Hama-Guri Learns to Respect Different Races

Contributed By: Rudrajyoti Nath Ray

About the Contributor: He is an advocate working with the Supreme Court of India. He likes writing poetry or blogging about various legal matters when he is not working. He loves children and think that they ask smarter questions than judges! “Convincing a kid is more difficult than getting an order from the court,” he says.

races in the world, skin color, cultural diversity, definition of racism


Children are full of questions. Sometimes they do not know and hence they ask. And sometimes the adults are not particularly good at answering – hence begging more questions.

Hama-Guri has always learnt at home that no question is foolish. Since his liberty to ask has always been encouraged, Hama-Guri chooses his questions wisely. A ‘wise’ question is always a great way of impressing the parents, which comes with its own benefits – a truth that Hama-Guri has realized very early in his life. But a couple of days ago, Hama-Guri was confused. He was not quite sure what the really the question was!

He has made a new friend. That is where it all starts. A week ago a new kid, perhaps of the same age as Hama-Guri, moved into the neighborhood. By Hama-Guri’s reasonable humble estimates – John, the new kid, looked nothing like him or the other children in the vicinity. His skin color was dark & his hair very dry and crumpled.

Hama-Guri has always been pushed by his parents to take a bath. He does not quite enjoy the process but he has come to like how clean he feels after. His first impression of John was that John never bathes! And that is precisely what he told his mother, “Mumma, you know! John never bathes”, breaking into peals of laughter. But after a week or so of infrequent meetings, Hama-Guri was confused, and truth be told a little annoyed too, regarding how exactly is John being let off the hook by his parents!

So he asked him as innocently as he could, “John, why is your hair like this? Don’t you ever take a bath?” John had been having a difficult time making new friends already. His language was foreign and his skin color was different. Questions regarding where has he come from, incessant. John just could not take the latest quip regarding his hair. Though Hama-Guri did not mean it as a quip. He just wanted to know how do John’s parents do not force him to bathe whereas his parents compel him to be clean all the time!

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