What I learn from Peppa Pig

What I learn from Peppa Pig

Collectively, all the inhabitants of the Peppa world work joyfully to make it a better and more enjoyable place.

Collectively, all the inhabitants of the Peppa world work joyfully to make it a better and more enjoyable place.
| Photo Credit: CHINA STRINGER NETWORK/REUTERS

Last night, like many other nights before, I sat down with my young children to watch one of our favourite cartoons — Peppa Pig. While watching some of the latest episodes with the enthusiasm of a kid, I once again felt overwhelmed with the insightful content of this show. The underlying idea of promoting egalitarianism and humanism (through the medium of non-human animals), deconstructing dualities and accommodating plurality is palpable in almost every episode.

The most attractive feature is the non-sexist approach as opposed to the androcentric narratives of the past. As a kid of the 1980s, I grew up watching and admiring machoism and chivalry in shows like He-Man, Spider Man, Mickey Mouse, and Vikram Betaal. On the contrary, in Peppa Pig, I found that perspectives are gender-neutral and there’s no room for male hegemony. For instance, the character Ms. Rabbit is the most industrious of all. As a rescue worker of indomitable spirit, she even rescues the superhero Mr. Potato when he is stuck in the dome of a building. Ms. Rabbit performs multiple jobs and receives a gold medal from the Queen for her hard work. In the same vein, there’s no specific role meant for Mummy Pig. She is a working woman and the decision-maker of the family. Daddy Pig is as responsible for the household chores as Mummy Pig. Together they all commit silly mistakes and the family laughs out loud at each other’s goof-ups.

The gap between highs and lows is bridged by some plots wherein the Queen of England takes little school children on a bus ride for a city tour, police officials respond to the trivial requirements of civilians and the paediatrician Mr. Brown Bear is least offended when his young patient Pedro Pony asks him to scratch his [Pedro’s] ear. Classrooms are places to gain knowledge and accept classmates from different backgrounds — Mandy Mouse is a child in a wheelchair, Polar Bear has two mothers where one mother cooks spaghetti and the other mom is a doctor, and the twin panda sisters have their mother working in a fire unit.

The programme also fosters a sense of duty in different ways. For example, handling multiple job profiles. Ms. Rabbit as a rescue worker is available round the clock with a never-say-die attitude. Police officer Mr. Panda lends unconditional support to everyone and construction worker Mr. Bull is just a call away to fix the issues of people in need. Collectively, all the inhabitants of the Peppa world work joyfully to make it a better and more enjoyable place.

Overall, Peppa Pig is a calm, soothing, and non-violent project that transcends social divides and promotes a society based on values of love, friendship and respect. Amidst all the complexities of life, the show’s simplicity may be a heartwarming entertainment for many. At the same time, to some logical minds, it may be a mere piece of fiction or utopia. But to me, it is a perfect display of an ideal world which young minds must see, understand, and aim to create in the times to come.

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