16 October 2015


We don’t wear shoes in our house. And we live in a country where there are many many places that require you to remove your shoes outside, including doctor clinics, shops, temples, mosques, certain schools/extracurricular classes, and so forth. 

When the twins see pictures of people wearing shoes indoors in their story books, they immediately question this, ask me if this is a ‘bad boy’ because he is lying on his bed with his shoes on, or why the grandpa is wearing shoes while watching tv. 

And so begins the explaining of different cultures, different customs, of difference

I know there is a movement to have more diversity in books, for children to be able to relate to the characters that they read about. This is not a bad thing, but I do not recall ever having this issue myself.. I read a lot, and my childhood books were all roald dahl, judy blume, enid blyton. The lack of diversity never bothered me; I was always excited to read about these kids in a different world from my own. I wish the same for my own children. I want books to be their escape, their keys to new places and concepts and traditions (particularly since they are growing up in a place with little ‘difference’, unlike my childhood). 

In the end, the human experience is universal; it is just the environment that differs. 

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