From Rabindra Sangit to Doraemon

The Inheritance and Globalization of Children’s Leisure Culture in Kolkata

  • Hia Sen (Autor/in)


This article looks at some aspects of the contemporary leisure culture of middle-class children in Kolkata, based on interviews conducted with the current generation of children and two older cohorts — in the main their parents and grandparents. It argues that although this leisure culture has been influenced by globalization — particularly by the so-called “mediatization” of childhood — the historical context of a region is crucial to understanding the contemporary leisure culture. The article attempts to substantiate this assumption of specific historical contexts informing contemporary children’s cultures by exploring the present landscape of popular children’s culture in West Bengal, and thereafter relating it to some of the values that are integral to a “good childhood” in the Bhadralok imagination. Against this backdrop, the relationship between a leisure culture and the changing contours of childhood is also addressed.