First Day of School25 Aug 2000
Mama's nephew (and godson) Lennart starts first grade tomorrow. In Germany, starting first grade is a Very Big Deal, the first step in coming-of-age. The new ABC Schutzen (ABC shooters) are celebrated with a Schultüte full of candy and goodies, a brand new school bag (name brands start at DM 150), and a party for selected relatives and guests.
Lennart's school has thoughtfully made the first day a Saturday, so that the selected relatives and guests have no excuse not to participate. The festivities begin with a church service at 9 am, and continue through to the obligatory coffee and cake in the late afternoon.
The net result is that even the not-so-interested spouse of the godmother has to block out an entire Saturday from his calendar.
When I started first grade, I might have gotten an apple, but probably not. I think my mother was just happy to finally have me out of her hair for the whole day.
German elementary schools are only half day, by the way. That makes life complicated or working parents.