Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First Day of School

Today was the First Day of School in Zhovti Vody and Masha's very first day of school. She woke up at 5:00 and again at 6:00 determined that it was time to get ready and go. She and her folks needed to be there by 8:30 and she was NOT going to be late. We got there by 8:45 for a 9:00 am start.

Masha's School - 4 blocks from home

The whole town was out in full force for traditional opening day ceremonies held at every school in town. Everyone is dressed in their Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes. The girls in black and white "uniforms" and the boys in suits and ties. These are everyday apparel in the schools here. All the kids bring flowers for the teachers and dignitaries. Tanya made two huge bouquets from her garden (almost wrote our garden) for Masha and she also had a store-bought rose.

Masha in her uniform with her new backpack
Maxim's friend Ivan goes to this school but Maxim goes to another

The ceremonies were held outside on the grass (Oh, yes, THESE schools have grass playgounds, not gravel and crusher dust) and the day was warm sunny and calm. The kids gather by class, in a half circle around the outside. Then the new Grade 1's march out to the middle for the speeches and such. Speeches not long, awards handed out to last year's top students, recitations by some little folk and then...

Open this one for a panoramic view of the children.

Off they march
Masha brings up the rear of her group

Masha and another classmate in lineup
The kids from the class that will graduate this year (Grade 10?) each went to a new Grade 1, gave them a school button and took their hand to walk with them into the school. It was a wonderful way to end the ceremonies and make the little kids feel welcome.


  1. Now that is an impressive start to the school year!

  2. Interesting customs you have there. The beginning is like the end. Here it's a celebration for the parents and dread for the students.


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