Here's a story about Dhanu and Lindri's closing of the semester in their school, which happened last Saturday, June 23rd, 2007. We were to arrive at school at about eight o'clock already, because these kids had to be dressed up for their performances. The main programs for that day were performances (from Playgroup, Preschool and Elementary students) and distribution of awards for winners (of competitions that were held the whole week before). We came early so we could get front-row seats at the school front yard, across a low stage that was especially made for this event.
Dhanu wore a white T-shirt and a pair of blue jeans, just like his fellow elementary students. They were to perform a dance from Kalimantan, so all they needed were a head band (made of black carton with golden paper ornaments) and a pair of short sticks (for the girls) or a paper-tube spear (for the boys). It is known by the whole school that Dhanu never likes dancing. Everytime a dancing lesson starts, he always finds excuses to do other things, such as reading in the principal's room.
We saw him wearing his headband and bringing a spear, but when the dance started, he refused to go on stage and stood 'guarding' the steps to the stage. Later the dance teacher said that Dhanu hid his spear so he had a reason not to do the dance. According to Dhanu, he didn't hide it. Whatever happened, he successfully avoided to dance.
Lindri, in the contrary, has been enjoying the dance lesson. She was reluctant at first, but lately she's eager. Lindri wore a white long-sleeved shirt and (almost) white pants, like her girl classmates (Playgroup boys wore blacks). The girls were to become flowers and the boys bugs. The flowers' costumes were a 'flower crown' (a plastic ball cut in two and sticked with wires wrapped in red and yellow crepe-papers as the petals), a green belt shaped like leaves and a pair of green-red-yellow paper bracelets.
Going up the stage, Lindri smiled so happy and proud. But during the dance, she didn't dare moving too much for afraid that she might drop her 'flower crown'. So she moved only her arms but only a bit of her head. Also while kneeling, she so carefully keep her head straight to balance her crown. She enjoyed her performance, though, and was still grinning widely when getting off the stage.
Winners of the past-week's competitions were announced. Lindri won the third prize for the Playgroup level kemandirian competition. In this kemandirian (or self-help) competition, the children were supposed to change into pajamas with front buttons. Lindri being one of the winners surprised not only me but also her teachers, since we know that she always needs help in dressing up. But on the day of the competition, without anyone really noticing, she suddenly tugged her teacher's blouse, saying "Ready!". Lindri proudly went on to the stage again to receive her present, which she unwrapped rightaway. She happily found a wooden puzzle and played with it endlessly afterwards.
Dhanu won the first prize for a drawing competition. He drew Jurrasic Park, with dinosaurs and helicopters. He went up to the stage with a straight face and receiving his presents with a cool expression. He brought home a plastic trophy and a bag of goodies (mostly children's books).
After all the shows, parents went to their children's classrooms to receive their report books. We went to Dhanu's classroom first, because Lindri's class had more parents queuing. Again, Dhanu's teacher announced to everybody that Dhanu and his classmates are all going to start at the Second Grade next semester. We brought home his report book, work books, assignments and all his portfolio from the First Grade.
At Lindri's class, we still had to wait for our turn to meet her teachers. We were given also a report book and her works. Lindri's teachers said that starting next semester Lindri can start Preschool already! I thought it would be later, considering her speaking ability and the fact that she's still wearing diapers, but apparently her teachers consider her to be smart and independent enough; ready to be a preschooler.
It was noon when we headed home from this big event at school. The kids were exhausted from all the excitement and played nicely at home (Lindri even took a nap!). That was a fun day, a nice beginning of a three-weeks holiday!
More photos are available at http://dhanulindri.multiply.com/photos/album/40