Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Field Day

Another note from the school and another chance for me to volunteer!This time they wanted volunteers for 'Field Day' or what we call 'Sports Day' back home in India.I saw that it was scheduled to take place just ten days after the school had reopened after Christmas.I was surprised because I knew there had been no preparations till then and children  in India are used to practicing for Sports Day programs at least a couple of months in advance!
Sports day in India takes place in the winter months of December or January and many schools make it coincide with India's Republic Day with children performing dances from different regions,a physical training display and the works, all beautifully orchestrated and coordinated.Here,we were going to have the field day in the peak of summer!I suppose any other time of the year in Nairobi would have been too cold and wet!
I mailed the  physical education teacher and was invited for a meeting which resulted in me being appointed the 'Team Captain' of a team!The elementary and middle school children had been temporarily divided into three teams as in this system there is no concept of school houses!This, in itself, is difficult for people from the Indo-Brit educational system to swallow as one of the remnants of the Raj era in India is that all schools have not just senior but also junior school houses.In fact,many of the cantonment area schools in Pune still have the names of long gone British or Anglo Indian head masters and headmistresses as their house names!These houses compete against each other with the winning house taking home the rolling trophy at the end of the year.Remember even Hogwarts has the house system!
As a team captain I was responsible for teaching a cheer to my team members a day before the event!I told the teacher that I was apprehensive about the fact that they would not be able to practice at all.She assured me that it was a fun day and I should not worry about anything.A 'fun' day?My own memories of a sports day from my school days in Pune encompassed countless minutes spent badgering the maid to make the P.T uniform spotless,scrubbing those white 'Bata'(yes,Bata was one of the handful of international brands available in the pre liberalization era!) shoes till they shone,hours of march past practice in the mild winter sun holding the school flag upright till my arms ached,shouting commands till I was hoarse, as I led the school in my capacity as 'Head Girl' say nothing of running relays,100m and 400m dashes and high jump and long jump practice.Had it been fun?Yes,it had!I supposed that the American system and the Indo- British system had their own concepts of fun!
Field Day dawned.There was no march past to the tune of the Army band like back home,no army officer had been invited as a chief guest(is it a way of showing gratitude for loaning schools the band?And in many cases schools 'borrow' the army ground too!) and there were no carefully choreographed performances in colour coordinated outfits.Reebok,Nike,Addidas ruled the day.They had athletics,swimming events,soccer shoots,long jump,relays and the tiny tots had the sack race and the three legged race as well.The children were relaxed and the older ones were wandering around eating,chatting and cheering as they awaited their turns for each event.The younger ones were supervised by teachers but were still having a fun day by rolling around on the ground,clapping and shouting to their hearts content!
I realized that the common aspect in each system was the zest,the enthusiasm,the exuberance and the excitement of the children no matter what the system of education being followed.Though the event here did not have the sepia tones of a Raj era photograph but instead was sprinkled with the colours of the star spangled banner, it was easy to see that the children had had a 'field' day!


  1. Nicelly put ... keep playing never mind the tune

  2. Thanks!You,yourself are from a 'cantt' school,so you know how it is!

  3. Merry meet! Cure for Mondays is happy to award you with the VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD :-)

    Recipients of this award are asked to:

    1.Thank the person that nominated their blog for the award with a backlink to them.

    2.List 7 things about themselves. (I posted mine as a separate article because I was too excited to pass on the award, but I was still struggling with the seven things about me when I posted the award.)

    3.Award 15 newly discovered blogs The Versatile Blogger Award and notify them about it.

    Love and light,


    1. Thank you for the Versatile Blogger Award.
      I am from India.
      I am describing our life in Kenya.
      And trying to learn lessons from it!
      I have to school going kids.
      I cannot work here as I am on a dependant visa.
      So I volunteer in the kid'school whenever I get a chance!

  4. following you from WBC.


The Nuances And Nitty-Gritties Of Being Neighbourly

6:05 pm : I am walking in our front garden, free in the evening, on a week day, after many months, as the academic year comes to a close in...