Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bouquets of Paper Roses


February is a significant month for elementary school students, for most graduate from their schools and proceed to their next level. Parents mark this milestone for their children by giving them a bouquet of paper flowers...ah though you can usually see bouquets of sweets as well. Most parents opt for the traditional flower bouquet.

However, this celebration is very short lived because their next session begins within two weeks of graduation. Education in South Korea is a year round event, often with very full class loads and extracurricular activities that extend deep into the evening hours. There is no mistaking the performance based system that is deeply imbedded within this culture, but nothing beats the smiles on these students faces as they beam proudly carrying these symbols of achievement.

5 comments:

Shanthy said...

What a gorgeous way to greet the children when they climb up.The bouquets are beautiful too.

ruthie said...

That is such a lovely idea, i wish here children were shown a litttle more encouragement like this. Beautiful bouquets too

Marilyn said...

The education system here in Korea is very different from the states. In public schools...you can see class sizes of up to 50 students. Kindergarten is two years (starting at ages 4-5 in western ages...in Korea they start aging the child from the moment of birth...celebrating their first year about three months after they are born...by lunar calendar).

If a child is enrolled at an English academy...there is a lot of pressure for them to be perfect. The consequences of not performing is considered shameful...for the goal is for them to get into an English speaking University.

But, back to the paper roses...it is such a celebration for these milestones for the children...kindergarten, elementary school, and of course high school (there is no junior high or middle school). Such a unique way of celebrating...that yes...we do need to make some changes within the way the US is educating...a lot of change.

ROSIDAH said...

Beautiful bouquets! Even more impressive when knowing the thoughtful notion behind it. I imagine the joy of the children receiving these bouquets, after such hard earned accomplishments.

Marilyn said...

I couldn't agree with you more...and after working with these children...well, it makes it more special knowing all they have to go through.