As we see the world growing, we can clearly see the path of growing technology simultaneously. What is today may become obsolete in another 5 years. Till 6-7 years back, people were using the mobile phones with keypad, but now it is nowhere seen! This is just an example. We can find ample of them if we just look around. From the computers we use to our kitchen utilities. It is amazing that human brain is incredible and is able to think and make applications/ equipment which could save time, money and make lives easy. Yes, it is also amazing to see our kids, our future generation not only using them but also aspiring to become one such innovator in the field of technology. We also encourage it and put a lot of effort and money to help them achieve their dreams.
But in this swag, are we slowly forgetting something?
In schools we typically have 5-6 subjects including 2-3 languages. Among the subjects Social Studies is also one. It teaches History, Geography, Civics, Economics. As our kids grow, teachers and many of us(parents) start giving more emphasis on Math and science. Gradually children are losing grip on social studies. They only study the subject to get marks and hardly enjoy or even trying to understand what they are reading. Here is where we are slipping. History is just not a subject; it is a bank of knowledge. History is just not about memorising dates, periods, reign, architecture of kings and kingdoms. It is the study of their lives. It is the study of how our older generations lived! we can re-trace the path from where we are today to where we came and actually belong. It gives answers to the questions related to customs, festivals, traditions which we follow today. On a bigger picture, history tells how countries were built, how the world has changed. History is beautiful. it opens the door for Arts, Architecture, Music, Economics, Politics, Education, lifestyle. Most importantly, history always comes with proof! we have evidences for events and incidents that has occurred in past. It is easily believable. We can see it, experience it.
Another point is that we are recognised, welcomed, or criticized by way we think and some part of our thinking comes from our background! Background as in the culture, family, upbringing and by large to the country we belong. If there are 5 people from 5 different countries and they are given a similar situation to examine, we will get 5 different ways of seeing the situation itself! of course every human is unique, we will get different answers, but still thinking is largely effected by the culture in which we are brought up. To understand why do we think in one particular manner, it is important to understand history. Thus it keeps us not being judgemental or too critical.
History also brings patriotism in us. It creates oneness and unity. It brings our identity. It also creates a sense of belongingness and security. It helps us understand the countries and the world better. There is a very famous Shubhashita in Sanskrit- जननीजन्मभूमिश्चस्वर्गादपिगरीयसी. Meaning – “Mother and motherland are superior even to Heaven.” A person may grow to up to the highest level in his profession, achieve all his goals. However not forgetting his roots is crucial to understand life. We see a lot of people migrating to other countries under the pre text of education and settlement which in turn eroding the future generation to know about their “History”. it’s important that they show equal weightage, respect and value to their motherland. This sense of identity can be brought by giving equal emphasis to history. Understanding where we belong to.
Lastly, it is our responsibilities as parents, to make our children know about history. Our country, traditions, customs, languages, etc. we can make it more like a story. As these children now enjoy and enact the stories of spider man and avengers! One immediate thought is that we can narrate stories from the great characters of history. They can play them too! We can use the same technology to develop games and apps which helps them understand and know more about the great personalities, their strengths and weaknesses. We have to realise that if we understand out PAST better, it frames a strong FOREWORD (foundation) (what we call “Munnudi” in kannada) to our future!