Saturday, April 21, 2007

Israeli Independence Day - kindergarten style

Yesterday all of the pre-k and kindergarten classes in our town gathered for a (2 block) parade followed by an early celebration of Israeli Independence Day. All the children wore white shirts and white and blue baseball caps and proudly marched waving little Israeli flags.

When they arrived at the main stage, each class arranged itself around a pole with it's name, topped with a cluster of blue and white balloons where they ate the ever-popular chocolate sandwiches and drank grape juice from little packets (both oh so traditional and oh so unhealthy). There were then a few (uniformly boring) speeches by local politicians and educational leaders, and then the children sang and danced to traditional folk dance music. When it was over, they released all of the balloons, which looked very festive (I'm trying hard not to dwell on the environmental ramifications). After that it was ice pops and group pictures on the grass, then back to school for the rest of the morning.

Tomorrow Itai's class is gathering at the local monument to Israel's fallen soldiers to lay flowers and honor their sacrifice.

And as a culturally interesting side note, we first heard of all of these events two days before, via a note home which instructed us to "put the children in white shirts and get them to school by 8:00", and by the way parents can come watch if they like. No permission slips, no big deal made out of anything. I don't mind particularly, in fact it's pretty refreshing. The degree of care and attention paid during the actual event was no less, but the overall stress and paranoia level was much lower. It's one of the things I like most about living here actually.

5 comments:

Melissa R. Garrett said...

What a cute little guy :-)

When you said they released the balloons my first thought was, OH NO!

And chocolate sandwiches? personally speaking, that's just my sort of party :-)

DS Writer said...

Itai is sweet - handsome face.

Wonder what Ivry will look like when he reaches that age...

Yom Ha'atzmaoot S'meach from a local.

DS Writer said...

And dear friend, what this country would like without these beautiful children, I don't know.

SusieJ said...

What a beautiful picture. Glad it was a nice party for you.

Robin said...

I believe that our children are our hope to get it right the second time around Dorit. If we can somehow instill in them the values of caring and tolerance instead of fear and divisiveness then this country, and this world, could look very different...

Yom Haazmaut Sameach gam lach. Happy Independence Day to you too my friend.