our neighborhood is acceptance. There’s a dire want to just accept that round 30 % of our inhabitants is neurodivergent. This contains adults and undiagnosed people. You and I won’t even know if we’re atypical, the world is simply attending to know this phrase and what it entails. As for the South Asian neighborhood, neurodivergence is virtually stigmatized and seen as ‘spoilt’ little one habits or ‘mother spending an excessive amount of time at work, on social media, Netflix, stitching, knitting, kayaking…’ The listing goes on.

[Read Related:Let’s Talk About the Desi Hypocrisy With Autism and How You Can Help ]

It’s 2022 and we’re all making an attempt to create space for individuals at our tables. This contains individuals who won’t look or act or understand the world like us. As a mother or father I’ve fears that every one mother and father have, however someway these fears have been heightened to exponential limits ever since my child’s analysis got here by means of.

How is she doing? Did somebody bully her? Does she have mates? Is she included in actions? What if she says one thing foolish they usually chuckle at her? What occurs when she is older? Will she go to varsity? I shouldn’t be considering that. I need to take into consideration how a lot she is studying in school, what recreation they performed immediately, what she and her mates discuss and all different typical mother issues.

Besides I’m not a typical mother. And that’s okay.

My little one has marvel; she has innocence. I see issues from her lens and her computation of the world is exclusive. The most important false impression individuals have is of intelligence. A toddler with autism finds issue in processing social cues (like sarcasm) however in any other case they’re as sensible as you and me, if no more. In all probability extra.

Some days are arduous however not all days are arduous, and never each second of that tough day is tough. We, mother and father of ND kids, don’t preserve obsessing over the truth that our youngsters are atypical; we binge watch the identical reveals, we’ve got hobbies and pursuits and date nights and ‘me-time.’ Some days are magical and a very powerful factor for individuals to know is that Autism households will not be searching for pity events, simply kindness and inclusion with a wholesome sprinkle of understanding— an understanding of the atypical in a world solely rooting for the everyday.

Sara Qadeer hails from Pakistan and has all the time had a not-so-secret writing life on the aspect, along with her … Learn extra ›

Holi Celebrations

Holi is a Hindu pageant that celebrates the approaching of spring and is noticed close to the tip of winter. It’s additionally known as the pageant of colours or the pageant of affection. Though my daughters and I will not be Hindus, (we’re Sikhs) we nonetheless have a good time Holi. Our Holi celebrations all the time embrace studying about this pageant, making colourful artwork, enjoying with the colourful powders, and making some scrumptious, conventional sweets. That is all the time such a terrific event to debate the range of Indian tradition with my daughters. I exploit this chance to show them about inclusivity and respect for various cultures world wide. All throughout India, totally different states have a good time this pageant in their very own significant methods.

[Read Related: Holi With Kids: Celebrating the Festival With Your Family ]

My first expertise celebrating this lovely pageant was in college. My roommates, mates and worldwide college students put collectively a stunning day of Holi celebrations exterior. We have been utterly lined in number of colours — pinks, purples, and blues. There was music, laughter, dancing, and an total joyous ambiance (together with bhang, which is basically a hashish milkshake). It was notably heartwarming to see so many Indian college students coming collectively as a neighborhood, so removed from residence, to attach with such a beloved custom.

For these of us, introduced up in Canada, such celebrations have been wonderful alternatives to genuinely expertise the true spirit of Holi. Much like how it’s completed in India, everybody grew to become one – there have been no small teams or cliques doing their very own factor; class traces and caste techniques, predominant throughout India, disappeared. Everybody joined collectively; our pores and skin tones hidden below the brilliant colors of the Holi powders. It absolutely was an unforgettable time.

As a baby, I received to expertise Holi solely by means of Indian Cinema. Bollywood movies like “Silsila,” “Darr,” and “Mohabbatein” stand out in my reminiscence. The actors are dressed utterly in white originally of the music, having fun with Holi celebrations, and are then painted from head to toe, in varied vivid colors, by the tip of the music. Since then, I’ve realized that sure colors maintain that means and significance. Crimson symbolizes love, fertility, and matrimony; blue represents the Lord Krishna; and inexperienced stands for brand spanking new beginnings.

Now, as a mom, I don’t need my kids to expertise our tradition by means of a display screen. So we convey these Holi traditions into our residence in our personal artistic methods. We actually are likely to get artistic since round March there may be nonetheless ample snow on the bottom exterior and a chill within the air!

The actions we’ve got enjoyable doing are:

  • Making rangoli designs utilizing colored powders (this is a useful website we’ve used)
  • Making paper flowers to brighten the home with (like those here)
  • Making tie-dye shirts (we’ve received a equipment for this as a result of the women adore it)
  • Baking a standard Indian snack, like gujiya (we bake them as a result of I get paranoid in regards to the women being round scorching oil).

[Read Related: Mithai Memories from Holi to Eid and Diwali]

Among the books we take pleasure in studying are:

  • “Let’s Have a good time Holi!” by Ajanta Chakraborty and Vivek Kumar (for 3 to seven-year-olds)
  • “Pageant of Colours” by Surishtha Seghal and Kabir Seghal (for 2 to eight-year-olds)
  • “Why Do We Have a good time Holi” by Anitha Rathod (for eight years outdated and above)

This yr, Holi falls on the identical date as Worldwide Girls’s Day! To mix the 2 celebrations, my daughters and I plan on sketching South Asian females we glance as much as probably the most, after which including vivid colors utilizing several types of paint. For one more factor of texture, we would add the paper flowers to those as effectively. I’m considering these are going to be frame-worthy items of artwork!

Taneet Grewal’s ardour for storytelling started on the age of six with many fictional/magical characters. This grew right into a love … Learn extra ›