Oh dear... I don't seem to be taking many pictures lately.
There are some places that I just can't, for example at the kindergarten and yesterday at the elementary school. I doubt that anyone would even be aware that I took their picture and posted it (who in my little town visits my English blog?) but even so I've made it a policy not to post pictures of children without parental permission. There seem to be a lot of pictures of children in the newspapers and school newsletters so maybe this is an over precaution but anyway, I refrain unless I ask first.
Yesterday's entrance ceremonies went off without any major guffaws from yours truly. But I am reminded again how FORMAL Japan is. I received a formal RSVP invitation to the ceremony because of my crosswalk guard position and I arrived at the school dressed in my uniform with a small gift of money (which is the proper way to attend functions). I was ushered into the Principal's office and by the time the ceremonies were ready to begin there were about 20 of us IMPORTANT guests. A representative from the board of education, PTA presidents from the Jr. high as well as the elementary school's, the local police officer, 4 or 5 neighborhood chairpersons, 3 or 4 community center managers. Oh, I don't know who all but they were all IMPORTANT people so since I was included in the group I had to look IMPORTANT. (Very hard to do when dropping your hat.)
"Oh no. I've worn pink socks! I forgot that we take off our shoes when entering the school building. I sure hope the school slippers cover my bright pink socks!"
Talk about stupid things to worry about.
We IMPORTANT people were taken to the gymnasium after being served tea and directed to our assigned seats and tables. From there speeches were given and pledges made. Students and staff were well trained at the signals to stand at attention and to bow and up and down everyone went throughout the hour. My goodness, bow to the flag, bow to the parents, bow to the IMPORTANT people etc. etc. The principal wore TAILS! (but no top hat.)
I managed to stand and bow at the proper times and maybe even escaped without anyone noticing my pink socks. Whew! I am certainly glad ceremonies are over for awhile!