India was one of our favorite country studies. We visited multiple times over the school year, at home, with our co-op, and at our enrichment classes. I am glad that it spread over so much time. I was the girl’s age when I was there myself. I have no memory of learning any of what we learned except the food that we enjoyed. I believe I was near the Taj Mahal and we were in the mountains and all around, but we did not take part in any of these festivals.

One of the first things we learned about was the Taj Mahal. It was built in memory of a husband’s love for his wife and is one of the most beautiful buildings created. We read books all about it and admired its beauty. Then we tried a tissue paper bleed art. We traced and outline with white crayons and then placed the cool-colored tissue in the location of the taj mahal. The warm-colored pieces were the background. A little spray bottle of water to soak the tissue is how we were able to get the color to bleed. After it dried we went through and did a Sharpie outline to make them pop. 

In India, they celebrate their siblings during a holiday called Rakshabandhan. Sisters normally tie a thread around their brother’s wrist and the brothers give gifts and poems and promise protection to their sisters. We decided to celebrate each other with the girls writing letters about the things they love about their sisters and thanking them for the things they do. Instead of ties, they made each other bracelets with their names and their favorite colors. I think that this idea is something we need to do more often, to remember and appreciate each other, especially since sibling can annoy each other. 

Another festival they celebrate in India is Holi. During the Holiday the color throwing allows everyone to look equal and in the caste system or even if they are foreigners, you cannot tell them apart after the color. After learning and reading, we wanted to throw some of our own colors in the backyard. We bought some powers and had fun just being silly. Afterward, we even took our normal water balloons and continued the excitement before having a hose fight and jumping in the pool. 

Another huge part of Indian culture is their Henna art. They use this natural paste to create temporary art on the skin. They often do it for weddings and other festivals. We initially planned to just get Henna art at our local Renaissance festival but after lots of discussion with the awesome artist Jessi Kay I decided to get some cones from her and try it at home. I had so much doing it on myself and then later with all our co-op kids. 

To finally end our study on India, we had a feast with our friends! This was probably the best meal we enjoyed. Everyone brought in a different food that was served in India. We had various curries, some naan, samosas, and more. It was delicious and so much fun. The girls are I also wore some Indian outfits that we found online and in thrift stores before the event. 
It has been decades since I was in India, at their ages, but it was fun to bring many of the fun parts to their world. It makes me want to revisit some of those memories again. 

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