Sunday, April 12, 2009

Kindergarten entrance ceremonies

Yesterday was the entrance ceremony at the kindergarten. It was a Saturday so all the fathers and brothers and sisters and grandparents attended too. Entrance ceremonies and graduations are always big events in Japan.

I remember one year a foreign family was enrolling their child in the kindergarten and when the mother brought the little boy for the first day she was wearing jeans and a sweat shirt or something while all the other mothers were in formal suits with corsages and their hair piled high and all around extra fancy. I felt a little sorry for the foreign mother because no one had told her that this was going to be a formal event. I probably should have warned her but I'd completely forgotten to mention that Japan thinks of the first day of kindergarten as a MAJOR event in a child's life and that mothers will get dressed to the T. Of course the kids are dressed up like little dolls and yesterday most of the little three year olds were wearing little short pants suits or frilly dresses. I was also interested to see that all of the kindergarten teachers wore beige or white dress suits whereas at the graduation ceremony last month almost every person attending wore black. (By the way I wore the outfit I bought for Leiya's graduation last year... Third time I've worn it. I would have preferred to go in jeans and a sweat shirt.)

But I've been asked not to take pictures of the kindergarten kids so you'll have to miss out on everyones' finery. Instead, how about a glance around the kindergarten?

Mifumi Kindergarten (Mifumi means "Word of God") is surrounded by lovely cherry blossoms (as are most schools and kindergartens) and the cherry trees were in full bloom. As we were leaving, the blossoms were just beginning to flutter to the ground in the breeze and it looked like a lovely spring snow fall! Wouldn't you love to be a child and be making mudpies and swinging on the swings under those trees everyday?


Callie said...

Happy Easter! Lucky children to be able to go to school in such a lovely place. Beautiful cherry trees. I too prefer jeans and a sweatshirt.

Amanda said...

What a pretty little school, a joy to teach and learn in it I'm sure. We don't have entrance ceremonies here in the UK, and the only graduation ceremonies are prize-giving or awards ceremonies for school leavers, and graduation ceremonies for university graduates. Most people dress in 'smart casual' for those occasions.

Mimi said...

Hi Tanya!

Thanks so much for giving more information on customs in Japan. It's so interesting to learn from you.

I'm so sorry you were asked not to take pictures of the children, it would have been fun to see them.

I hope your Easter was a wonderful day filled with peace and enjoyment.


amanda said...

Awww... I really feel for that woman showing up in the wrong clothes. When I was in Japan on the JET Program, there was a part in the jr high opening ceremony where I was supposed to go up on stage with other teachers. Of course, no one told me about it so I went up on stage late (after someone told me to get up there) and looked like an idiot! My school had a new vice principal and he asked me what had happened afterwards. I said that no one had told me that I would have to go on stage and that I was sorry and that I was embarrassed! He was so nice about it and said that it wasn't my fault and that he would make sure things were explained to me better. I really did feel bad about it and then I was mortified when my English conversation student said that she had seen the opening ceremony for my school on our town tv channel (which showed lots of school events) and that she wondered why I was late getting on stage! I do cherish my memories of Japan and I have to say I have such a huge appreciation now for being a native speaker here in the U.S.

Rae Ann said...

What a bummer, no pics of the children. I was so looking forward to seeing pics of them going to school for the first time. I can understand though, why pics of little ones shouldn't be taken. Rae Ann