As Hindus, we had always been taught that books are God – specifically, the Goddess of Learning, Saraswathi – and, therefore, must be treated with respect, and handled with care. I personally think that this is an excellent philosophy – giving education, learning, and the tools of learning the deserved reverence.
Looks like the kids in little A’s class (most of whom are of Indian descent – after all, this is NJ) have heard this concept from their parents. Imagine, then, the consternation of the 6 and 7 year olds when class teacher Mrs. S nonchalantly steps over books and walks on top of paper that might have fallen on the floor of the classroom! I mean, I cringe when I just hear about it. So, little A and a couple of her friends took it upon themselves to explain to Mrs. S that books are Goddess Saraswathi, and that it is really bad to step on paper on the floor. A flabbergasted Mrs. S apparently shook her head and told the kids “Girls, that doesn’t make any sense. I really don’t understand what that means.”
So much for avoiding religious talk in public schools! 🙂