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Reading and writing extensively in multiple languages boosts creative thinking

In a groundbreaking 2012 study of nearly 196 students, Taiwanese researchers investigated the profound connection between reading, writing, and creativity, revealing insights that resonate with parents' intuition. The research points to a positive relationship between writing in multiple languages, and connects it to increased creative thinking. We often think that creativity is an inborn talent, but like many other skills, it can be taught. Strong creative thinking is important for all fields as it improves problem solving skills.

Within the South-Asian diaspora, there has historically been an emphasis on STEM fields often at the expense of creative exploration. While this is slowly changing, research points to the strong connections between critical thinking, the power of exploration, and communication skills all connected to developing creatively. This is relevant for a child or an adult. It’s also a little motivation in teaching your kids heritage South-Asian languages to be able to communicate to grandparents but develop holistically as creative individuals.

Every child possesses storytelling abilities, and nurturing creative expression should encompass both verbal and visual forms. Introducing reading and writing habits from a young age not only ignites lifelong passions but also enhances elaboration skills and strong communication abilities. Writing, in particular, aids children in understanding and processing their emotions, contributing to emotionally rich lives.

For parents wondering where to begin their journey of fostering creativity, you can start now with these tips:

  1. Adult modeling: Lead by example on exploratory library and museum visits. Austin offers free museum Sundays every month for creative explorations.

  2. Creative workshops at Austin Public library: Some new South-Asian programming in fall-winter includes:

  3. A free Katha (story) workshop tailored for tweens, drawing inspiration from South-Asian storytelling from September 28th to November 2nd, on a weekly cadence at Austin Public Library's Hampton branch in partnership with local nonprofit, Peerbagh

  4. South-Asian heritage day at the Spicewood Springs branch of the Austin Public Library on October 28th that includes creative workshops and storytime

  5. New bilingual books: A growing number of South-Asian authors are crafting books that celebrate desi folklore and protagonists. When children encounter their culture and lives mirrored in media, they experience validation and visibility. desi kid lit list, Peerbagh Journal’s Diverse book finder, Desibooks on Goodreads are some of the places online to find South-Asian children’s book recommendations. Some new releases that cover bilingual books for kids include:

  6. Chalo Jungle Chalein by Balveen Singh that is in Hindi and English for little kids for ages 3-8.

  7. Ravan’s Lost Boon by Vatsala Kakroo that is in English and Kashmiri with tons of art and engaging Diwali activities for ages 8-12.

  8. Kahani Purani by Pridhee Kumar Gupta in Hindi and English with beautiful illustrations for ages 0-2.

For parents seeking motivation to pass on their culture, language, and culinary traditions to their children, consider this your catalyst. Ultimately, every parent aspires to nurture their children into creative thinkers poised to shape the future.

Byline: Upasna KakrooCEO, Peerbagh, Austin, Texas

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