Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Getting You There--India

How old do you think India is? I was surprised to learn that India became a democratic republic only 60 years ago. Today, January 26, is Republic Day, a national holiday celebrating the adoption of the Indian constitution. If you can't get to New Delhi for the parade, you can experience India here in our own neighborhood.

Food is an important part of travel, so begin your trip at Cuisine of India, 2348 S. Elmhurst Road, Mt. Prospect. This restaurant offers a lunch buffet daily, so you can try lots of different foods to decide what you like best. Warning: Indian food can be very spicy, so start with small bites.

If you taste something you want to make yourself, go next door to Ambica or down the street to Shreeji Gocers, 1187 S. Elmhurst Road, Des Plaines to shop for ingredients. During my recent visit I bought roti chapati, a delicious flat bread that you can cook in about 2 minutes. Children will love watching it puff up on the stove.

If you want to venture further from home, there are lots of restaurants and shops on Devon Avenue in Chicago.

When you return from your trip, try reading some great books from the library. The Brave Little Parrot is a beautiful introduction to traditional jataka tales.

Indian Children's Favourite Stories is a delightful collection of eight traditional stories that will help you learn about the culture and history of a diverse country.

Homeless Bird is an award-winning book for older children about a 13-year-old girl and her arranged marriage.

Gujarati is one of 16 major languages spoken in India. Check out the English-Gujarati version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar to see what Gujarati script looks like.

I hope you enjoy your trip to India. Send us a postcard!

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