Happy New Year, Friends!

1:53 PM |

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Pesta

3:31 PM |

Tanggal 17 Desember kemarin, sekolah Hikari mengadakan Christmas Party. Di Jepang ini, walaupun mayoritas penduduknya bukan penganut agama Kristen, mereka ramai mengadakan pesta natal. Pesta natalnya berbeda dengan pesta natal di Indonesia. Disini, pesta natalnya benar-benar untuk pesta saja. Tapi tetap ada dekorasi kerlap-kerlip, pohon natal, Santa Claus, bahkan hadiahnya. Jadi, dimana-mana, menjelang tanggal 25 Desember, akan ada banyak pesta dan hiasan natal.
Di sekolah Hikari, tidak ada satupun yang memeluk agama Kristen. Tapi, mereka tetap mengadakan pesta natal. Bahkan Santa Claus pun datang loh beserta rusa-rusa dan kado-kadonya! Pada intinya pesta ini sih adalah kesempatan anak-anak naik panggung dan mempertunjukkan kemampuannya menyanyi, menari, bermain musik dan lainnya. Bahkan Senseinya Hikari menampilkan pertunjukkan boneka.
Hikari ikut nyanyi-nyanyi. Dia juga naik panggung sambil main kecrekan :) Di akhir acara, Hikari dapat hadiah banyaaaaaakkkkkkkkk sekali.. hehehe....

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Playing with Papa

3:14 PM |

Playing with Papa is so fun! We can pretend to be a plane, a robot, a monster, anything!

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It's Autumn

3:07 PM |

It's still autumn so I can still play outside.

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Father's Day

7:27 AM |

Last month, on November 26, Wakaizumi kindergarten celebrated Father's Day. Parents -Fathers especially- are required to visit the school to see what their children do at school. It's the same as saying 'Not only mothers, but also fathers determined the success of (children) education.
The day started with usual stuff of students daily activities. First, they exercised (more like singing and dancing to us) together. Then, fathers and children started marathon running around the school neighboring complex. Mothers? We took pictures :) Next, students went inside the classes and teachers called out the students' names as they usually do everyday. The next one hour was filled with the routine activities that students do everyday, only today they were observed by parents. By this, parents know -at least- how their children are doing at school. Some students needed to be called twice whenever the teacher gave instructions. Some were shy and quiet, some were talkative. We observed that Hikari could follow all the instructions well, although they were given in Japanese. He was not shy, and to our great surprise, he was very independent.
After attendance taking and morning singing ritual in Akagumi class (class of above 3 years old), Hikari and his classmate were ushered to their own class, Momogumi (class of 3 years old). Yea, this class only has TWO students: Hikari and Keita-kun :) In the class, they did activities like playing with color papers and glue, making paper doll, making paper ball, throwing balls to a bucket, etc. What they did (and usually do) basically were playing while exercising their motoric skills.

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After class activities, they went out to play with sand, water, anything that they like. Papa played with them and Mama busily took pictures. We were amazed again to see how Hikari interact with his friend and his teacher. He even used Japanese language (we didn't hear before at home). It was also fun to see how Keita-kun sometimes absorbed Hikari's vocab like besar, apa, ini, itu, etc.

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When, Hikari and Keita-kun were finished with their sand castle, we went inside again to make animals from woods. Papa and Hikari were immediately busy to make a giraffe.

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At the end of the day, Hikari got a handsome giraffe which he showed off to his friends.
His teacher asked, "Hikari-kun, kyo wa do desuka? Tanoshikatta?" (How is it today? Did you have fun)
Hikari answered, "Ung. Tanoshikatta. Matta ashita. Sayonara, Sensei." (Yes. I had fun. See you tomorrow. Bye.)
... and Papa and Mama were just standing there speechless, and beaming.
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SPORTS DAY - UNDOKAI

11:44 AM |

Every year, at the end of Summer, students in Japan participate in a Sports Day or UNDOKAI in their respective schools. This year Undokai for Hikari's kindergarten was on October 22, 2005. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, relatives, all came to see these kindergarten students in action. There were a lot of attractions: exercising, dancing, singing, etc. Each class performed different kinds of attractions. Even the parents and other family members also participated in the games.

The students from all levels had been practicing their songs, exercises, dances, two months before the Undokai. Hikari also had been practicing what he was supposed to perform. Often at home we found him singing (songs that we didn't understand), humming (vocab that we didn't recognize), dancing (dances that we found really funny). Unfortunately, we couldn't help him much because most of the time we had no idea what he was doing.... The only thing that gave us a slight idea what he was doing at that time came from Papa's discovery during his Obento-assignment every afternoon. See, Hikari's school actually provides lunch for its students everyday. The problem is they often don't have a clue what's going to be served before it's served. Therefore, they can't tell us whether there's Butaniku (pork) in the lunch set. So, every day, Mama cooks for Hikari's lunch, and every afternoon, Papa dutifully delivers the lunch box for Hikari to school. While he was doing this, Papa often watched what the students were doing: what they were singing, dancing, exercising, etc. After that, Papa started to follow Hikari's dances at home and that gave Hikari more encouragement.

In the morning of the Undokai,
the school had been beautifully decorated. Then, the students gathered at the school yard. First activity: they exercised, with music and signs from the teacher. To our surprise, these students were easily managed. They stood in line and did the instruction without trouble. They were a very good team, and for children of ages 3 to 5, this is AMAZING.

Now, in Wakaizumi kindergarten, there are 5 classes: yellow (momogumi- the lowest level. Momo means peach), red (akagumi), green and pink (midori gumi), and blue (aogumi- the highest level). Hikari is in the lowest level, the class of three-years-old. In this class, there are only TWO students: Hikari and Keita-kun. We always find that fact amusing :) Look at those momo-gumi students on the picture above. Two peaches of Wakaizumi kindergarten. Always together.

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These two peaches even have one special teacher: Mrs. Takahashi, the senior teacher. She looks after them, teaches them, plays with them, nurses them. She is Hikari's and Keita's mother at school.
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In this Undokai, Hikari got a part as a ladybug with red wings at his back. He danced with other students in momogumi and akaigumi. Mama also danced with him. He was a very good dancer. He could remember all the movements and the songs, and he danced very proudly.
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And then there were games like throwing balls into a basket, dancing with flags, tossing a baloon, dancing with a kind of 'parachute', etc. There were also several games that the students did with their parents. Hikari had fun 'working' together with Papa. Their games were very simple, yet very entertaining for children. The materials they used also very simple: colored papers, cartons, baloons, plastic bottle, milk container, flags, fans, etc. but they were made creatively and beautifully by the school staff and the PTA (Parents-Teachers Association).
The school also created some games for the family. Mama participated in a kind of 'makan kerupuk' game (they changed kerupuk with bread), and Papa took part in the tug-of-war.
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When Hikari and Keita-kun got really tired, their Sensei was there to take care of them. Since the two are the smallest and also the youngest, most of the time the bigger students cheered them by saying "Gambare, Hikari-kun!" (Break a leg)
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At noon, the parents set up our picnic mat and on it we spreaded food for lunch brought from home. We were fasting on that day, but we got a lot of food from other parents to bring home:)
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It was really a wonderful day. Papa and I got to see Hikari performed, and it really made us proud. We had new friends, too. Mama met my wonderful friend, Kudo-san (the mom of Hikari's friend: Ryoya-kun) again. We hadn't met for some time after Mama moved to the dorm. The other parents were also friendly and helpful. We didn't feel like strangers at all.

All of the games that were held also surprised us. At home before, we thought the games would be like a competition, where kids compete against each other. It turned out that the games made everyone a winner. It didn't matter if one kid finished second, because no one was called up front to be tittled the first winner, second, third, and so on. Everybody got presents, and praises. The games only required the students (and their parents) to do their best, AND to have fun. There was so much lesson for the students (and the parents) to grasp in one day. The best thing of all this, the lesson doesn't need a classroom and a book.
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Seragam Sekolah

11:48 PM |

Di Jepang -atau setidaknya di Honjo-, seragam anak-anak TK sedikit berbeda dengan seragam anak TK Jakarta. Anak-anak di Wakaizumi Yochien, seperti juga anak-anak di TK lain, tetap memakai pakaian pribadi waktu pergi sekolah. Hanya saja, diluar pakaian bebas ini, anak-anak memakai semacam rompi yang fungsinya untuk melindungi baju anak-anak dari kotoran -kotoran cat, pasir, makanan, dll dsb. Rompi ini berbeda-beda untuk musim yang berbeda. Kelengkapan rompi yang lain adalah topi, tas, dan badge nama yang dilekatkan di lengan baju kiri atas. Sementara sepatu dan kaos kaki, bebas terserah orang tua si anak. Tapi, begitu sampai di sekolah, anak-anak akan mengganti sepatunya dengan sepatu putih khusus untuk berjalan di dalam ruangan. Sepatu yang dipakai dari rumah tadi, dimasukkan dengan rapi (oleh anak-anak sendiri) ke dalam rak-rak sepatu yang tersedia di depan kelas.

Summer Uniform
Foto dibawah ini, adalah pose Hikari dalam seragam summernya. Hikari sedang menunggu bis sekolah di belokan jalan di dekat apartment kami yang lama. Kebetulan juga, belokan jalan ini pas di depan rumah teman sekolah Hikari: Ryoya-kun.
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Seharusnya, topi resmi TK nya Hikari itu terbuat dari anyaman bambu, seperti yang dipakai Ryoya-kun. Tapi, karena Hikari -waktu itu- masih baru, topinya belum ada, jadi Hikari masih pakai topi pribadi.

Sport Uniform
Setelah seragam/rompi biru muda tadi, ada juga seragam olah raga. Seragam ini juga mengenal musim. Kalau pas summer, seragamnya adalah kaos lengan pendek dan celana pendek. Kalau sudah masuk fall dan winter, seragam olah raga tadi, dilapis dengan kaos lengan panjang dan celana panjang. Topinya, sama dengan topi seragam biasa. Di sekolah, topi ini diganti dengan topi warna-warni sesuai dengan kelas anak-anak. Hikari itu di kelas momo-gumi, kelas paling kecil. Warna topinya kuning.
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Karena mama gak begitu PD, dengan kekuatan Hikari dengan angin di akhir musim panas, mama paksa Hikari pakai celana panjang:)
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Winter Uniform
Seragam untuk musim dingin, mulai dipakai awal bulan Oktober. Seragamnya lebih tebal dan warnanya biru tua dengan topi 'pelukis' biru tua juga.
Hikari sudah pindah ke dormitory sewaktu pergantian seragam ini, jadi latarbelakang pose-posenya dia sudah berubah: jadi forest-like...
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Di dorm ini, teman berangkat sekolah Hikari adalah Imti-kun. Anak Bangladesh berumur 5 tahun di kelas paling besar.

Saat udara sudah semakin dingin, celana pendek Hikari berganti menjadi panjang dan mama memakaikan Hikari syal leher (kadang ditambah sarung tangan, dengan catatan kalau mood Hikari lagi bagus).
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Biasanya, sambil menunggu bis sekolah, Hikari main skuter bersama Papa di pelataran parkir di depan dormitory. Sesekali, Hikari main kejar-kejaran dengan para Bapak Supir Bis kampus Waseda (lihat bis merah bergambar beruang Waseda dibelakang Hikari).
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Nah, itulah foto-foto seragam sekolah Hikari di TK Wakaizumi. Sampai disini dulu parade pose Hikari dalam seragam sekolahnya.
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