Search This Blog

Friday, 9 July 2010

Primary School Graduation

What an eye opener I had the other night. We were invited to the primary graduation of my fiance's nephew and Godson. It was to start with a mass in his local church with the other 13 graduates and their invited 7 guests of friends and family and to follow with a fiesta in a salon. Having been to quite a few Mexican's fiesta's by now I thought I'd "dress up" in jeans, a nice top and heels. Boy did I underestimate the importance of a primary graduation.

As soon as we arrived at the church and saw everyone, from the teeniest tot to Grandma in their finery, I realised I had made a clothing error. Obviously I was a bit embarrassed, but being "the foreigner" I was excused for not knowing any better and a fun time was had by all anyway.

Following the church service (which went for well over an hour) we travelled to the salon for the fiesta. The salon was called "Camelot" and as the name suggests was like a grand castle, complete with a fire lined entrance way. Inside there were statues in armour, medieval English style flags on the walls and the room was decorated in the style of a wedding - complete with fabric covered chairs!

The graduates consisted of  8 boys in black suits with pink or purple ties and 6 girls in matching pink or purple evening dresses. It was hard to believe these elegantly dressed graduates were only 12 years old. The formal part of the evening for them involved a few speeches and they each received certificates.

Following those formalities, the graduates performed three choregraphed dances. Interestingly, these were all the modern english speaking pop songs. the first dance was a formal once involving the couples doing a kind of a progressive waltz. For the last two dances were more like hip hop and were performed in jeans, shorts and casual clothes. All very entertaining and fun to watch. It was obvious a lot of wrk had gone into preparing for these dances and some of the poor boys looked sooo nervous. Even though all Mexican men seem to be able to dance really comfortably, it was a little comforting to see that even they were awkward and clumsy at some stage on the dance floor.

After that, the graduates could relax and it was the waiters turn to perform. Before serving us the 4 course meal, the lights were dimmed and they entered the room in lines, carrying trays of bowls containing fire. Over the meal, Madonna's latest concert was put the large video screens for entertainment. What an awesome show!

As is often the case in Mexico, no alcohol was served with dinner, but plenty of soft drinks were available. It is unusual to see plain water ever served, but I sometimes ask for it. Later in the night, some tables brought out bottles of spirits they had brought from home for the waiters to prepare and serve mixed spirits.

The dance floor was "opened" after dinner in the style of a Mexican nightclub with a music & light show. What occurred after that was different though. This fiesta had lots of children, including babies and toddlers, so the kids were the first to hit the dance floor and they had a ball running around with the floor to themselves until later when adults decided to dance too.

Speaking of kids, something Mexican's do really well is hold parties where people of all ages can go and have a good time. Everyone, from babies to Grandma loves and listens to the loud music and joins in the dancing. Kids also amuse themselves a lot by playing with one another and running around and checking in with Mum & Dad every now and then. Maybe even for a dance with Mum or Dad where they begin to develop their rhythm. There are things though to make fiesta's more kid friendly. Most importantly there are other kids to play with because people bring their children. Sometimes as was the case at this graduation, kids meals are served (complete with toy for amusement) and salon's often have a kids play gym and an outside area so kids can run around. The other curious thing this salon had, which I thought was a great idea was a kid sized toilet in the common area of the ladies toilet so that little kids didn't have to cram into a cubicle with their Mum - or sit there on a large loo with the door open.

We ate and chatted and danced until about midnight before heading home with my fiance's 76 year old Mum, who had had a ball, although she doesn't dance anymore!