13 March, 2009

More on emotional Japanese mums

I put the question, "Why Japanese mothers cry at the end of year class meetings?" to a bilingual Japanese friend of mine. Here is a summary of her answer: "Because they have to face the fact that their good relationship will finish soon. In the same way, many fathers of the bride cry at the wedding ceremony, because the relationship that they've had will change from then on. All of our teachers were really good teachers. We knew that they tried their best in the class, they loved our children. This doesn't always happen. Some end-of-year meetings no one cries. Also, at the end-of-year class meeting mothers are nervous as they speak about sensitive things. This makes it easier for them to cry." I understand her answer, but I think it confirms my suspicion that Japanese attach more deeply to their teachers than Westerners do. Teachers too, seem to attach to their kids very deeply. It doesn't answer my questions as to WHY do they speak of such sensitive things at that meeting! So, I continue the "month of farewells". On Wednesday the mothers of the children put on a concert/show At the end they played it out as a major tear jerker. After they'd officially thanked the teachers and given them gifts, the teachers made speeches then they thanked all the class representatives and given them flowers; I was ready to go home. Then they pulled out the big gun. They lined the kids up in an honour avenue and the teachers went down and did a 'sayonara high five' to each student! If they weren't crying before then, this one really did them in. Mothers, teachers, children alike! My eyes were wet - but mostly at the apparent agony of others. My son didn't really know what to make of it, particularly as this wasn't the last day of kindy. One more - the graduation ceremony next Wednesday. Then we're home and free :)

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