Week-long Obsession Learning About Poppies and Remembrance Day
Little B came back from her school and was talking about buying a pin or a wrist band for charity. She wanted me to give her either £1 or £20 or £50 for contributing to the charity. My girl is so funny, she understands “charity” quite well but she has not much clue about currency! I explained it to her that £1 is alright but £20 or £50 is a lot of money. I told her that her teacher might have said either £2 or £5. But Little B was stuck on 1 or 20 or 50. When I enquired with her what charity was it for, she replied, “flowers.”
It sounded strange and therefore I went to her school the next morning to clarify the issue. Her teacher informed me that the children are supposed to contribute either £1 or 20 pence or 50 pence (so Little B was right in a way!). She also told me that the charity is for “poppies” (and right again Little B!).
What I couldn’t understand was why there is a charity for flowers. And even if there is, why poppies? And above everything else, how do poppies look like? I have no idea about it and neither did Little B so we turned to our friend who known everything – Google.
As I searched for the images of poppy, I realize that there is something about them, they are flowers but at this time of the year, much bigger than mere flowers. I realized that I have seen people wearing a poppy pin on their coat and then football team is wearing jerseys with poppy on them.
Poppy was all around us and we had to find out why. Little B and I love love love exploring together and so we dedicated our days to unravel the “poppy mystery.”
History Behind Poppies and Remembrance Day
It was the spring of 1915. A Canadian doctor, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae had lost a friend in battlefield in Ypres, Belgium. As he went to see the burial ground, he saw poppies growing out of the battle-scarred fields. The sight inspired him to write the poem, In Flanders Fields. The poem and the use of poppies in it inspired people to look at poppy as a way to remember the soldiers who lost their lives in the war. Poppy also became a symbol of hope and healing and of the message that life goes on.
In Little B’s opinion, it meant that good things can come out of places that we consider bad. According to her, it was similar to the poem The Rose That Grew From Concrete (which is kind of her favourite). She explained the whole thing as “doesn’t matter how bad things have become for you, something nice can still come out of it.” I liked LittleB’s understanding of the whole thing. I love the fact that instead of me telling her what something means, she likes to guess it by herself (even though it annoys me many a times but I still love it!).
Meanwhile, Little B donated her share to the charity and brought a poppy pin home. She wore it as a hairpin and later fixed it to her jackets zipper.
I love crafting with Little B because it is fun and also because it makes us remember things better. So we decided to do a poppy craft using an egg tray. We cut flower shapes out of the egg tray, painted them and then stringed them together to hang them in Little B’s room’s window. It was fairly easy so I am not explaining the steps, but here are the pictures –
To sum up what all we found out about poppies and why the UK loves them at this time of the year, here’s a video by The Royal British Legion –
Here’s In Flanders Fields for you
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.