25 March, 2009

Kindy graduation

I just realised that it is a week since our middle son graduated from Japanese kindergarten. Here are some photos to prove that it is no ordinary event. Very formal. The preponderance of black. Many of the women and most of the men wore black jackets. My emerald-green blouse felt a little casual and very bright! But I was comfortable and happy. Below you see our son about to accept his graduation certificate from the head of the kindy (a priest, it was a Catholic kindy). The kids had been drilled repeatedly and did exactly the right thing the whole time. It looked better than my final speech day at high school did! During the ceremony the children made a long recitation (of which I understood little). But the impressive thing for me was that it was long and word perfect - they've been practising for months! Plenty of sniffing, but none more than when they sang the "Sayonara song". Full of phrases like, "we've played together, been sick together", "but when the cherry blossoms come out we'll be wearing randoseru" (Japanese elementary school leather backpacks). After the ceremony (which lasted more than an hour). We lined up for final class photos and then went back to the classrooms for our final final farewell with their teachers! The teachers were dressed beautifully in kimono, but their faces were sad. Again things dragged on and on, and the strain was clearly showing on the kids. One of the boys had a fight and burst into tears. His mother then burst into tears as she tried to resolve it and finish well. In the meantime her husband came over to help and she pushed him away. It was a distressing scene that all regretted. We ourselves had another important appointment in the afternoon to keep, so we got out of there as fast as we possibly could. Probably the best thing in the end. Prolonging the agony didn't seem to be helping anyone! Below you can see the classroom with all the parents gathered around. The importance of the event is only underlined by the fact that almost every child had both parents present - a rare event. Fathers took time off work to come! Now it is a new beginning. This week is spring vacation (yes, the American coming in) and on Monday we start school in our lounge room.

1 comment:

Anika Qing said...

Wow! So formal...in Australia, kindy graduation would be chips, lollies and balloons at best!