Monday, May 19, 2008

Thanks Christopher Columbus for really confusing my 4-year-old...

A couple weekends ago we visited a local park for their "Indian Festival" and we thought it would be an excellent educational opportunity for the girls. It definitely was, but in a way I hadn't expected.

See, Kai has a teacher from India and since being in her class she has become obsessed with all things Indian. It's why she wears the bindis, eats Indian foods, and talks about taking a trip to India every chance she gets. It never occurred to me that taking her to an American Indian/Native American Pow Wow would confuse her like it did.

Because it was being advertised as an Indian Festival that is what we called it. The day before we went Kai was jumping up and down with excitement over our trip to "India." I tried to explain to her that these were American Indians. It went something like this:

Kai: "I can't wait to go to the India Festival and see the elephants!"
Me: "No, Kai. These are American Indians. Not like the India Ms. Kum Kum is from."
Kai: "But, Ms, Kum Kum is from India and she is an American. What is the difference?"
Me: "Well, these Indians are Native Americans. They were here before anyone else?"
Kai: "Before God?"

It was nearly impossible to explain in a way she would understand. No matter what we said, she couldn't figure out why these "Indians" weren't like Ms. Kum Kum. She couldn't figure out why their Indian food consisted of roasted corn and not curry sauces. And though I thought she'd finally get it when we saw them, when we got there she was, needless to say, a bit disappointed not to find Indian food, elephants, bindis, and Indian clothing. Which I find slightly ironic considering her great grandpa was Cherokee and Choctaw.

Oh, well. Guess that's one more reason to hold a grudge against good old Christopher Columbus...

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