MEERA – the name of my daughter, the inspiration behind this initiative, and my little ambassador. When my daughter started sparking curiosity in Hinduism and wanted to play dress up like Ram and Sita after watching the Ramayan story, this made me wonder about the kind of education and toys we have in South Africa.
As parents, we want to ensure that we give our kids the best and have them taught and rooted in our religious values and beliefs, and wanting this for my daughter, I realized that other than storybooks and videos I couldn’t find any religious or cultural toys within South Africa. This is how the idea came about.
When deciding on the name, I looked at my aim and purpose for this initiative, how I plan on making it a reality and what I want to do to be able to pass this experience to the next generation, and instantly it came to me, Meera - the initiator, the inspiration, the thought behind the idea and the reason for it. MEERA is about Motivating Ethnic Education through Religious Arts and Making Ethnic Education Resources Available for All Kids.
Our logo is inspired by a blend of culture, spirituality, and arts. With a Trident/Trishul shape reflecting the cultural and spiritual component, the paintbrush reflecting the fun, creative and artsy side, the heart-shaped M shows our soft and lovable nature and our colours incorporate the significance of Hinduism through the orange, purple is associated with spirituality and cosmic enlightenment, and the greens and yellows are earthy and light brining about a unified balance to MEERA.
Being of a Hindu faith, and having a toddler daughter, has made me question myself on being able to guide teach and nurture her with the correct values and beliefs of Sanatan Dharma. She started showing interest in watching religious programs and reading books with Hindu God characters.
She would ask me questions upon the question for which I sometimes couldn’t answer and just stared at her.
Her curiosity grew on me, and I realized that living in a westernized country, with busy lifestyles we tend to forget that the fundamentals are important at a young age and that exposure to cultural learning starts early. I looked around the toy room and realized that everything is based on westernized play and that nothing encourages learning of the Hindu culture besides the books.
The thought sprung but the concept remained silent for 3 years until now. Meera is the name of my daughter and the inspiration
behind this concept.
Darshana, the mum behind Meera.