The main conflict in the text is about having different religions. It's about how a little girl is having problems about understanding why she can't paint religious persons with dark skin. At school the teacher says that Amina can take the picture to show her mom. Amina doesn't understand why it can't hang on the wall together with the other childrens'. But the teacher gives another excuse and Amina "surrenders", and takes the picture home.
But as her mother sees the picture she tears it apart, and tells Amina to never say anything to Amina's father and she tells Amina explicitly not to draw anymore pictures of the Prophet of Nazareth.
It is obvious that Amina's mother is scared of how the father will react if he sees that her daughter has painted people from the Bible. Amina and her family are muslims, that's why her mother can't accept the drawing Amina brings home. The reason why she doesn't want the father to know is that he's the dominant one in the family. Maybe the mother is scared that he will punish Amina, or maybe even the mother, for not bringing up her daughter properly.
Then Amina's mother teaches her to draw patterns from the Koran. Amina likes to draw the patterns and she is no more confused. Next day at school, they're all going to draw nice Christmas cards. Amina draws the patterns that her mother has just taught her. The teacher tells her to draw people instead, and she throws away the Christmas card with patterns on it. Amina refuses to draw people, and reminds the teacher of what she'd told Amina the other day. The teacher tries to behave nice and convinces Amina that she will put Amina's picture next to the others'.
During the two discussions the teacher and Amina are having, the teacher is having a hard time justifying what she is actually doing. She gives no particular reason for telling Amina to take home the picture. Just as well as she gives no explanation for, why Amina can't draw patterns from the Koran. Instead she tries to flatter Amina by telling her that she is good at painting. Even more confused, Amina draws people instead.
At school she's told to draw people from the Christian Bible and at home she's told that's wrong. At home her mom tells her to draw patterns from the Muslim Koran, but when she comes to school she is told to draw people, - no wonder she is confused!
The ending is from the parents' point of view very contradictive ( I assume that the father has the same opinion as the mother). They're in the shop selling things for Christmas although they're Muslims. At the same time they forbid their daughter to paint things or people that have anything to do with Christmas. Meanwhile Amina's sitting in her room, trying to figure out why she had to throw the fine drawing of the Holy Family away.
The other day, my daughter brought home a drawing she had made. It was a picture of Jesus. Now, everybody in this town know that I am definetely not a Christian. Nor is my daughter. That's why I don't understand that she has to draw these drawings at school. The local schools ought to have a little more respect for foreign culture and religion. I intend to bring up my daughter like girls are brought up in our culture. We don't have to bring her up like English children just because we live in England. It is about time that schools took care that all the children were treated so that it wouldn't interfere with their culture and belief. The children become confused and don't know what to believe. The things they're taught in school or the things they're taught at home.
Since the number of foreign children are increasing I suggest that religion-classes are divided into two or three, - depending on the number of different religions. In that way the child would be much less confused.
Yours Mr. Iqbal
More than 3000 schools all over the country have been invited to join a competition with the Earthworms for the Rainforest. The classes are going to try to get earthworms to convert the most garbage to compost, and the winner of The Golden Earthworm is rewarded with a trip up the Amazonas with a visit to the original inhabitants of the rainforest. A few days after this note was written in the paper, one could read the following object from an expert. It is the micro-organisms of the earth which produces compost, not the earthworms, and one cannot make the earth fertile by just adding earthworms. They simply die if there's not enough food for them.
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