Greetings from The Paley Center for Media’s Education Department!

Welcome to the latest installment of “What We’re Watching,” a weekly Paley Education@Home guide. During this unprecedented time, we are continuing to reach out to our community with tips and ideas for consuming media with kids! We know that screen time has increased and so we’re here to help. Each week we are highlighting a different theme that connects to selected programs for younger and older viewers, with related activities and resources.

Consuming media with your kids is a perfect jumping-off point to making media literacy a part of your everyday lives. Familiarizing yourself with the basics is a great first step. In case you missed it, you can view our first edition about media literacy best practices. We also recommend the National Association for Media Literacy Education’s Parents Guide—it’s a terrific introduction!

Weekly Zoom Meet-up
Thursdays, 3:00 to 3:30 pm ET
Students Grades 3+ can join us for a weekly Zoom Meet-up, Thursdays from 3:00 to 3:30 pm ET, to chat about the week’s theme and engage in some hands-on learning led by a Paley Educator. Parents and teachers are welcome to join as well!

For connection details, please RSVP to eduny@paleycenter.org.
What We're Watching: Diwali

Diwali, the festival of lights, is India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year. The festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. Over the centuries the celebration has become international with different groups of people observing for various reasons. The festival is typically celebrated over five days, this year it falls on November 14. The festival includes specific traditions each day like cleaning and decorating your home, eating big meals, fireworks, and gathering with family and friends. Make sure to prepare some Indian snacks and sweets for watching our recommendations this week!


This Week's Recommendations for Younger Viewers

Mighty Little Bheem: Diwali
Recommended for Grades PK+
Available to stream on Netflix

Viewing Questions
  • Describe Bheem. What kind of kid is he and how do you know?
  • Where does Bheem live? Describe his house and the surrounding environment.
  • What does the family do to get ready for Diwali in episode one?
  • What happens when Bheem tries to help out?
  • What trouble does he get into? How does the problem get solved?
  • Where does the family go in episode two? Describe the temple. What animal does Bheem greet near the temple? What happens at the temple? What Hindu god do you see a statue of? (Hanuman)
  • In the final episode, where does the family go? Why do you think his friend is blue? Why does Bheem wander off? What kind of food is on the man’s plate? What happens next? How do the kids stop the robber?
  • Which statue is lit on fire by flaming arrows at the end of the episode? Describe what it looked like. Learn more about Ravana and Hanuman in the books recommended below.

Extension Activities

Make Gulab Jamun and Ladoo


Make Diwali Footprint decorations
During Diwali many Hindus welcome Lakshimi into their homes by cleaning and decorating. Tiny footprints are found around the house to show her arrival. You can make your own Diwali footprints by tracing your feet onto paper with a pencil, and then outlining in marker and coloring/decorating them. Cut your footprints out and place them around the house at will.

Additional Resources

Read

The Little Book of Hindu Deities by Sanjay Patel
Ramayana: Divine Loophole by Sanjay Patel


Watch

Sanjay’s Superteam, Disney+
This Week's Recommendations for Older Viewers

Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (2001)
Recommended for Grades 7+
Available to stream on Netflix

No introduction to modern Indian culture would be complete without a Bollywood movie and no modern Indian celebration would be any fun without music and dancing from a Bollywood movie. Although the Bollywood film industry is considered number two in the world, it produces more movies on average than any other country making more than 1000 a year. There are hundreds of films that include great music and dancing and every fan has their favorites. One of the great Diwali scenes in film comes from our recommendation this week. The story is this: Rahul marries a poor woman, for which he is immediately disowned by his father and he then moves to London to build a new life. Years later, his younger brother Rohan embarks on a mission to bring Rahul back home and reunite the family. Packed with icons of the industry—Shahrukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Kajol, Amitabh Bachan and Kareena Kapoor—K3G is a romantic family drama that includes the hit songs, “Bole Chudian,” “Yeh Latka Hai Allah,” and “You are my Soniye.”

Viewing Questions
  • Describe each member of the family we meet at the beginning of the film. What do we learn about them? How does each member interact? What kinds of expectations are placed on the sons? What are the traditions of the family according to their father?
  • Over the course of the film how does love come into conflict with filial duty to family?
  • Who is Rahul supposed to marry? How does he feel about it and why?  How does Pooja feel about it and why?
  • Who does Rahul fall in love with and how do we know that it is love at first sight? What happens as a result of his infatuation?
  • Despite Rohan’s respect for his father, what does he do to bring the family back together? Why do you think his father gives in at the end?
  • Which song was your favorite and why? Which dance was your favorite and why?
  • Which actor did the best crying? Dancing? Acting?

Extension Activity


Additional Resources

Watch

Chak de India (2007), Amazon Prime
C/O Kancharapalem (2018), Netflix
Lagaan (2001), Netflix
Mohabbatein (2000), Amazon Prime
Quick Gun Murugan (2009), Amazon Prime
Rang De Basanti (2008), Netflix
As always, if you have any questions, thoughts, or ideas, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at eduny@paleycenter.org.

Happy viewing,
Rebekah Fisk, Director of Education
Caroline Quigley, Senior Manager of School & Family Programs
Photos—Mighty Little Bheem: Netflix; Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham: Dharma Productions
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