British children to know Asian cultures

July 28th, 2010 - 8:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Leicester (Britain), July 28 (IANS) A novel initiative called Global Leicester has been launched here to teach British children about Asian cultures that abound the city’s diverse ethnic population.
The promoter, Leicestershire Education Business Company (LEBC), says the new venture will promote multi-culturalism from an early age by understanding local cultural differences and dismantling boundaries communities construct around themselves by intention or otherwise.

The project was launched during the school break period to encourage more children to take part in it. Since 1992, LEBC has set up and managed links between schools, colleges and companies, so that young people, aged 5-19 learn more about business and working life.

As part of the introductory programme, a team of school children were taken on a trip to Leicester’s Golden Mile, the stretch of Belgrave Road populated by Asian community, particularly Indian.

The primary schools children from across the city went around the various Indian banks, restaurants, sari shops, Asian supermarkets and sweet-marts and even the Shree Ram Mandir.

Susan Root, the LEBC project manager handling the Global Leicester trip, said: “We encourage the children to ask the questions they want the answers to and not to be too concerned about upsetting people. Just to be open and receptive, which children are.”

For instance, at the Ram temple, one child asked the priest why he has an orange mark across his forehead. The priest explained to them the Hindu tradition of applying vermilion. The children enjoyed tasting Indian sweets, inquired from shopkeepers about tying a sari, were curious about the idols of various Hindu gods.

Root says the LEBC will expand the Global Leicester project by organising a trip to Muslim areas of Leicester, which are now busy making arrangements for Ramadan.

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