Monday, April 23, 2012

Love is in the Air... Diada de Sant Jordi

It's that time of year again... Diada de Sant Jordi.  Or St. George's day to those who don't live in Catalunya.  In Barcelona, Sant Jordi is like Valentines day, except instead of a Hallmark card and lavish gifts, men give women a rose and women give men a book (because it's also International Book day).  The streets are lined with vendors selling both roses and books and it's just a happy and festive day overall.  You can't help but be caught up in the good mood of the day.

However, my favorite part of the day is how the kids' school, BFIS, celebrates St. Jordi.  I was really bummed last year that the date of the celebration was changed because it was literally the only day I pulled the kids from school a day before a school break in order to make a flight (to Amsterdam).  But I won't forget the celebration from Aidan's kindergarten year.  Dressed in a white shirt, jeans and a red bandana and belt, he and his classmates did an absolutely adorable dance.  To see his kindergarten performance, check out my blog from 2 years ago:

This year, Liam's class will also be participating, however, his class will not be doing a traditional Catalan dance.  Instead, since they are only in Pre-K, they will be dressing up as either a knight (Sant Jordi), a princess or a dragon.  Liam opted for a knight and has been waltzing around the house slaying imaginary dragons for the last 2 days.  He was especially excited this morning since he got to wear the costume to school.  He definitely garnered the attention of many passerby's this morning as he wielded his shield and sword to protect his family from the dragon.  And I saw him make many a person smile, what a great way to start the day!
Liam, I mean Sant Jordi, getting ready for school and then at the bus stop where he caught the attention of many people waiting for the clinic next door to open. 

Aidan, on the other hand, reminds me of a teenage girl and it makes me dread the teen years.  He had to wear jeans this morning (because he will have to do a dance) and I made him wear jeans with no holes (oh my god!!!!!) which meant wearing new jeans.  And as we all know, new jeans need to be broken in.  And these new jeans are skinny jeans, in style and he looked absolutely handsome.  But those who know Aidan, know that he absolutely hates to look handsome...why, it's a mystery to me...because he is and he just can't help it.  He was sooooo dramatic about how the jeans made his underwear show when he sat down and that he didn't like the green material near the zipper (I used my mother's line of "if someone is that close to your zipper, then they are too close" which at least got a laugh out of him) and that he just can't walk in these jeans.  Oh my!  I can only hope the rest of the day goes better for him!!!

As I walked along to school this afternoon, I saw many stalls with both books and roses for sale.  Now, what I saw was just a smattering of what this city has to offer today.  I was no where near Placa Catalunya and Rambla Catalunya where the streets are absolutely filled with vendors.  But regardless, I thought it was cute nonetheless!

I arrived at school intentionally 15 minutes before the performances were set to start knowing that in Spain, no one arrives on time and therefore I could secure myself a good spot to videotape the show.  And as always this show did not let me down and in fact, had me grinning the entire time.  Not only did I love the performances of my own kids, but I really enjoyed the ones done by the other grades as well. 

For Liam's pre-k class performance:  Liam is the one towards the back of the parade with the black hood, sword and shield.
For Aidan's 2nd grade class performance:  Aidan is the third boy from the back. 

Liam is the one holding the sword towards the back, standing up... (and my friend Nasi is in the white sweatshirt leaning on the bar)

Aidan is the third boy from the end...

The boys in Aidan's class are ready

Aidan next to Sofia as the song ends

Soooo happy to be done!!

All the classes doing the Sardana, a traditional Catalan dance

Aidan somewhat happy until he ended up having to hold a teacher's hand for the Sardana

My friend Nasi is a teacher at the P21 program which is for kids with disabilities.  They share campus space with the BFIS kids and it was nice that they were incorporated into the day with the BFIS students.   I have to say, I think they did amazing and it was great for the kids of BFIS to see beyond the bubble that we live in and that these kids don't let any handicaps prevent them from doing the same things as so called "normal" kids. 
There was a huge jump in capability from the rest of the elementary school to the 5th graders.  They must just have a big change in dexterity in that year because their dance was far more complex than the other grades.

My absolute favorite was the one put on by the 11th graders where they did a bit of a modern version of the tale of Sant Jordi.  Knowing that "We Will Rock You" by Queen is one of my kids' favorites, I'm sure that they enjoyed every moment of it too!   If you don't watch any other videos, you should at least watch this one for the entertainment value.

All in all it was a fun day and the kids, I think, really enjoyed the festivities. 


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