Tying Children to God with Love
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood book series (PSHC)
In 1902 missionary Augusta Nørup proudly informed the readers of Dansk Missions-Blad that she had taken up her ‘first mission.’ ‘You see, I have become the foster mother for a sweet little Hindu girl by the name of Kamala.’1 Kamala, who was in fact baptized and raised as a Christian, had been brought to Sister Sara by her mother when she was just an infant. Approximately six months later, just before she returned to Denmark, Sister Sara placed Kamala in the care of a Tamil Christian family in the countryside. Kamala lived with that family for five years.2 When Augusta Nørup came to India, Sister Sara wrote to her from Denmark, suggesting that she take Kamala into her care. According to Augusta Nørup’s own account, though anxious about her ability to be a mother to a child whose language she did not speak, she was very pleased with the suggestion. She had confidence that her Lord Jesus would assist her in the task and, fortunately, reality turned out to belie her initial apprehensions.3 One day Kamala and her Indian foster father arrived at the mission station in an ox carriage and, Augusta Nørup observed:
Kamala promptly ran across the veranda into the illuminated sitting room, under her arm she carried all her belongings, which consisted in a sewing box.
KeywordsCorporal Punishment Indian Child Foster Parent Foster Child Emotional Labor
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© Karen Vallgårda 2015