Processes from the Social Studies curriculum covered by this
- How cultural practices vary but reflect similar purposes
- How people pass on and sustain culture and heritage for different reasons and that this has consequences for people
- How cultural interaction impacts on cultures and societies.
By using this resource students will:
- identify some of the significant differences between Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim
wedding ceremonies for New Zealand’s Indian communities
- understand the importance of family in the lives of people from New Zealand’s
Indian communities and the different roles various family members take in the
- understand how Indian immigrants and their descendants identify themselves
as Indian, and how they maintain their culture in New Zealand.
Participating and contributing – The students will explore and question the ways in which New Zealand Indian communities make decisions to maintain their culture, and ways in which those decisions impact on their children
Links to other curriculum areas
The Arts in the New Zealand Curriculum - Music
The resource links to the Arts curriculum through the strand of understanding
music in context, where students will develop knowledge and understanding of music
in past and present contexts. They will share the music of their homes and communities,
and investigate music working as social text, increasing their understanding about
people and environments.
Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum
Another link is the Health curriculum through the strand of healthy communities
and environments, where students will find out how societal attitudes, values,
beliefs, and practices affect well-being.
Teacher resources for detailed information on Hindu, Sikh, and
Muslim wedding ceremonies and the New Zealand Indian communities:
- Leckie, J (1995) South Asians: 'Old and New Migrations' in Stuart Grief (ed)
Immigration and National Identity in New Zealand. Palmerston North: Dunmore
- William R Levacy. (1999). Beneath a Vedic Sky. California: Hay House.
- Aggarwal, M. (1984). I am a Sikh. Sydney: Franklin Watts.
- Bennet, O. (1985). A Sikh Wedding. London: Hamish Hamilton
- images and detailed descriptions of Sikh weddings
Suggestions for classroom activities
Students participate in the preparation of a wedding feast, either by creating
food at home to share or preparing food at school. Encourage students to research
the origin of their selected dish and consider if it had to be changed to prepare
it in New Zealand.
In groups, make up wedding albums by illustrating the different steps of a
Hindu, Sikh, or Muslim wedding. Write a brief explanation of each illustration
to put on the bottom of each page. Ask parents or caregivers to bring in family
wedding albums for comparison with the ones created by the students.
Indian music day
Compile a selection of Indian music from the local library
to play in class. Ask the students to see if they can identify the sounds of some
of the different traditional Indian musical instruments. Have the students create
a tabla (Indian drum).
Make a tabla
Use a thick cardboard tube and cut to approx 20cm in length - stretch rubber from
a car tyre inner tube across both ends and stitch in a zigzag from one end to
the other to hold the rubber in place. Tighten the stitching by placing corks
in between the stitching cord and the cardboard tube. Ask the students to play
along with the selected music.
Create a mangalsutra
A mangalsutra is a necklace of black and gold beads that indicates that
a woman is married. Ask students to think of other external signs or symbols
that people of other cultures in New Zealand use to show that they are married.
Write an advertisement
Write an advertisement for an introductions newspaper (commonly used in India
for find suitable partners). Use personal columns as a guideline!
Hold a class debate
Hold a class debate - one side for arranged marriages and the other side against.
Describe an Indian Wedding
Ask the students to write a letter to a friend describing an Indian wedding
as if they have attended - what it was like and what role they took in it.
Create a Mehandi design
Using a template of a hand, have the students create a mehandi design (henna
hand painting). Explore www.hennapage.com
Astrology is sometimes used in the process of finding a suitable partner in
arranged marriages. Ask the students to bring in their star sign predictions from
newspapers and magazines. Follow up by asking students to write their own horoscopes.
Wedding sari and other traditional Indian wedding costumes are often very
elaborate. They are highly decorated with sequins and gold stitching - give each
student a small square of cloth and ask them to decorate it using collage materials.
Stitch the pieces together to create a full-length sari to dress someone in -
or use as a wall hanging.