New App: Teaching Hindi through Nursery Rhymes
Ghotu Motu Ki Toli app teaches Hindi Through Nursery Rhymes
By Shailee Butalia
I was born and raised in the United States. My parents moved here from India before I was born. They taught me to speak Gujarati and I always had an avid interest in my Indian heritage. I believe it helped that I was the first generation born here. I was still surrounded by a lot of Indian culture through my parents, our family friends, and the community I grew up in.
I recently gave birth to my first child. She was also born here in the United States. So now, my concern is how I plan on passing down the same culture and traditions that I grew up with. I’m aware that some of it will change but I do want her to know her background. I want her to learn my language and be able to understand the history of where our family came from. Luckily, I live in a location where there are so many cultural traditions still being upheld, such as garba and Diwali. The community has so much influence in how interested our children will be in learning more about themselves and their identity. We also live in an age where technology makes so much information about our culture accessible.
I came across a group that created Hindi nursery rhymes on YouTube. It’s amazing because growing up, I didn’t know any of these nursery rhymes. But now, I get to play these for my daughter. She has the opportunity to learn Hindi (which I can understand but cannot speak fluently) from a very young age. And I have the chance of passing on a part of my culture to her in a very easy way.
hotu Motu Ki Toli has bright, colorful scenery and fun, interactive characters that teach you the nursery rhymes. It’s great for young children. GI don’t usually put my child in front of any type of screen unless it’s educational and only for 30 minutes at the most. I really enjoy putting her in front of these videos though and hope that it will help her in learning one of the languages of the country my family comes from.
My baby girl lights up with smiles every time I sing to her and I can tell she finds it soothing. It won’t be long before she will be able to start singing back to me. I want to be able to hear her sing to me in both English and Hindi.
Ghotu Motu Ki Toli comes with a mobile app. There are times when we have been driving in the car and my baby will start crying uncontrollably. Only something musical will help to calm her down. We usually play classical music or Baby Einstein videos. I am excited to put fun Hindi nursery rhymes in front of her as well. Children tend to pick up language easier between the ages of 0 to 5.
The mobile app allows me to always have the videos on hand as well as fun games that she will be able to learn from and play as she gets older.
By exposing her to Ghotu Motu Ki Toli at such a young age, she will grow with them and they will become some of her friends just as her stuffed animals and characters in books have become. I have also kept all of the comic books and storybooks of the Ramanyan and Mahabharat from when I was a child. It’s how I learned some of the great stories of our culture. I look forward to being able to read these to her when she is old enough to better understand them. The animated books make it easy for children to be able to participate in the stories.
I believe it’s important to find ways to continue to pass on where we come from to our children. I believe that the knowledge is beneficial for their identity and self-confidence. I can only hope that, as a new mom, I will be successful at it. Ghotu Motu Ki Toli is a way to teach our children our culture and language using 2-minute
Indian nursery rhyme videos available on Youtube and through mobile apps. You can download the app on itunes here.
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