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By Jean Evansearly years consultant and author

Discover India’s traditional dress, the different modes of transport and how to make pretty Rangoli patterns


Indian culture

The country of India has a distinctive shape, like an elephant’s ear, with a desert, jungles, plains and huge rivers, as well as the Himalayas – the tallest mountain system in the world. Elephants, which are believed to bring good luck, parade in colourful costumes during festivals. The Hindu God, Ganesh Chaturthi, has the head of an elephant. India is highly populated, with 70 per cent of people living in villages, while others live in towns and cities.

Famous buildings include the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort, and there are many Buddhist and Hindu temples, mosques and statues.

India is famous for woven fabrics and embroidery. Women wear colourful saris and men often wear a dhoti (white cotton wrapped around the waist and legs and tied). Indian food is highly spiced.

Suggested resources

Varied images of Indian life available from The Festival Shop has a photo pack, All posters has images of Indian animals, buildings, clothes, foods and spices; books such as Elephant Dance by Theresa Heine (Barefoot Books) and Prita Goes to India by Prodeepta Daas (Frances Lincoln); role-play items such as Indian cooking sets and costumes; travel brochures describing India.

1 What shall I wear?

Explore the different types of Indian traditional dress

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Sense of Community

Development matters: learn that they have similarities and differences that connect them to, and distinguish them from, others (16-26 months); have an awareness of, and an interest in, cultural and religious differences (40-60+ months).

Early learning goal: understand that people have different needs, views, cultures and beliefs, that need to be treated with respect.

What you need

Group size: small groups.

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