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In this lesson
-Explore your roots
-Understand your family history, culture and traditions
-Learn about your shared  family values
-Prompt discussion about your cultural heritage.
Here are some of Meenal's books. Roll your mouse over any of the images below to order the book from

Extension activities
-Think about yourself - how do you think you reflect your family values and expectations?
-Create your own family tree.  Share it with others in your family.
-Download My Family Stories.  This is a  ten page work book created by the Teach India Project.  Fill it in to create your family history to share and treasure.

Cultural Parenting

By Meenal Pandya

Keywords Cultural parenting, multicultural,  intergenerational communication, balancing cultures, Indian-American, tradition, heritage, parenting, informed choices, family stories, leadership, integrity, leading by example, make your own traditions, family values, family history, western culture, western influence.

Meenal Pandya has been writing about India and its culture for more than a decade.  She has written several books, hundreds of articles, and poems.  Her writings have appeared in many prestigious magazines, newspapers and journals around the world.  She lives in the US and is a writer, publisher and a consultant.  She has raised two daughters.

Meenal wrote these essays offering invaluable advice and guidance especially for Teach India Project readers and subscribers.

  • Cultural Parenting:  A Primer for Parents
    Meenal, what is cultural parenting and how do I begin to raise a culturally balanced child?  One who is confident of his or her own cultural heritage and respectful of other cultures?

  • The Indian-American Parent's Challenge: Kids and Culture
    Meenal Pandya is the author of “The Indian Parenting Book”.  She says,” How to raise culturally balanced children in America is, I think, the challenge that all Indian parents face. It is not only about how to teach our values but also how to inject Indian culture into their lives and remain in sync with the culture and their peers here.  We need a practical approach to translate cultural values in everyday life so that our children understand and accept them.”

    Click on the above link to read Meenal's suggestions from her presentation at an event hosted by the Teach India Project on May 30th, 2009.

  • Something Old Something New:  How Do I Choose?
    Traditions are your language; you identify yourself with them, express yourself through them and around them, and most importantly, you feel an instant bond with people who are familiar with them.  How can we keep traditions alive?  How do we decide which traditions to keep alive? 

  • No Place for Gandhiji In My Life: I'm Only A Parent
    Being an adult and being a parent is about being a leader and a role model. As long as there is someone who looks up to you, depends on your decisions, or follows in your foot steps, you are a leader.  In fact, contrary to what we may think, being a leader is a tough job because your every action – or inaction – brings consequences to many and may change the course of the future generations depending upon how big a leader you are.  Gandhiji said “my life is my message".  If we look closely at his life, we can derive some fundamental principles of being a good leader.



Updated September 2011