Recent Posts

Once there was a tree-hopping bird and a flying monkey

Jokes children tell Humour is deeply cultural and it relates to the ways in which we learn to understand comedy. A great deal of shared cultural knowledge is required to grasp the meaning of jokes. Apart from cultural patterns, there are important differences in what is seen as funny at different ages. Whereas a baby […]

Cutting Chai: Power of hugs!

In todays cutting chai we bring to you one of our favourite characters Calvin and Hobbes. Cartoonist Bill Watterson created incorrigible Calvin and his teddy friend Hobbes who often comes alive on Calvin’s adventures in 1985. Since then Calvin and Hobbes has given us plenty laughters, giggles and moments to introspect and reflect. There are […]

"मेरे मन में आया, मैंने बना दिया"

The place of artistic expression in young children’s lives Reshu’s little niece is almost five. She has a strong sense of what she likes and is particularly creative with sketching. She is the younger of two sisters and displays a fiercely independent sense of her five-year old self. Reshu lives nearby with her own daughter […]

Math, Morality and Gambling: Card-games and Kids in the Himalayas

When and how should young children be permitted to handle cash? Is it even necessary anymore? This question is not easy to answer, and we had a hard time constructing today’s essay around this question. As concerned adults, we often struggle with the sequence and pace of bringing the outside world into children’s lives, sometimes delaying or even denying the entry of unfavourable events or difficult themes. This also raises concerns about overprotection and isolation, the consequences of which can be equally frightening. One important decision relates to handling cash, and children can learn a lot from the ways in which money is used around them. As our economies move further away from direct cash exchanges, conversations about money and related process like profit, loss, value and probability are also affected. In this post, we invite you to a discussion around an observation Vishwas Raj made during our Himalayan Chai project, and welcome your comments regarding card-games and young children.

Motherhood as fungible

Fungibility is defined as the property of a commodity, the components of which are essentially interchangeable. Although the term is most used in the fields of economics and engineering, it has recently become a personal favourite for many reasons. An important one is its possible applicability to human relationships. In this essay, I use it to discuss a quality of mothering.

Concentration! What children can teach us about learning

Stories from our Himalayan Chai project and other sources Adults often complain that children aren’t able to concentrate on tasks, that they have a short attention-span that has to be accommodated when they try to learn something new, or that they are slow to pick up things and we adults have to assist them with […]

Cutting Chai: A Mouse Who Was Hit on the Head!

Did you know that Jean Piaget, the eminent child psychologist, had collaborated on a children’s story book? Several years ago, when I met a former student of Piaget’s, Prof. Anne-Nelly Perret Clermont, and because of my long-standing obsession with Piaget’s work, I was excited to know more about him: How was he as a teacher, […]

The emperor has no clothes!

By Vimala Ramachandran Vimala has been working on school education for over 30 years as a researcher, administrator and advocate for meaningful education for all children in India. She currently works with ERU Consultants Pvt. Ltd. On Cutting Chai (that is quite kadak) this morning, we are posting two pieces sent in to us by […]

Introducing Himalayan Chai

This morning we initiate a new series on Masala Chai, a collaborative project with the talented Vishwas Raj who abandoned a career in Engineering to pursue his passion: Trekking in the Himalayas. Read more about him, his company and our collaboration, and the first serving of Himalayan Chai, a tiny window into the lives of young children growing up in remote regions of the north. We hope you enjoy the outcome and welcome your comments.