A leading New York-based Indian-born children's book author has released a new book on Holi, aimed at educating young readers here about the festival and the cultural heritage of India.
Anu Sehgal, Founder and President of The Culture Tree, has penned ‘Kahaani Rangeeli' or ‘Colorful Story' along with Pridhee Kapoor on the Hindu festival of Holi.
The book “combines two passions of mine—language and culture. It is written in the Hindi language, and is a beautiful story of Krishna, one of the most beloved Hindu Gods, and his friends,” Sehgal told PTI.
She said the book celebrates an ancient Indian story, "while also sharing how we can celebrate Holi. Through this book, kids and their families will learn the importance of friendship and love. They also learn that friendship has no boundaries and has to be nurtured.”
The prestigious New York Public Library and the Rubin Museum were among the venues in the city that held special reading sessions by Sehgal, who read ‘Kahaani Rangeeli' to an enthralled audience of young children both from the diaspora as well as from other nationalities and ethnicities.
Sehgal said her goal with other books in the pipeline is to celebrate some of the lesser-known festivals from India and also delve deeper into the ones that are already celebrated by the global audience and young readers.
The book 'Kahaani Rangeeli' is published by T4Tales and illustrated by Alicia Souza.
Earlier this month, on the occasion of International Women's Day, Sehgal was among the trailblazing women, and the only one from India, to be honoured by The Society of Foreign Consuls in New York at a special event held at the Consulate General of India in New York. Founded in 1925, The Society of Foreign Consuls in New York is an organisation uniting foreign consulates and representing the NY consular corps.
A marketeer by profession, Sehgal holds an MBA from Yale University and has worked in the corporate sector for almost 15 years. The Culture Tree promotes cultural literacy about India through language and educational and cultural programs. Its goal is to create "empathy, respect and understanding towards all different cultures and further inclusivity, while still helping address questions about identity with heritage cultures.”
The company has been awarded by the New York City Mayor's office four times and June 20, 2021, was declared The Culture Tree Day in NYC by former Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Sehgal is the key Indian children's educator at the New York Public Library and is currently leading a series of programmes at Asia Society that reflect different religions of India.
In commemoration of India's 75 years of independence, the Consulate General of India in New York, The Culture Tree and the Children's Museum Of Manhattan (CMOM) had kicked-off special activities and interactive programming in April last year including traditional paintings, music and story-telling that honoured the history of India's people, culture, and achievements.
Sehgal had said that "through events like this, we can offer cross-cultural exposure that can help shape knowledgeable, open-minded and respectful individuals, while also offering ways in which children and families from the diaspora can connect with and celebrate their heritage.”