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School Traditions

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I had no idea the first day of school in Russia is such a big celebration, with flowers and festivities. I never noticed before, but I see a lot of photos from my Russian friends on Facebook, with boys and girls dressed up and bright flowers in their arms. It's a beautiful tradition! Personally I always hated school, at every level. This is a strange statement for someone like me who has spent half of my life in some type of educational institution - 2 years of preschool, 12 years to get a high school diploma, 4 years for my university degree in English/Writing and then another 5 years to get my doctorate in law. Total = over 20 years!!

In the U.S., we don't have such a big celebration for the first day of school. I think it's completely different, though each parent still posts photos of their kids with their backpacks and books. My nephew started second grade yesterday, and I watched him get on the school bus. I never once had the urge to have a child, or carry such a huge responsibility for another human. I look at my sister, working full time, constantly running from place to place with my nephew. One day it's karate lessons, the next soccer practice, a friend's birthday party....the list is endless. Sometimes I look at her and feel relieved that I have absoultely no responsibility. Not for a child, or a husband, only myself and family. Free to do as I wish, when I want. It sounds selfish to many, but this is the reality in which I live and I have never wanted it any other way.

A few photos from my nephew's first day of school yesterday. In the U.S., most kids take a bus to school. It's my understanding that school buses are basically nonexistent in Russia, but maybe I'm wrong? It seems like a lot of Russian school children wear a standard uniform, but in the U.S. such uniforms are usually only worn at private or religious schools. I'm completely opposed to uniforms because I've always viewed clothes and the manner in which a person dresses as a form of expression and individuality. When everyone looks the same, the landscape becomes boring! At the same time, I understand that uniforms eliminate a lot of peer pressure and bullying to look a certain way, or wear a certain brand, and there's certainly some value in that.
IMG_7353
In my youth, I dreamed of being a teacher. I even practiced with my sister and cousins, barking commands at them on my chalkboard, trying to teach them spelling and math. Of course, they were bad students and didn't obey, no matter how hard I tried. :) Here's photographic evidence of my early career dreams, with my younger sister sitting as an uninterested pupil. My career path was altered when I served as a substitute teacher in a middle school and encountered wild teenage boys! I didn't have the patience to deal with unruly children, despite my desire to imbue them with the powerful gift of knowledge.

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I wish all the Russian school children a successful, prosperous and educational school year! :)

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How about you? Did you like school? Are there any other interesting Russian school traditions? Tell me. :) I think next time I visit the country, it would be great to visit a school and meet some of the young children who will shape Russia's future, hopefully for the better.


Comments

sectopod
Sep. 1st, 2015 04:19 pm (UTC)
//It's my understanding that school buses are basically nonexistent in Russia, but maybe I'm wrong?

You are right. I't very unusuall. But usually it's no problem: for examle, I can reach minimun three schools during 10-15 minutes. Our usual city block is organized around school building with stadium - it's educational center, electional point and (in theory) point for military recruiting and evacuation in wartimes. Also, school can't say no if you want to study there and it's your local school.
I hear about school buses in countryside, but as far as I know its rare thing.


//It seems like a lot of Russian school children wear a standard uniform

On photos? It's soviet school uniform. It's traditional clothes for school celebrations: 1st Septembers or last official school day in your life.


I like my school and teachers. It was cool time. Also it was childhood :)

Edited at 2015-09-01 04:21 pm (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Sep. 1st, 2015 04:22 pm (UTC)
It seems that even with these traditional Soviet uniforms, there was still some chance to express individuality. Because some girls have ruffled white shirts, some are plain and some have buttons. I've heard many stories of children walking huge distances to schools in remote Russian villages. That's why I thought school buses were non-existent.
sectopod
Sep. 1st, 2015 04:34 pm (UTC)
Because school are poor (espetially in village) and buses expensive.
theodorexxx
Sep. 1st, 2015 06:46 pm (UTC)
School buses exist but usually are broken
qi_tronic
Sep. 1st, 2015 05:09 pm (UTC)
No, it's not a Soviet uniform.
It's a modern photo.

Now every school has it's own rules regarding uniforms.
sectopod
Sep. 1st, 2015 05:16 pm (UTC)
It's sovient uniform. Because it's was uniform in USSR and no actially uniform in Russia :)
qi_tronic
Sep. 1st, 2015 05:20 pm (UTC)
Now Russia has school uniform again or at least some requirements (it depends on a particular school).
For example, my son today worn a classical suit and a tie.
qi_tronic
Sep. 1st, 2015 05:24 pm (UTC)
If you don't believe me take a note that one boy on the first photo wears an adult-style tie.
This never happened in Soviet Union to young schoolchildren.
Inititially they had no tie, then a young pioneer's red tie and only teenagers in high school had a classical tie for fashion.
sectopod
Sep. 1st, 2015 05:41 pm (UTC)
Maybe you are right. I see general composition only.
There was no uniform when I was schoolboy and all uniform is soviet-based uniform for me, if this uniform not similar with smth exotic bird.

Edited at 2015-09-01 05:41 pm (UTC)
qi_tronic
Sep. 1st, 2015 05:15 pm (UTC)
When I was in school the uniform was like this:

kapitan-agu. com. ua/2012/09/hkolnaya-forma-v-sssr/

(most of the photos except the oldest)

peacetraveler22
Sep. 1st, 2015 05:17 pm (UTC)
The girl in the picture is wearing Amish or Quaker clothing, except she is missing a bonnet. :)

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