Back to Schoolmas

Awakening to the sound of music blaring at 7.30am yesterday in Limbaži, Latvia, I thought: “These inconsiderate sods are going to pay for this.”

As it turned out, these inconsiderate sods comprised every educational institution in Latvia, as they celebrate the return to school after summer holidays (I piped down after being explained this).

Zinību Diena, “Knowledge Day,” is celebrated on the 1st of September, signalling the commencement of the school year.

Parents and children don their best dress and make their way to school, fall-time flowers in hand for the teachers, to the colourful backdrop of wreaths and balloons. A truly festive atmosphere pervades the town.

School directors and teachers stand outside the school to greet the students in their skirts and suits, shake hands with their parents, before speeches are made to the gathered crowd – unfortunately, very little of which I could understand.

There is colour, there is cake, there is music. Bunches of children joyously squawk with bunches of dahlias and asters, which in the afternoon teachers attempt to clasp onto as they make their way from school.

Education is loudly and proudly celebrated, as it should be, by parents, students and teachers alike. It really is quite beautiful, and upon reflection quite necessary, to do so; it is worthy of celebration, as the birthplace of opportunity and advancement, and the setting in which we meet and make many of our friends.

As I awake today, without the sound of said blaring music, I think: it is actually considerate of the Latvians to awaken all of the town to announce the commencement of an intense, tiring and crucial job, which all should acknowledge and celebrate.

Perhaps it is inconsiderate of any sod to do otherwise?

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