Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The ABC Party

When students in the first form have learned all of the letters in the
Turkmen alphabet, they have a party to celebrate. I was invited to
Jennet's niece's ABC party a few days before Christmas. The night
before we went to the "toy salon" where there were rooms full of
sparkly, dazzling wedding dresses and a little room with mini-wedding
dresses small enough to fit a 7 year-old, but with as much glitter as
the full-size version. We picked out a dress and crown to match, and
on the party day Jennet's niece had glitter in her hair and glittery
eye shadow. The little girls walked around knowing how pretty they
looked and with as much poise as someone four times their age. The
boys wore little suits and ties but were more concerned about kicking
around the balloons than keeping their clothes in order. The teacher
pinned a letter onto each of the students and they performed songs and
dances with as much organization and synchronization as a group of 30
first graders can manage. To make sure that the occasion be
remembered for centuries to come, the cameraman didn't stop shooting
for one minute. And when there was anything of importance said, the
electric keyboard man would pound out a few notes to drive the point
home. My favorite was when groups of students went to the front of
the room and announced what they wanted to be when they grew up. The
biggest groups were the future doctors and teacher (Jennet's niece
wanted to be an English teacher like her aunt), then there were some
potential business men and army officers, and the last little boy,
with as much gusto as all the rest declared he wanted to be a goat
herder! It made me remember how we did the same thing at my
kindergarten graduation and I had decided, after much thought, that I
wanted to be the tooth fairy when I grew up. Too bad it didn't work
out, I hope the future goat herder has more success.

This is Jennet's niece (center) and two other girls who sang a
Turkmen song accompanied by hand swaying and the electric keyboard
(notice the cameraman on the left)

Jennet's niece in her ABC party outfit. I like this photo because
everything else is a little out of focus except for her. She just
happened to turn around and look at me and I snapped the photo.

This is the "Father Frost" or "Ded Moroz" that came to the ABC party.

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