so, in january the japanese celebrate coming of age day, which is to say, to celebrate all the new adults in japan. the age one becomes an adult is 20, so anyone who has turned twenty in the past year gets a ceremony (which appears to be a boring speech, but hey, at least the new adults get to dress up! usually kimonos for the girls, and suits for the guys, though some young men have taken to wearing hakama). some cities provide a goody bag (i think; my kids are so young, i have no real idea what this coming of age thing is all about) so at least they get something out of sitting through a boring speech!
anyway, what's the point? ah, yes, the kindergarten also has a coming of age day....that is to say, a ceremony for the second year students (presumably, they are five, 1/4 of the way to an adult) and *required* a parent to be there. *sigh* it was a monday, and i had planned on going to the movies (by myself!!) and was therefore surprised when the bus teacher told a reluctant sasha that mommy would be at school today. say what? *sigh* it was ok, though, and the dresses they put on the girls were lovely. they actually had two ceremonies, april to august birthdays in the morning, and the rest of the year in the afternoon (october to march). it was pretty fricken boring, i'm not going to lie. i was amused, though, because sasha lip-synched the song at the beginning. i was afraid she wouldn't make her speech (each child came to the microphone, said their name and what group they were in (i don't know the group thing, it wasn't their class) and then what they wanted to be when they grow up) but she let us all know that she wants to be a cake baker when she grows up.
here are some photos:
sasha and her best friend from last year. they are in different classes this year.
so, the reason a parent had to be there? each child had made a magnet representing what he or she wanted to be when they grow up, and gave this present to their parent. this is what sasha made: