Friday, February 10, 2006

Year 4 Ball

Year 4
This was the second ball, for the other group of kids who are finishing school this year. Attending my second ball here started me to thinking. Well, I started thinking about what I could say about this ball that might be meaningful. Something that I didn't say when I wrote about the first, something beyond mere description.

Table decoration

Well, it was also (like the first) a beautiful affair. Anyone could tell that a lot of thought and effort went into the planning of the night. For starters, the kids dressed in Medieval and Renaissance costumes and performed a typical dance. It was cool. The club was a lot more crowded than the other ball, due to the fact that the class is much larger and the families, etc. had to be accommodated in the same amount of space as was used by a much smaller class. So it was much more difficult to maneuver quickly through the place. Consequently, I didn't get as many photos of the events of the evening. But I really enjoyed the students, and took several pictures of the following kind.

Eva, Iva, Radka, and Katka.




Tomas--trying to smile =)



Crazy Boys--Pavel and Ondra

Well, as I said above, I thought this might be a good opportunity to say something about my experiences here beyond descriptions of what I did and where and with whom. I wanted to perhaps start to convey some of my personal observations. This led me to thinking about some of the small differences in the two cultures (the one I am living in and learning about and the one I was born into--and am also still learning about). =)

Student events here are family events. It's nice. Everyone (underclassmen, alumni, parents) can share in the significant moments. An occasion in the students' lives is an occasion for everyone. It is very different from the Prom in the USA. Parents there are also very involved, but their involvement is beforehand. There is much excitement and ado about getting the kids ready for Prom and also much celebrating before the parents send the kids off.

In the USA, the best parents are considered to be those who give their kids strength and courage to go and pursue their individual goals (not entirely on their own, but largely determined by individual will). Here, it seems that the best parents seem to be those who keep a place ready for their children to be with them forever, feeling strength and security mainly from being with the family.

Students in the USA would DIE if they had to spend the Prom with their parents. But Why?? I don't pretend to have all the answers, but I think there is an unrealistic expectation fo innocence that kids in the USA have to deal with. Between the law ("for their own good") and parents, kids have to pretend that they don't do things that are not sanctioned by adults, things such as drinking, smoking, and carrying on with members of the opposite sex. So the last thing they want to do on Prom night when they want to have FUN is have their parents watching over them. They get enough of that from their teachers, who also don't allow drinking, smoking, or "inappropriate" behavior in public, even though they know the kids DO these things. The kids must do these things in private.

Here in CZ, everyone also knows that the kids do these things, but nobody tries to pretend that they are not going on. If the kids drink or smoke, they can do so openly; the parents seem more accepting of whatever it is the kids do. So there is no reason for the kids to want to be away from their parents for their special occasions. After all, the most important thing is that everyone stays together.

I could probably say more, but I think this just about covers the main things that occurred to me during these events. Ta ta for now.



Blogger Elaine said...

Great insight, Kylowna. I think you are so right. We Americans tend to make too big of a deal about small things and not enough about the major more important things. When I reflect I realize how fortunate I was to have you as a child and that you were quite an exception. Thank you for being you and once again, thank you for sharing.

9:05 AM  

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