Saturday, May 26, 2012

Culture Gap or What?!


We’ve all faced the ubiquitous Generation Gap. We took pleasure in throwing the phrase around whenever our thoughts didn’t concur with that of our parent’s or that of the conservative elders.

Now, with most of our generation, dislocated from our roots, settled in foreign lands…comes another universal gap, the Culture Gap.

We don’t even need to be dealing with people outside our homes, with your neighbors or people at the store. Everyday dealings with our own enough to remind us that we in the midst of an enraging Culture Gap. The effects of which will only get exponential with your kid’s age.

I thought I had done enough to reduce this gap by embracing the different foods, music, and even tried to accept another foreign language.

Last night, Richa didn’t want to sleep. She was murmuring something to herself and I heard her exclaim.. “Yeah! Now I know why!”

She turned to me and said…

“Mama..60+16 is 12!”

I tried to remind her when 2 numbers are joined, the answer is always greater than both the numbers.

She said..”But Mama, 6+6 is 12”

I lost the funda she tried to explain to me .. Blame it on Generation Gap, in another words..decline of the grey cells.

Trying to save face, I told her..

“Its too late, Richa. You need to sleep”.

But, she said she wanted to learn why she is wrong.

For that, first off.. I would need to get into the concept of “Carrying Over” .. Remember what I mean?!

Well, we in India did our addition this way , right?! We carried over the ten’s digit, the extra digit, we had called it,  to the next number (I’m sure u know what that is!)  We’d written it over the number like the trade mark thingy.

Here, they add numbers using something called “Addition with Re-grouping”. (I’m sure they must have changed to this back home too!)

Getting to this concept of Addition with or without re-grouping, seemed unattainable to this teacher, in the next few minutes.

So, I drove her towards counting by tens..only we did this by real addition. I mean, we wrote them down as addition problems.

She had gotten a paper to do that on…As she struggled to write on the flimsy paper..she looked for a book to keep under that..

“You need a fix that paper on a would be easier to write”, I said.

“Pad!  What is that?”

“You know .. the ones that PNK have..Its red, orange and green. It has a clip where you can fix your paper tightly”, I said

“I don’t know what that is”, Richa replied.

“Come on! Lets’ go and find it”, I said.

As we entered her Didi’s room, Richa said.

“They must’ve lost it Mama! They loose all their stuff!”

“Really?!  Here, Look! I found one”, I said.

Showing her the PAD, I told her how she could fix her paper under the clip…to be held sturdy.

She took it from my hand and replied,

“Right! This is a Clipboard!”

“Right!”, I remembered, “That’s a clipboard!”

Why then did the word “Pad” come to mind that we’d called it as kids. Everybody around had referred to it as Pad, Examination Pad.

I may or may not be teaching her more about addition without regrouping and/or addition with regrouping, but, I’ve got a lot of learning to do .. to fit in to her culture. Her culture of calling things by their right names.

1 comment:

A said...

Don't feel bad :-) I just spoke to someone who didn't know what a trapper keeper was...