Those you who follow dadima’s on instagram, would have seen a ‘watch this space’ boomerang video for my new campaign called grandactions. Inspired by Grandparents’ Day (which, in the UK, falls on Sunday 1st October this year), I want to raise the profile of those ‘grand’ elders in our lives in the lead up to October. Like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Valentine’s Day, it’s only really special and genuine if the love is shown throughout the year, not just on the one day. Hope you agree?
So what is grandactions?
My vision with grandactions, is to encourage as many young people as possible, to spend quality time with those ‘grand’ elders in their lives, so that 1) precious wisdom can be passed on 2) different generations connect over something fun and 3) to put a smile on the faces of the ones we love.
2017 marks the very first year of grandactions, so the hashtag is #grandactions1. I hope you’ll join dadima’s campaign in any way that suits your lifestyle. The theme for this first year, inspired by dadima’s cookbook, is home-cooking. I don’t know about you, but my grandparents and I don’t agree on every topic. As much as I love and respect them, sometimes it’s hard to find common ground. Despite our differences, home-cooking is the area which we usually agree on, and have fun with. We are all foodies!
Grandactions is not about spending lots of money. It’s about you learning, cooking, and eating with your ‘grand’ elder, as a way of bonding. So although I’m facilitating dadima’s grandactions campaign, it totally relies on your involvement to make that special difference across families. I hope that you’ll share photos of your special moments, using #grandactions1, so that I can inspire others on dadima’s page to get involved.
Is it just for grandparents? Nope. Not all of us have grandparents, or if we do, we may not have a special bond with them for whatever reason. That’s why I want ‘grand’ elder to represent any special elder in our lives, and not be exclusive to grandparents.
So, why am I bothered about doing something ‘grand’ with our elders? Well, I’m biased. I have a soft spot for my grandparents, as I wouldn’t be who I am today without the childhood years I spent living with my dadima, and the school holidays I spent in Nottingham with my maternal grandparents. Thanks to my grandparents, and my parents, I have grown up speaking Punjabi, and have experiences and insights into the religion, culture and values of my Indian heritage. Thanks to my grandparents, I’ve learnt so much about life, and the simple pleasures that matter – family bonds, having values that ground you, and of course eating good quality food for a healthy lifestyle. As the founder of dadima’s brand, which aims to connect generations through sharing wisdom, this campaign makes absolute sense to me in and amongst the social challenges facing us today – like loneliness and feelings of social isolation. #grandactions1 could make a small but meaningful difference to personal and community relationships, with your valuable help.
So, why should you be bothered about grandactions?
- Priceless moments: You’ll have the pleasure of knowing that you’ve made that ‘grand’ elder in your life, feel special and loved. You’ll be making memories, learning new things from them, and hopefully having fun cooking and talking away!
- Inexpensive: Making a phone call, cooking some dinner, or making a local trip, can be done on a small budget. #grandactions1 is not about spending lots of money.
- Do good: By uploading your photos to social media, using #grandactions1, you’ll be inspiring others to connect with their elders.
- Other people are bothered too: There is already lots happening to encourage, and celebrate intergenerational bonds. Based on my reading, here are a few of my favourites. Age UK, the charity who introduced Grandparents’ Day to the UK in 1990, encourage their followers to submit photos and special memories to lead their fundraising campaign with ambassadors like YouTube star Joe Sugg to attract interest. The American organisation, Generations United, has a wealth of ideas to get people spending time with their elders. Flowers aside, Interflora have a lovely e-book which shares quotes from different grandparents.
How you can get involved in dadima’s #grandactions1:
Here are a few suggestions of how you may want to get involved in dadima’s #grandactions1 campaign. Remember, this year’s theme is home-cooking. There will be lots more inspiration on dadima’s Instagram and Facebook pages in the upcoming months, so watch this space and get others to join in please.
If your ‘grand’ elder lives far away…
- Book in a Skype/ FaceTime/ Whatsapp video call with your ‘grand’ elder. Many of the elder generation are becoming quite savvy on social media and smart phones, so give them the benefit of the doubt to show off their skills!
- Do a mini interview – ask them about the key events that they’ve hosted in their lives (be it birthdays, wedding celebrations, births), where food has played a key part.
- What did the menu look like? Was it simple? Expensive? Complicated? Did anyone chip in and help? What’s their advice on healthy eating, wellness and lifestyle? Does it need to be expensive? What does ‘health’ mean to them? Where do they do their food shopping from and why?
- Ask them to give you a simple recipe over the phone. Cook it with them on Skype/Facetime.
- Grab a photo to show how you’ve done your bit for #grandactions1. Upload using #grandactions1, or e-mail it to me and I’ll share it for you!
If you’re meeting face-to-face…
- Book a date with that ‘grand’ elder in your life. Plan your transport, timings, and decide what you’ll be cooking together. The rule is, you cook together or you cook for them!
- Plan a menu. What’s the dish you’ve always wanted to learn from them? Can they teach you? Buy the ingredients,
- Finer details. Find out their favourite songs, have a playlist going, and enjoy the night.
- Grab a selfie with your ‘grand’ elder, as well as any foodie snaps to show how you’ve done your bit for #grandactions1. Upload using #grandactions1, or e-mail it to me and I’ll share for you!
If you’re a parent or work at a school…
This campaign is all about young people leading the way, so I would love for schools to get involved, in any aspect which benefits the National Curriculum (I am open to discussions). It may be that you roll out #grandactions1 from a social/moral/health/citizenship angle – to get some hours for CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service), or to get pupils thinking about healthy lifestyle and food, in line with the home-cooking theme. Please do get in touch if you wish to collaborate (see details at the end of this blog).
Here are grandactions that dadima’s have got planned at this point – more details to follow, as I want you to get involved!
- Sunday 3rd September – #grandactions1 walking & talking – The dadima’s team are organising a morning walk for ‘grand’ elders and youngsters, followed by a few homemade dadima’s snacks! What’s really exciting, is that it will be held at the beautiful Long Walk in Windsor, right next to Windsor castle. Put this date into your diary please!
- Thursday 21st September 2017 – Dadima’s have teamed up with Elements Kitchens to host an exclusive dinner party experience for young adults and their special grand elder – a ‘Cooking to connect generations’ evening.
Please contact me on email@example.com to collaborate, or to e-mail photos of your #grandactions1! Please do share this blog with schools, friends or workplaces so that we can spread the love and actions.