Independence Day: An Orphan as Mother India

This was so exciting!!! One of our girls was chosen to be "Mother India" for her school's Independence Day function.  She earned the honor with her work, academically and socially.  She is our oldest, and I sometimes refer to her as the President of the girls.  She is their "Didi" in all ways.  When she and the others came to Shishur Sevay, they did not recognize a map of India.  Motherindia_1378w 



Those are our other girls dancing in front of Mother India, paying tribute to her.  We started costume preparations the day before, and I had much help early in the morning so we could leave before 7 am.  We brought Ganga along since she comes with them to school every morning, riding on my back. 


I tried to get a good group picture, which I guess I did.  But I was looking for a cute, everyone looks happy and easy picture.  When I look at the picture though, I see their toughness, their moods, the challenges in raising them.  Motherindia_1460w  

I tried again when we got home, but the picture wasn't much different.  We finished the program at their school just in time to pick up our handicapped children to take them to their school function.  By the time we got home it had been a long morning.


I see the full range of happy, sad, angry, defiant expressions, what they live with in themselves, what we manage in raising them and helping them to focus, learn, and grow.

I am so happy they have a country now, a country they know, one they sing songs about, a flag they draw over and over again in their notepads.  Today they went to SeemaDi's House to watch some of the Olympics.  They recognized the flag of India; they cheered for the boxer who represented India.

In the last year we were able to get them birth certificates, so they are credentialed citizens.  They are also forming their own sense of history and politics.  Today we were drawing, and talking.  They asked about the English… as they had seen a play of Indian soldiers shooting the English.  This was "loaded" as I count as "English" with my white skin and English language.  So I told them Independence was wonderful for India, and that the English had tried to boss everything, with emphasis on "everything."  I said I was very happy that India was an independent country now.  They were happy.  I'm glad they could ask.  I'm glad they are thinking about these things.


But that's who we are now, me and my twelve Indian girls, recognizing the vast cultural differences while sewing the bonds of love and trust stronger and stronger.



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August 2008
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