Monday, March 19, 2012

On Bhutanese reading habits

“The greatest gift one can give a child is the passion for reading.” I read this in a local newspaper. So true! How many of our Bhutanese parents gifted (gifts) this greatest gift to our child?

Generally speaking, reading habits in Bhutanese is so poor. Be it in schools or home, we hardly read. Children along with parents are seen glued to the television screen most of the time at home or either they would be glued to their cell phones with ear piece plugged in. There is no activity such as reading. Apart from television and internet, the introduction of mobile phones has made the Bhutanese lot busier than ever. Walk into an office and try asking for the way around to someone on the mobile phone, he/she will hardly bother to look up from the screen and answer you.  

Picture Courtesy: Bhutan Observer
Who is to be blamed here? Our culture where reading habits never existed? Or the parents who have no time to read bed time stories to their children? The former one seems the appropriate answer. As a child, my parents never read bed time stories to me because it was not in our culture. I discovered myself the passion for reading from an early age and since then I have never looked back. Reading always entices me. It broadens my horizon of imagination and creativity. It takes me to the undiscovered world of enchantment and liberates me from the daily agonies of human quandary. Reading is a freedom in itself. 

Recently at the Junction bookstore, a couple with their baby, I presumed, was browsing some good books to purchase. The father holding the baby in his left arm was browsing through and reading some anecdotes from some books to the baby. The baby boy listened and made small wails as if in agreement to what his dad was reading to him. 
Oh how sweet a sight that was! I could not help but admire. The couple then was bestowing the greatest gift to their child. 

The mother on the other hand selected few books and showed it to her hubby. I was so envious of the baby boy. How fortunate is he to be born to parents who share the same love-the passion for reading. And the passion they are gifting to the child is the greatest gift. No wonder, birds of the same feather flock together, I thought to myself. 
Introducing reading habits into the young minds at a tender age like this would encourage reading habits. 

The school I taught at for a year had this; the first period of every day was designated as reading period. Complete silence was maintained and every student had to have something to read in front of them. It was a good initiative from the school’s part. 

Small initiative in our education system like this encourages reading habits into the young minds. 
While waiting in the hospital or airport you can always grab a copy of the newspaper and read. Book among others is an important component in my hand bag. I carry it wherever I go and especially if I have to wait in a queue it always becomes my companion and makes it easier for me to pass the long waiting hours. These are the small things that have always helped me encourage my reading habits; you may have interesting reading habits too. What’s yours?


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