Friday, September 12, 2014

Dia del Niño and Dia de la Independencia

Dia del Niño is a day across the world when Children are celebrated, thanks to a decree made by the United Nations in 1954. In Costa Rica this day is September 9th and in Costa Rica, the celebration means: Children toys given away in addition to all schools, whether public or private, children attend a "party" the day is completely dedicated to children's entertainment. Many schools use the day to give them a message to the children about the role they play in our society and the risks to which they are exposed and how to defend.

I had the pleasure of witnessing the celebration this week at my son's school in San Francisco de Grecia, on the mountain just above San Isidro. Max was sent to school on the 9th with a bag of spare clothing since the school was able to arrange a wet inflatable (bouncy) for the kids to play. They also had music, dancing, candy, awesome futbol cups with straws and arts and crafts. I can only assume that since Dia de la Independencia follows on September 15th, the school held ceremonies every day of the week, including this Sunday. The students read aloud in Spanish, of course, some of the following points, forgive me if I do not include everything, my Spanish is not perfect, though I learn more everyday in my new surroundings.

After living here for just over 1 year, we have watched our children thrive within this society and school system. Max enjoys school and respects his teacher and, even at age 5, he has homework every day, recently winning the class science project. Sara is now 3 years old and embracing the Spanish language. Everywhere we go, Ticos adore our children and bless them. When we attend church, many of the parishioners come over and rub our 8 month old on the head with a blessing. Things are definitely different here and we love it. Our children are recognized as small people in training, rather than simply an extension of us, granting them not only the right to explore and learn, but also the respect to grow into intelligent, respectful and considerate young humans. Across the country, programs are offered regarding biodiversity, arts, music and learning, all involving plenty of play, protecting our children, our future.

Following the festive week, Independence Day begins this Sunday. We look forward to celebrating in Central Park at 11:30 am and back to our house that afternoon in the parade of lanterns (farole) this Sunday evening at 6 pm. Monday morning at 7 am, there will be more parades in the Central Park in Grecia, as with most cities in Costa Rica. Here is a video of some of the children dancing at Max's school this week. Pura Vida!

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