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Playing with the Epics

posted Oct 23, 2010, 1:12 AM by Diana Rohini LaVigne   [ updated Oct 23, 2010, 1:17 AM ]

Give Your Kids a Dose of Hindu Culture

By Diana Rohini LaVigne

Think your kids won’t be interested in the Ramayana, the ancient Hindu epic? Guess again. With Kridana.com’s action figures based on the characters straight from the Ramayana legend, you can’t go wrong in gifting a child toys that they will both love and learn from. Kridana.com came up with the concept after polling Indian American parents and their children about the lack of knowledge surrounding the Hindu epics. Mahender Swami Nathan, president and founder of Kridana.com, told indianlifeandstyle.com, “In many cases, all they (children) could muster was, ‘That’s the Indian Monkey King.’ These same children could, however, recite what seemed to be every conceivable fact about the Transformers, Pokemon and Naruto. Children like to reenact the stories that are most important to them, and the fact that these children didn’t know about the Ramayana spoke volumes. Of course, I felt this was a great tragedy — whether it is seen as religious text or just incredible mythology. The Ramayana is a key piece of our Indian cultural legacy.”

Nathan attributes some of his success to his liaison with a friend in the toy industry, Malik Benin. Their online sales have been very strong and although they felt their target market was Indian American parents, they discovered that they were only half correct. Toy collectors, non-Indians with an interest in India, and adults without children are buying into these expertly crafted toys. The figures are made with environmentally safe plastics, and company officials report that they are one of the first companies to put the results of their third party safety and lead testing on their Web site. Each intricately and brightly colored action figure comes with a comic book and accessories as well. Currently, Kridana.com only sells in the United States and Canada, but they have been receiving inquiries from the United Kingdom, Australia, India and Malaysia. Hopefully this will trigger them to enter new markets globally, so parents everywhere can gift their child a dose of Hindu culture. 

For more information, visit their Web site at www.kridana.com.

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