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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

19. Enjoying the cultural differences

We did not know exactly what happened with the evaluatios, I think I expected a  kind message that would indicate that we were educating children in a good way or at least a well done!, but we didn’t have something like that. 

Director asked for a meeting in teacher’s hall and said that our school was between the 20 best schools of the school district. The document that gave us did not say if we were the number  1 either the number 20. Nor said that topics we should pay more attention in, there was only a phrase saying: school district is pleased to announce that you are  between  the 20 best schools in the region.

I won't deny that I was disappointed,  while the Director was happy because this implied a budget big enough for another 4 months,  nobody talked about our children, or the impact of this in their families. It was just a passing note that announced that the school would open next year. 

When I talked to Gaby to give her the news, she said that evaluation was always the same, and there was only the richness of the group and all our effort. Had children learned more with the exam?, be thus, who cares?, seems that nobody was thinking about kids, actually the program continue and we had to complete it. Evaluations were only a compass of anguish for all of us and education permission to continue spending money on everything except children.

The next activity in the calendar was the celebration of Halloween, for a native  Amerrican is a day of fun, candy and costumes, but for foreigners is perhaps an example of the American verve.

Asked to children  to do some questions to their parent about how do they celebrate Halloween, and we would make a discussion about the topic. I never expected that the result would be so interesting. Did you know that in other countries there are cults to death?

 In Mexico the celebration coincides with the Halloween time, and held to the death with joy and is reminiscent of the dead, it is somewhat between a party and the Memorial Day in the United States, people going to the cemeteries and provide offerings to those who left this world before.
In the India there is a celebration known as Mahalaya which is a special tradition for those who profess Hinduism and they remember the souls of beloved persones and adds wishes to this life, especially calls for peace and health; While other regions of the India celebrates Diwali which is known as the Festival of lights.

Halloween is celebrated in Ireland but but the Festival adds a note of sweet in the shape of a cake of fruit which is called Bambrack to which is inserted a muslin, which is a transparent fabric and who finds it is lucky to the persons who find it in their cake because muslin can predict their future.

 Australia celebrates a Guy Fawkes Eve who is known also as Mischief Night or Danger Night which is a night of mischief, during which children wear costumes and ask for sweets from house to house, in addition there is a organization of  dance festivals and costumes contests at schools.

In Spain is celebrated on 31 October the "Magosto" mainly in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula and in Catalonia is known as the Castanyada.

In Chile and the Colombia held the day of all Saints which is a Catholic tradition in honour of all the Saints, known and unknown in the modern world.

Children talked earnestly about each of the cults and all exchanged details concerning each of the parties, as well that of Mexico, Jose's parents sent me a sweet skull and a poem; Mita gave me a candle by the celebration of light, Stephanie gave me a chestnut and Mike gave me a traditional sweet of Australia. Megan and Carlos sang me a song that speaks of a Saint who is called as I do.

I remember with a smile the panic that I suffered when I could not pronounce the names of the children, but now I feel lucky to meet other histories, cultures and traditions without buying a plane ticket, because our activity add a  search for videos of each of their countries that speak about how every country celebrate the night of the dead, Halloween, all saints, the truth is that it is just a great excuse to have fun.

Each child chose a costume, but I asked  not to purchased, and the creativity arose so finely that I felt ashamed of my dog, Marshmallow-eared costume. Sure my mother would have bought me something expensive that I would not enjoyed it, but today I was child and learned that cultural differences do not exist when the eyes are  open and listening with the heart.

Who really scared me of death was Gaby, who offered to give me a ride  and when she arrived I saw her face and neck covered with blood, when I opened the door of her Prius, her look twisted my stomach!. Gaby!, I swear I find who made you this!, but then she smile and he gave me a bag with something that looked like vomit and  said: 

-I'll help to apply your make up and we can go together to the party at home of ¡psychologist ‘s school, I’m sure is going to be terrificly fun!

Trick or treating?

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