Yes, in case you didn’t know…I’m graduating. Again.
You see, Aussie school years finish in December, so I graduated, then did the last term here. Yup, everyone’ll be crying (they’re a very emotional bunch, those Japanese) and I’ll be like, “Yeah, that was a pretty fun few weeks, can we go now?” )
Now, there’s something you must know before we go any further. Japanese graduations are not at all like Australian ones. They’re just on a completely different level. In Australia, they’re laughing, happy celebrations where people stuff up, jokes fly everywhere, and just really relaxed and informal. Over here? Complete opposite end of the scale.
For a start, they have a graduation uniform: blouse, pleated skirt, jacket, black shoes etc. So ewww compared to my previous fashionable get-up (click here for a photo). And more to the point, they are abominably formal. You see, Japan is just a really formal country – you have to announce your name and grade and ask permission to enter every time you enter the school office, class periods are officially announced and closed, and you have to bow before basically everything you do, which is annoying…the list goes on. You just have a lot of respect for your elders, and everyone around you, I guess. And graduations are the absolute worst.
At our very first graduation practice, we spent 45 minutes practicing how to walk, sit up, sit back down again, and bow, which also included things like how to place your fingers while bowing, and the exact position of your head etc. My teacher even came round and felt all our backs while we were sitting on our chairs to make check we had the correct posture. I know, right?! You have to get up and sit down so many times, it’s just ridiculous. For example, you have to stand up the exact moment a speaker sets foot on the stage, and when they they’re finished and step back you have to bow in time, and then the second they’re off the stage you sit down….
10 times worse than my fantastic graduation at Ripponlea. ;( Ah, well. I can relish in dissecting the experience like so.
You also sing songs and stuff; naturally they’re all brilliant singers too, and I don’t know a word. Not even the Japanese national anthem! My poor teacher’s like, “You’ve heard this at the Olympics, right?” Well, sorry I have no interest in your national anthem!!! (Sorry, Anthem.) It’s a very slow, haunting melody at that; not at all like our cheerful Aussie sing-a-long.
Anyway, that’s on the 24th, so it’s coming up in…11 days! And, look, before you completely write off this country as a mini prison centre, it’s actually not that bad as I just made it out to be. Yeah, it’s strict but it’ll sure be an experience! And after the ceremony we all go have luch at the Italian restaurant nearby, so it can’t be all bad.