I love Mangoes and can eat it in any form, except raw-tangy ones.
Have you ever thought, why Mangoes are the king of fruits and why are they national fruit of India? .....Ha ha, I knew it... Like me, you too had never bothered to find it out. And if you knew the answer from before, you might have the same 'genes of curiosity' that the founder of OSMS has.
Recently, I came across some very interesting facts about a mango. It helps us understand the origins of our ecosystem, formation of continents and even dispersal of mangoes across the world.
This all started after the event Historical Gastronomica- The Indus Dining Experience, where we saw all age groups interacting with the exhibition and sharing their interesting feedbacks.
Our visitors ranged from 7-8 yrs old to senior citizens. As a result, our research and food-walk team had to frequently moderate the explanations so that all our visitors would enjoy our in-depth research in a simplified manner. The idea was to ensure that everyone felt enriched after visiting the exhibition, irrespective of their age, education level, language proficiency and interest. For the adults it was easier to absorb our explanations, connect the dots, appreciate and debate.
The children in the age group of 7-15 years old pretended like our super bosses. They showed instant reactions and strong likes and dislikes. These kids asked some of the toughest questions and they were not easy to please.
From there started our quest to understand, how can our food and ecosystem history be made fun, such that the facts directly interact with the kids.
We met a lot of people to gather feedback, on how we could inculcate interest amongst our younger minds.
A week before the event started, we met Mr. Anuj Bahari from Bahari sons. At that point of time, we wanted to understand the logistic hassles about releasing a child-friendly publication on our food history. He was very honest in ridiculing our idea as financially-unviable.
We came back to the drawing board and changed the idea into an interpretation card. The team worked very hard and we did print a set of interpretation cards, which were shown to some kids at the event to record their reaction. Their reactions were encouraging (phew !! we passed !).
After the event, we met Ms. Gayatri Luthra from Mowgly's Gurukul. She was very supportive of our mode of exhibiting food history, shared honest feedback and was kind enough to share some insightful tips for engaging with children where heavy topics are concerned. Her inputs were a turning point for us.
Thereafter, we went back to Ms. Sharmila & Abhijit Sinha from Shhabda, who were part of the event at National Museum. Our founder participated in one of their creative workshop with kids. This time, the Indus food history was shown to children in a simplified manner and their reactions were priceless.
Then started the quest for curating an online workshop for children.
Thereafter, Maavadu baby mango, lovingly called Maavu by his mum, Maangai, was born to tell us all a million year old tale.
Maavu is mischievous and very curious about his origins. He has a world of questions for Maangai to know how mangoes evolved, whether they saw the dinosaurs and how they became the 'king of fruits'.
With a number of activities and a gripping storyline, children are introduced to facts about our origins, ecosystems, and about Mangoes. While the content of the creative workshop is based on in-depth technical research, the dissemination is child-friendly and hones basic skills of word power, word association and basic natural sciences.
Through Maavadu, we hope to see a smile on the face of young minds !