We are participating in a Cultural Exchange organized and initiated by Melissa @ Chasing Cheerios. We are exchanging a letter, pictures and items of cultural significance with twelve more families. We had so much fun putting together this package representing India!
WARNING: If you are part of the Cultural Exchange groups 14 or 26 and want your package to be a surprise please do not read further!
Here is a picture of the overall contents in our package:
First we wrote a letter addressed to the other kids including a lot of pictures of India. We tried to include pictures of our city, some places from our city, maps, celebrations and sports. We also tried to put in some interesting facts about India. Here are a couple of pages from our 10 page long letter:
We included the Indian flag and a two rupee coin in each package. I wish we could have included more coins or currency notes, but unfortunately this is all I had at hand here in the USA. There is a small packet of some Indian beads that can be made a part of a necklace or bracelet.
We included a "Rakhi" which is a bracelet tied on the wrist of a loved one. This is a tradition for the festival of "Rakhsa Bandhan", where sisters tie this on their brother's wrists to protect them from evil. In turn brothers take a vow to take care of their sisters. We included this to extend friendship to the other kids. Also included is a pack of "Bindhis", which is worn on the forehead between the eyebrows. All girl children in India wear this and I've included a picture of my girls in a traditional dress wearing a bindhi!
We included a packet of "Mango Mood" candies and dried Mango Bars to represent Mangoes in India.
We also included a pack of Basmati Rice from India, some Pressed Rice (a story and a recipe for this too!) and some green Cardamom.
I include a story about friendship that also has a relation to the pressed rice pictured above. I tried to narrate it myself (pardon my story telling skills!) and include pictures to make it interesting.
I included two simple recipes that kids can participate in making with their parents, a Mango Lassi and Pressed Rice Pudding.
Finally some coloring pages, one representing Kids on Diwali day and one a Rangoli.
I got my package all ready in their covers, addressed and taped them shut. I will mailing those out today and I hope that family that receives it will enjoy it as much as we enjoyed putting these together!