Freedom from bias through toys – Indian Independence Day special

There’s an assortment of toys lying at various corners of my apartment. From soft toys to remote-controlled gadgets suitable for his age group, the soon to turn three-year-old cherishes every single purchase. Until a certain point, his favorite play items were pieces of paper, empty cartons, and discarded boxes. His next favorite became the huge collection of soft toys that were mostly accumulated as gifts. But the preferences shifted at every phase of growing up.

However, if there’s any toy set that has maintained the consistency of being his favorite for a year now, it will have to the plastic kitchen set meant for kids in the age group of 2 – 5 years. Other than the fact that we get to eat some delicious items cooked by him, this set also has a high sentimental value for him. It was gifted to my son on his second birthday by our cook who saved up money so that she could give him a gift.

When toys stand for freedom from bias

Today is India’s 72nd Independence Day. Decades back, there were ample opportunities to move out and make a more developed country my home. But I chose to stay back for reasons close to my heart. Despite the number of years, it pains to see that my motherland is still shackled by quite a few regressive thoughts and practices. My son and his kitchen set are not mere toys in our household. They stand for our thoughts in trying to bring a change in the tiniest of ways, It is our way to break the taboo associated with gender stereotyping or casteism.

This post is part of the Tuesday Photo Challenge on the theme ‘Toy’ this week.

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday created by Esha and Natasha.

Author: Sonia Chatterjee

Who am I? Ex-Banker turned Blogger/Writer/Solopreneur. Any qualifications? A Post graduate degree in Chemistry followed by Post Graduate Diploma in Management. I am still trying to figure out how and when I can connect all these dots to what I do presently. Have I done any real work? If two years in Market Research and six years in Banking (three different Banks though) as Branch Head can be considered as real work. Where do I live? After a nomadic sixteen years in Delhi, Bangalore & Mysore, I am back to where it all started from - Kolkata. My favorite things - Food, travel, books and my two and half year old toddler son What is this blog about ? Sonia's musings is an attempt to channelize emotions through words and pictures hoping they touch a chord with my visitors.

22 thoughts on “Freedom from bias through toys – Indian Independence Day special”

  1. I had a kitchen set when I was small. Even my daughter has one. I like the idea of boys playing with these toys what’s the harm. Top chefs in this world are males and they are playing kitchen kitchen all day. Toys should not be gender specific but preference specific. If a boy doesnt like playing with kitchen set or dolls, thats his prerogative, he shouldn’t be forced. Similarly, if he likes playing with it, it should be accepted as normal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true Anshu. I wish society understood. Somehow kitchen is always equated with a woman’s identity. We take him to various play zones here over the weekend. Two weeks back, one of the attendants at a playzone commented how boys these days were becoming feminine and the girls were losing their tenderness. I did give her a piece of my mind but the truth is she just spoke her mind while most of the people feel the same, though they might not express it.

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    1. Thank you Prerna for reading. I have linked up an old article of mine on Breaking gender stereotypes that I wrote last year. Unfortunately the mindset of our society is such that the idea of feminity and masculinity is messed up. Could you please share the link of your article? I would love to read it. Glad to find someone with a similar thought process.

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  2. I like the pic and the story with it. Never tried WW. Looking for a pic today though.
    My son used to make little chapatis with me in the kitchen. And I enjoyed with him. Thanks for taking me on the nostalgia trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Priya. I am glad you encouraged him to do that. I find few of the parents discourage playing with kitchen set as if it would make them any less of a boy. You can try out WW. It’s actually fun. You can just write a line or two with any picture. I really love the concept.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you for linking up with us this week, Sonia. I love the shot. I loved the story you shared a bit more because I can relate to that too. We loved buying toys for our son who is now 14 and one of his favourite toys were the smallish pots and pans that I had, but never used. He loved playing chef and we loved the treats he dished out to us. I got really nostalgic seeing the picture and imagining Arjyo there, as it used to be years ago! I can see your point—I am totally against gender stereotyping but see a lot of that happening everywhere. In India, it is a little more pronounced of course! Sad but true.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So true. Last week we took our son to a playzone where one of the attendants casually remarked how boys these days were keen on playing feminine games. The society has set such strange standards for gender discrimination that when we try to try to take a different approach to parenting, it is made difficult for the parents and kids both.

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  3. Wow!
    My five-year old son love his big collection of toy cars but from time to time, he won’t mind playing around with my niece’s kitchen set.
    The ways kids learn about life and much more is quite interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sonia, first of all sincere apologies for the late comment. Esha and I have been mired with a number of personal commitments, that have eaten up into our blogging time.
    Thus we have been unable to stop by to even comment on our favourite #WW participants posts.

    What a beautiful post this and the picture so beautifully embodies what you have expressed so aptly, straight from the heart.
    As usual we were chuffed to see you link up with us, as we love the myriad stories you weave with each one of your pictures.

    Thank you so much. Have a lovely week ahead!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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