Thursday, May 12, 2011

Happy Easter!

Good Friday and Earth Day coincided this year, and so I spent the first part of the day picking up trash with the upper elementary kids, and the second half of the day celebrating Easter.

Yes, Easter is a religious holiday, but it has so many secular traditions that are quite fun for elementary kids.

I tried explaining what we were going to do, to my group of 3 extremely-low-English 6-year-olds. I did my best to use simple words, to speak clearly, etc. But after my short speech, my Pakistani boy, said, completely confused, "What is this, egg?" Ok, so he didn't get it. Not yet.

The three afternoon activities were egg-dying, egg-hunting, and cookie-decorating. The principal's wife (and 3rd grade teacher) did such a marvelous job of planning the whole thing that I made lots of mental notes in my head, in case I end up doing it next year. (They're leaving, and I'm not sure who'll take charge of events like this one.)

We didn't have that many plastic eggs--you find those in Kazakhstan by eating Kinder-eggs (chocolate eggs with mini-plastic-eggs filled with cheap plastic toys). We had about 100, and the students were divided into 3 groups of about 20 - 30 kids each. They were told they could only find 3 to 4 eggs, then they had to turn the eggs in for a bag of candy. Then they had to re-hide the eggs for the next group. It worked well, I think, and the kids loved hiding the eggs.

On Sunday, my daughter went to church with her best friend (my friend's daughter). While they were at church, I hid the eggs in our apartment.

It turns out that Sophia's friend and my friend, both Kazakhs, had never heard of an egg hunt before! They were confused when I invited them over for an egg hunt. But Sophia's friend was quite excited once she figured it out, and she loved it very much.

I learned later that Russians have "egg fights" instead of egg hunts. Two people tap their eggs together until one cracks. The person whose egg does not crack is the winner and wins the other eggs.

Traditions are fun and I love learning new ones! I really, really would love to one day celebrate Holi at our school! (I know little about it, but it's an Indian holiday that involves throwing something like paint at other people, so that everyone ends up very colorful.)

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