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How do I explain this to DD?

(7 Posts)
LouBeeLou Mon 27-Jun-05 13:07:47

Wasn't sure where to post this, but I need help explaining something to DD (7yo).

We live in an area of Yorkshire that is predominantly white people. This weekend we went to Bradford and I had a hard job keeping DD quiet as she gawped at all the Indian ladies we saw in traditional dress. Some had just their hair covered, some their whole faces, and some were covered from head to toe with only their eyes showing.

You know what kids are like 'Mummy why is that lady hiding under that?', 'Mummy why does that lady have a scarf on her head when it's not cold?', etc.

I tried to explain that just as a Christian might wear a necklace with a cross on as part of their religion, these ladies cover their hair as part of their religion. 'But WHY Mummy???'

Please excuse my ignorance on the subject, but could someone help me explain this in simple terms to a seven year old?


ChaCha Mon 27-Jun-05 18:48:12

Awwwww...bless her. It must be a tad confusing!

I am from a mixed background and so i'd like to think that i have first hand experience of this. What about getting a world map/globe/atlas and showing her the continents, explain that the world is full of different countries and show her pictures of traditional dress etc.. (Example: Here is Iran. Iranian women wear.... They follow religion X) Maybe that would be a fun and interactive way to learn about other cultures and religions. Half my family are Muslim and the other half Christian/athiest so I've gone through a lot of this myself. Do let me know if i can be of any help.
Hope i make sense. x

Littlefish Mon 27-Jun-05 19:20:57

I've seen a really good book on Amazon called "A life like mine" which looks at children from around the world. I think it looks at things which are the same, as well as things which are different. There is also a Dorling Kindersley book called "Children just like me".

I've always found books to be a really good way of starting a discussion, and finding out together. You can look books in small sections, as and when it's appropriate. Pictures really help to support understanding.

LouBeeLou Tue 28-Jun-05 13:10:13

Thanks for your suggestions, I will try the map and book ideas and see if it's a bit clearer for her!


Kelly1978 Tue 28-Jun-05 13:40:56

I had to deal with this when I moved to Croydon with my dd. Moving frm a predominantly whte area to a very mulicultural part of Croydon was an eyeopener for dd. Her eyes nearly popped out the first time she saw a woman in a veil.

I took her to the librbary, taught her a little about different religions, just the basics, and the differences to what our beliefs are. I emphasised the fact that we all do different things to respect God and worship in different ways.

For a while she would say things very loudly like 'that lady is an Indian' walkign down the street. This was a bit embarassing, but now she doesn't blink an eyelid. She is most fascinated by different languages and has also picked up odd bits of gujarati and tamil too. She also likes dressign up games, trying out different clothes, e.g. a bedsheet makes a good sari if you can tie one.

I think you do have to be careful to get your facts right though. Ladies in veils might not appreciate being called Indian! Likewise most Indians would be insulted if called muslims.

Sparks Tue 28-Jun-05 14:16:31

When my dd asked about Muslim women with head coverings, I explained to her that it has to do with modesty. In our culture we don't go out in public with our bottoms/pants/breasts/etc. showing. In their culture, they don't show their heads/faces in public. We are Jewish, so she was already aware of people having different religious practices to ourselves.

ChaCha Tue 28-Jun-05 15:33:47

A very interesting topic.
On the other hand, how do you explain things like magazine covers to kids, billboards, adverts? My friend, a Muslim is trying hard to bring her DD up with a good set of morals/values but says it can be quite testing. For example: Trying to explain the cover of a magazine, at eye level on shop floor showing 2 naked women doing whatever..... or why there is a bare bum on the billboard etc..
What do you do?

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