Saturday, March 17, 2007

The land of ceremonies....

My daughter graduated from kindergarten today. Coming from a country where everyone starts school on their birthday it is unheard of to have a graduation ceremony from kindergarten as everyone is finishing at different times. In fact I don't think we even have a graduation ceremony from primary school. However, here in Japan ceremonies are held for basically anything and everything and graduating kindergarten is seen as a big event.
After all the long speeches by all the very important people each child went up and received their graduation certificate (the girls showing everyone how much they had grown since they started kindergarten when they bent over to bow....) from the head of the kindergarten. This was followed by a video of all the different things that they had done over the last year followed by a message to each child from their teacher (spoken through her tears.....). There were songs sung by the younger children as well as the graduating children and lots and lots of howling from both graduating students as well as those who are still at kindergarten. In fact during the final speech from the parents representatives to the teachers it was impossible to hear what was being said above the crying!
I'm not sure how necessary it all is, but I guess it is nice that the children form such a bond with their teachers as well as the other children at the kindergarten that they feel so sad about leaving. Of course now we have the school entrance ceremonies to look forward to......

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