Sept 1

The Mongolian academic year kicks off on September 1, even if it falls on a Sunday.

Surely there is variation in how this is celebrated across the country, and possibly from school to school. Here’s what I saw at School #5: Just after 8am, students arrived to school wearing their uniforms. Many of the younger students’ parents were there. Two senior students (my students!) were MCs. The principal and the representative from the Education Department (my CP) gave speeches. There were performances galore, including the traditional морин хуур (horse fiddle, this instrument has just two strings and is played with a bow). According to my CP, a song sung by a boy included the lyrics, “teachers, who hold the pens, you are God.” For the finale, the senior student MCs sang a song, while two first graders, a boy and a girl, walked around the yard jointly ringing a bell to signal the start of the new school year. This was followed by the first graders filing into the school.

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4 Responses to Sept 1

  1. Rachel Morales says:

    Wow. This is something really special. 🙂

  2. Priscilla A. Arsenault says:

    Did you take the pictures, Love? Amazing! The kids are so cute! Some of the boys are dressed so snazzy, suits and all, while some of the girls are dressed so colorful! If they’re like kids anywhere else, I bet they don’t like it when Sept. 1st falls on a Sat or a Sun! So, if school always begins on Sept 1st, does it always end on a particular date? What about if there are too many “snow days,” like here in the USA? Does their school get extended? Thanks for sharing!

    • eelevol says:

      So, this is interesting because, since last year Sept 1 was on a Saturday, I don’t know what happens when it falls during the week. I mean, there was no school after this! They came, dressed all snazzy, just for the ceremony. When it was done, everyone went their separate ways.

      I doubt we’d ever get “snow days” in Govi-Altai since we barely had any snow. But, I’d be even more doubtful that school would be extended. The only thing I know about the end of school is that the graduation ceremony is about 2 weeks before the actual end of school… that’s kind of weird.I’m sure I’ll have more to say on it at the end of this school year.

  3. Priscilla A. Arsenault says:

    They went their separate ways after? Interesting. So did school (classes) officially start the very next day? The graduation ceremony is 2 whole weeks before the actual end of school? Again, interesting. Is that because different grades finish different days and they want the ceremony to include everyone, while they’re all still in school? I still picture Mongolia getting tons and tons of snow, I need to adjust that mental picture in my head 🙂

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