Nursery Rhymes: Why are they so silly!!
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|   Jul 02, 2016
Nursery Rhymes: Why are they so silly!!

As a first time mother of a two year old, I excitedly bought a bright bounded book full of nursery rhymes. I, ofcourse, didn’t expect them to teach my child anything except for a few new words, a little rhythm and possibly voice modulation. I was surprised when she questioned each line as I read them aloud.


Some of the likes of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall is what we were always familiar with. But with the new generation opening up itself to a global platform, the learning seemed to have changed and become exhaustive.


It amuses me of which panel approved the rhymes to be on a global list of first learning on impressionable minds. While it takes a lot of insight, intelligence and good judgment to understand the pulse of your little audience, these fun poems are much beyond.


For instance, few of the published poems are reproduced below:

Georgie Porgie

Georgie Porgie, pudding and pie,

Kissed the girls and made them cry;

When the boys came out to play,

Georgie Porgie ran away.


Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater

Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater

Had a wife and couldn’t keep her

He put her in a pumpkin shell

And there he kept her very well


Little Polly Flinders

Little Polly Flinders

Sat among the cinders

Warming her pretty little toes

Her mother came and caught her

And whipped her little daughter

For spoiling her nice new clothes.


There was an old woman who lived in a shoe

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,

She had so many children she didn’t know what to do!

So she gave them some broth without any bread,

And she whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed!


While Goergie Porgie was a womanizer, Peter thought it was okay to keep his wife restricted in a shell, little Polly was beaten up by her mother for a petty thing like spoiling her new clothes while the other innocent children were subject to domestic violence by their cruel mother!


In this beautiful world which our children are yet to discover, I wonder if such poems made any sense and if they were really required to be taught to minds which imbibe everything very innocently. Moreover, why blame the generation for the mis-happenings, when your fundamental fun teaching conveyed such a negative message to them.


While I understood some of the poems came from a culture other than ours, but for it to appear in our books was beyond my wisdom.


When my mind couldn’t answer the obvious question of what message does it convey, I decided to fold those pages, to never open them again.



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