Share India’s Culture with Your Child
Our families are always interested in ideas about how to connect their adopted children with the cultures of their countries of birth. One of our families has created an engaging program to teach children about India, so we thought we’d share it with you.
How IndianTies Began
Sid and Heather Chatterjee have adopted two beautiful girls from our India program. They chose India as their children’s country of origin because Sid is originally from Hyderabad, India. His family still lives there. Heather has also lived there for several years, and the couple met there. They have two biological children, Alyssa and Aiden, and they adopted Amara and Anjali from India. Amara is 5, and Anjali is 4.
When the couple was first married, they started a blog called IndianTies about Intercultural Indian Relationships. Then, as their family grew, Sid and Heather began looking for a way to connect their children, growing up in the United States, with their Indian culture — especially as an Indian Christian family. The idea for a Mystery Letter subscription service for children evolved.
A Monthly Subscription Program about India
IndianTies offers a monthly subscription program, much like the crates by Kiwi Co, but it’s totally about India. Each month, a child will receive a letter from a fictional pen pal, an Indian child who lives in the U.S. The letter describes how he is traveling back to India with his family, and he highlights a specific place he is visiting. The story includes a mystery to solve.
Included with the Mystery Letter:
- A souvenir postcard from the destination described in the letter
- Three tri-folded and sealed mystery clue cards
- A conclusion letter with the answer to the mystery
- A paper craft or activity
Past topics have included Bangalore, Rajasthan, Chennai, and Punjab. This month’s letter is set in Mumbai, specifically Bollywood!
Not only is receiving the packets exciting for children, but Christian parents can subscribe and feel confident that the content will be appropriate for their families. Any reference to religion is told from a secular cultural viewpoint – which acknowledges the religious diversity of India but does not promote any specific religious tradition.
Sid and Heather have found that the Mystery Letters help their children develop a sense of pride, appreciation, and understanding of their Indian heritage and identity. The storytelling format is fun, engaging, AND educational. Their older two kids have been very involved and are always excited to hear the next storyline and pitch their ideas.
A Special Discount and a Freebie
If you’d like to try this program, use the discount code SPECIAL2023 to receive $5 off per month + free shipping on Mystery Letters for three months. Visit their website for more information.
It is most appropriate for ages 7-12, but an option for younger children is coming soon! You can subscribe to their email list for updates, and you will receive a free printable puzzle when you do.
Thank you to Sid and Heather for creating this fantastic resource for parents and sharing it with us so we could tell our families!