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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

those things missed ~ cradle.... and Finnish sleep boxes

In this beautiful World, there are lot of things which we miss… How many of us speak to our family ~ spend some quality time with them… when you run throughout the day, carrying the stress and tensions, the time one reaches home, there is time to eat and hit bed… no, there is time for Face Book, TV, Serials and other things but not…… speaking with family members !!!

Modern day children get everything ~ the technology is so developed – even kids have mobiles; I pads; compu games and more – blessed are they or so one thinks……… sadly it is the otherway… many children lose their childhood. In olden days, every activity of the child was monitored and cherished ~ there were people at home to take care of, to notice, to appreciate, to correct and enjoy every step of the child….. sadly some children are left in day care ~ when husband and wife work and earn money – they miss so many things – not to blame the parents – they also sacrifice their life for the future of the child but………………… there are irreparable losses.

Lord Krishna grew up so beautifully – His every step was adored; His every act was cherised – all ‘leelas of Kanna’. Periyazhwar in this Periyazhwar Thirumozhi takes care of Krishna right from the moment of His birth, adores, sings lullabies, bathes, puts new clothes, best of flowers and does more.  Do you remember the cradle that was part of every house – children slept in cradle which will be swung by mothers and all other womenfolk – who would sing nice songs……. This is what Periyazhwar says :

மாணிக்கம் கட்டி வயிரம் இடைகட்டி *
ஆணிப்பொன்னால் செய்த வண்ணச் சிறுத்தொட்டில் *
பேணி உனக்குப் பிரமன் விடுதந்தான் *
மாணிக் குறளனே தாலேலோ! வையமளந்தானே தாலேலோ!

The cradle that had the fortune of Lord Krishna sleeping was not any ordinary one… it was a Golden one with intricately woven Rubies and Diamonds adding to its glory ~ it was one sent by Brahma himself… Periyazhwar with love and compassion requests Lord to come and sleep in that beautiful cradle

Now here is an interesting article read today in BBC….titled ‘Why Finnish babies sleep in boxes’ .  For 75 years, Finland's expectant mothers have been given a box by the state. It's like a starter kit of clothes, sheets and toys that can even be used as a bed. And some say it helped Finland achieve one of the world's lowest infant mortality rates. It's a tradition that dates back to the 1930s and it's designed to give all children in Finland, no matter what background they're from, an equal start in life. The maternity package - a gift from the government - is available to all expectant mothers.

Finnish baby

It contains bodysuits, a sleeping bag, outdoor gear, bathing products for the baby, as well as nappies, bedding and a small mattress. With the mattress in the bottom, the box becomes a baby's first bed. Many children, from all social backgrounds, have their first naps within the safety of the box's four cardboard walls. Mothers have a choice between taking the box, or a cash grant, currently set at 140 euros, but 95% opt for the box as it's worth much more. The tradition dates back to 1938. To begin with, the scheme was only available to families on low incomes, but that changed in 1949.

Not only was it offered to all mothers-to-be but new legislation meant in order to get the grant, or maternity box, they had to visit a doctor or municipal pre-natal clinic before their fourth month of pregnancy. So the box provided mothers with what they needed to look after their baby, but it also helped steer pregnant women into the arms of the doctors and nurses of Finland's nascent welfare state. In the 1930s Finland was a poor country and infant mortality was high - 65 out of 1,000 babies died. But the figures improved rapidly in the decades that followed.

Besides containing mattress, matress cover, undersheet, duvet cover, blanket, sleeping bag/quilt; the box itself doubles as a crib.  At 75 years old, the box is now an established part of the Finnish rite of passage towards motherhood, uniting generations of women. For some families, the contents of the box would be unaffordable if they were not free of charge.  There was a recent report saying that Finnish mums are the happiest in the world, and the box was one thing that provided them happiness.  The contents of the box have changed a good deal over the years, reflecting changing times. Encouraging good parenting has been part of the maternity box policy all along.

The history is sort of summarized as 1938 when  Finnish Maternity Grants Act was introduced; despite wartime shortages it continued in 1940s; in 1949 income ceiling removed and pack offered to all mothers, provided they had prenatal health check. 1969 – disposable nappies added to the pack; in 2006 cloth nappies reintroduced - bottle left out to encourage breastfeeding

There  are Nations who care for their citizens right from their childhood

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

4th June 2013.

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