The very first day of school for all students in Russia is September 1 otherwise known as first bell. I really should have had my camera when we went outside this day. Kids dress up in suits and the girls wear their best and tie their hair in huge white bows. The students all take their teachers flowers, chocolates, or cakes.
When we first moved to Novosibirsk we actually got to got to a first bell. It is a real big deal and the school puts on a big production. We had just arrived the day before and our apartment was totally unfurnished so we stayed with one of the other missionaries for a couple of nights. They had their son in school so we went along and joined the celebration. Everyone in the family comes along.....grandparents, little siblings, etc.
Little did we know that on that morning in 2004 on the other side of Russia an elementary school in Beslan was undergoing a terrorist attack by Chechyen rebels at their own first bell celebration. The reason why the Beslan incident was so tragic and had a high death count was because of the amount of people that were there that day. The terrorists specifically picked that day to get the highest casualties. Very sad. We didn't even know about until a few days later. Once we got hooked up to the internet we had a bunch of concerned family and friends e-mailing us to make sure we were o.k. We also watched the images on the television. One of the girls in my small group told me that now there is heightened security in the schools on this special day.
Once Josiah saw that all the boys were dressed up he wanted to wear his suit to school. It was really cute of him but considering we homeschool, I passed on the opportunity to dress him up!
I took this picture with my cell phone, not a great picture but you get the idea!