The classic PBS children’s character Arthur is about to make a new friend, the first Sikh character to be featured in the long-running show now marking its 25th and final year.
Comic Book Resources reports Samir will join the aardvark for Arthur’s First Day, a back to school special running on Sept. 6.
According to CNN, Arthur and his best friend Buster get assigned to different classrooms, forcing them to make new friends.
Buster meets Samir and Arthur befriends Alex.
Samir wears a head covering known as the patka while also adorning a kara, a common article of faith in the Sikh culture. His clothing is normalized and his Sikh identity is not central to the story line.
“In this special, which deals with the uncertainties of the first day of school, we wanted to raise awareness about the challenges a kid might [face] when meeting new classmates, but we don’t make the specifics of the clothing, in this case the patka, the focus,” Greenwald said to CNN. “We also hope that kids who do wear a patka or other cultural dress feel seen and represented on our show.”
This is the last season original episodes of Arthur will be produced. The program will be seen in reruns for a new generation of children on PBS KIDS.
The producers of Arthur say they have always strive to ensure their program would be inclusive.
Arthur comes from a nuclear family, but buster is raised by a single parent.
Some of the characters come from wealthy families while others are from lower-income households.
Samir is also included in a companion game that comes with the special. He may also be incorporated into new digital content.
AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our new Instagram account. Go to our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff, or submitting a story or making a contribution.