Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Chacala Kindergarten Kids

This year's crop of Chacala's kindergarten kids has their graduation ceremony and fiesta late this afternoon. Eight of this year's kids are moving onto the first year of Primaria, some going to school in Chacala and others in Las Varas. It was a wonderful event, and the kids were very precious and sweet.

The event was held at Mingo's, and was supposed to start at 4-m and actually started at about 5:30. The subsirute teacher form last week had taken the CD with the music for the ceremony home and then didn't show up for the ceremon, so we waited for awhile. Meanwhile Lalo and some other kids were trying to fix the microphone. I don't think anyone minded. It was a little breezy, and very shade at Mingo's and everyone sat around talking and visiting. Finally things got underway, with Julietta as mistress of ceremonies.

I can't remember the whole event, but first the retiring Kinder teacher, Julietta, gave a nice talk to the assembled group of maybe 120 people. There was an opening ceremony with the children doing some kind of hand gestures and then everyone stood and sang a song with the words "Mexico" and "Nayarit" in it, so it wasn't the National Anthem. Maybe the state ong. All the school kids sing that song on every occasion, whatever it is.

Then the eight graduates, four boys and four girls did a kind of formal dance, kind of like a very slow-motion square dance. There were speeches by the town's Juez (kind of sheriff with no authority) and a couple of other of lthe town's self-appointed officials. The teacher gave a nice little speech, saying something about each child and their parents. There was a skit with the Kinder's in costume, but without the music it didn't workj too well.

My favorite part was when each child came up to get their diploma and a gift bag. It was very sweet, especially when I realized it was the god-parents who came up with the graduating child. Just like at baptisms and First Communions. It's the godparents who stand up with the child. I really like that idea. That there is definitely someone besides the parents who feel responsible for the child (at least in theory). I noticed two of the little kids didn't have godparents, in fact, they only had their mother to stand up for them.

Anyway, it was a wonderful afternoon. The little boys all wore linen-ish Mexican wedding style shirts with turquoise pants, and the girls all wore full-length cream-colored satin dresses with jewerly, make-up and high heels. That was the part I didn't appreciate very much, dressing up babies in sexy women's clothing doesn't work for me. But they all looked beautiful (the girls) and handsome (the boys) and they knew it. They were so proud of themselves they could have bursted.

Think about it. They were way more than a hundred adults there, watching eight little kids graduate from Kindergarten. All family and godparents and a few friends (like me).

I left while everyone was still eating. It had been a very hot day and just wanted to go home and take a shower. But it was a nice afternoon.

I think one of the things I especially liked is that I have known six of those kids for two-and-a- half years, and it's really neat to see them grow and change. And to know their parents, and grandparents, and aunts and uncles and siblings and cousins too. Not all of them, but quite a few.

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