Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Ethnic School Parade - Multi-Culturalism On Display
It's been hard to find time to put together a proper series of blog-posts - most of our time is being spent either looking after our daughter and son, or preparing for our upcoming trip to Japan. But here's a (slightly late) post about one of the local events that we enjoyed. Back on the 20th of October, there was an Ethnic School Parade here in Adelaide... an annual parade which sees about 40-50 different ethnic schools come together and march from Hindmarsh Square to the Festival Centre Plaza.
The Japanese School (that our son attends) of course was going to be there... and he was decked out in his jimbei and happi coat. Not to mention he was sporting my hat. So much for being sun-smart Daddy! There was an assortment of Japanese dress, and of course yukata and kimono were popular... and as always, the mothers were really the driving force behind the participation.... Mummy Power.
But there was enough world-wide representation to feel like you'd walked into a mini-United Nations convention.
And the parade started... about 30 minutes late due to the late arrival of the Police escort. Still, the bagpipes lead the way.
The original plan was that I was going to take photos of the whole parade as it went passed... however when L-kun walked he took one looked at me, and beckoned me over.
He wanted to walk with Daddy... and who was I to say no (just to take some photos)....
And indeed, family is at the heart of the parade. Though I have to admit that the Japanese contingent did sort of feel a little more like they were going for a Sunday stroll than marching in a parade (and the group behind us starting pressing up fairly hard... and I think they were planning an overtaking manoeuvre at one point.
I did manage to stop for a few moments and grab a couple more snaps of the other groups...
But as we came up to the Festival Centre, the school Principal waved the group on, rather than turning left with all the rest of the groups. Confusion reigned. Was this the London Olympic Opening Ceremony debacle all over again? No... apparently the Principal had booked a bus to take the kids down to the city, but the delay in the start meant that they had to skip the rest of the festivities.
I have to say - it was not a good look... and whilst the remainder of the days events were largely "official", I still felt that it wasn't quite right. Also, the parents just didn't know what was going on. As I had driven in separately, I stayed on... just to see what the others had missed out on.
Not much. But hopefully next year the organisers can be a little more flexible with the transport options. But all up, that was the first parade that we had all marched in together. And was something different to do. And I totally applaud the City of Adelaide for hosting these parades. It really is important for the sense of community that really does drive many of these multi-cultural schools. And I think it's important for the community at large to be more aware of the great work that gets performed at these schools.