Fading racial bias and prejudice among the younger generations abroad!
“Rupa, you are here!,” a pretty little girl in red exclaimed the obvious; her curly blond hair bounce as she jumps with joy.
“Happy Birthday, Courtney!” said Rupa, handing over the gift bag. The mothers exchanged a smile, and a hello; and then moved inside to make room for the next young guest arriving with another gift bag…
The kids’ party venue – The Jumping jack, is chaotic, with kids on a mission of fun and frolic. They run from one game-stand to another; trying every machine and trampoline. All kinds of gizmos and play-stations span the open halls, colorful bright lights adding to the joyous ambiance.
Every few minutes, a new kid arrives with a new gift. And, the ‘birthday girl’ – Courtney – runs to the welcome area to greet the newly arrived friend. Smiles, giggles, chuckles and innocent greeting fill the air:
“Hi, how did you get here?”
“I didn’t know you were coming!”
“Did you see the big pile of my gifts?”
“You are here too???”…….a lively chatter fills the air.
In the play area, a clear pattern starts to emerge. The kids are getting on with what they are good at – playing. Boys are crowding the ‘boyish games’ – target shooting, hoops, gun battle, Sponge Bob… They are running around – one play are to another, bragging and showing off….And, making sure that there is someone to witness their great performance.
The little girls have their own things going, mostly with the girly stuff. The ‘mechanical pony rides’, ‘matching games’, ‘the make-up show’ and pink swirly slides…… And, the adventurous ones are taking up on the boys, playing hoops and shoots. There are no barriers, no rules, no bars. Everybody is a busy in their fun world – no worries, no care!
Every kid seem to have a purpose – to have as much fun as possible. It does not take a whole lot to please them, to cheer them. Life at it best!
Some parents leave for a few hours; others are standing around in the waiting area, watching their kids play. Some are talking and texting on the phones, others chit-chatting. And, a clear pattern emerges among the waiting parents as well. The Indian parents, mostly mothers, are grouped in one corner talking and laughing in their own world. Other group, mainly white women, have their own gathering. It is a meaningless and trivial segregation, but still very interesting. The grown ups seem to be more aware of the social grouping, than the little kids. There is no separation based on color or race in the play area. The waiting area, however, tells a different story…
This could be an encouraging sign of the times to come. The racial separations seem to diminish among the younger generation. The biases – conscious or unconscious – seem to fade among the little ones, a welcome evolution of time.
Or, may be, we learn to discriminate and segregate, – unknowingly in many cases – once we grow up. Perhaps the life becomes more complicated outside the play-room, and we are not as ‘color blind’ as we once were; once, when we were kids!
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