Monday, May 02, 2005

Summer camps - boom time

Its summer time in India and posters have sprung up everywhere for summer camps for kids. Summer camps are a relatively new phenomena in India. Summer camps can be just a group activity or can be a place to learn new skills, make new friends and have fun; for a price of course, which could range from a few hundred rupees to more than a few thousands of rupees.

For our generation, summer meant a visit to the native village where all summer we chased dragonflies, climbed mango and cashew trees and learnt to dehusk coconut. Other than that we learnt how to make pappads, pickles and even garlands. We learnt how to peel a jackfruit, some lucky ones learnt how to milk a cow (no, I still cannot) and many of us learnt to swim. It was a grand family get together with the grandparents and the entire clan.

But with native villages not native and/or villages anymore and peer pressure among kids (yes!), summer camps are a rage. Whether (all) summer camps are good or bad is another debate altogether but for overworked parents it is an opportunity for their kids to fruitfully engage their summer and have fun in the bargain as well.

This is another example "Where traditions have given way to industries". Traditional household work like papads, pickles, chutneys (even cooking for that matter) are now businesses because of smaller families and working parents. I will explore this trend in detail in another post.

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