Diane was off on a holiday to the USA with her young son. She was going to visit a friend and was going to be away for a relatively long time. She wondered what to do about her regular sessions at MAIM, in Hyderabad. By then, (towards the end of 2009) the girls had gotten used to these sessions and looked forward to them eagerly. But the time difference between the US and India was a huge challenge. To connect while she was on holiday meant that she would have to be up at 2 in the morning! Diane decided to go ahead because it would be a novel experience for the girls in Hyderabad as well as her friend’s daughter who planned to stay up with her.
As expected, the session went off delightfully with some of the regular activities (story and game) and of course a conversation about where Diane was. The girls were curious and searched for information about the big city – skyscrapers included.
Just one of many sessions with Diane [Nov. 2009] Photo: Suneeta
But the real surprise came at the end, after the session – when Diane’s friend’s daughter commented – ” You said they were disadvantaged, but actually I am the disadvantaged one….. They speak 4 languages! I know only one!
Disadvantage or advantage is, at the end, often a matter of perspective…
Note: This is just one among the many stories that touch upon the context of multilingualism as well as multiculturalism. While encouraging the children to learn one more language, the Grannies ensure that there is an acceptance of different ways of life and different beliefs and value systems. Their own wide experience and backgrounds [The Granny in this tale speaks 6 languages!] makes this easier. They learn from each other and the children… And it is the basis on which we are moving ahead with the Regional Granny Cloud initiative. If you are interested in the work of The Granny Cloud do visit our website www.thegrannycloud.org