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A Garden In My Hands

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a period for the duration of the month of May for recognizing the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.

We read the story A Garden in My Hands by Meera Sriram  (Author) and Sandhya Prabhat  (Illustrator) which celebrates the custom of applying henna for special occasions.  The art of Henna—called mehndi in Hindi and Urdu—has been practiced in Pakistan, India, Africa, and the Middle East for over 5000 years. In the book a mother  shares her family memories and stories about weddings, monsoons, and ancestors while the  little girl sits patiently and listens while her mother tenderly applies intricate, delicate henna designs on her hands.  

After reading the story we invited the children to get "henna" applied with face paint brushes to recreate the vibrant illustrations that connect us to our roots in the garden of love we curate with those closest to us. 

The more we are inclusive about celebrating and exposing cultures in classrooms or our homes from a young age, the more understanding, respect, acceptance we provide for everyone within our communities. There is so much beauty in the traditions of cultures from around the world and children deserve to experience it.

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