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Sunday, September 27, 2009

"Congratulations and celebrations..."

If there's one song I never want to hear again, it's Cliff Richard's "Congratulations." Apparently this is a well-known tune from the '60s but one I'd managed to avoid until moving to Korea, where it's played incessantly during any celebration.

Each camp session at school ends in a one- or two-hour graduation ceremony. The top students get awards, there's a dance competition and the teachers get a chance to say goodbye before watching a slideshow of the past week. It's an easy period for a Friday afternoon.

This kid rocked a mullet and high-tops. Loved him.

Sometimes the kids get really emotional during and after graduation. There are always a handful every week who cling to teachers and each other, wailing loudly as if going home is some sort of punishment.

Top students who do NOT look excited.

Probably the most amusing part of graduation is the dance contest. Girl groups and boy bands are HUGE here the way they were in America 10 years ago. You can't walk down the street without hearing Big Bang or Wonder Girls blaring from a store. There are a handful of songs to which every man, woman and child knows all of the words and moves: Girls Generation's "Gee," Super Junior's "Sorry Sorry," Wonder Girls' "Nobody"...

Here are some of my young students doing "Sorry Sorry" during this week's graduation. You can see how into it the audience is, too -- seriously, everyone knows this dance:

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