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December 21, 2012


When I got an email last week about Schulsilvester from Ashus teacher, I did the same thing I have been doing the last 5 months. Which is to translate the document from German to English! Needless to say, Google Translate has become my best friend these days! What I found out was very confusing. Sentences like "making as much noise as possible", "5 am and not earlier to school", ... make absolutely no sense at all when one is living in the Swiss! Panicking I called another mom to find out what this was all about and what do you know! Since today is the last day of school before the holidays, the children celebrate by walking to school from 5 am onwards making as much noise as possible with musical instruments like bells, horns, whistles,etc... Even banging pots and pans. And the older kids explode fire crackers too! Supposedly to drive out the old year! I never thought that I would use noise and the Swiss in the same sentence especially in the wee hours of the day! And since we have never spent the December holidays in Zurich in the last four years, we never even knew the existence of it. 

Ashu was quite thrilled about the whole thing and started rummaging her room to find something which would make the most annoying and loud noise! And at exactly 5 am today, we were woken up by loud bangs and for a moment I wondered if I was in India for Diwali! We managed to go back to sleep and I got up at 6.15 am and rudely woke up Ashu and armed with a wooden rattle, we walked down to meet Ashus friend and her mom. We were the only ones walking our children though! It was crazy to see all the children walking on their own in the pitch dark making loud noises with metal lids! According to tradition, people give nuts and sweets to the passing children, it seems. But from the look of it, I think the entire neighborhood left their homes for an early vacation! Who wants to begin their holidays getting up at 5 am to loud noises anyway!! Except us suckers, I mean! As I write, Ashu must be enjoying the party at school and eating breakfast and will be back home by 9 am! I wish I went back to sleep!

May be I should make some Venn Pongal prasadam since its Margazhi month after all and make some punyam out of it! ;) Im sure the person who is snoring right now would really like that!


mim said...

i love these moments that bring alive being indian, living in a foreign country, and getting acclimatised.
loved this post.

Meera said...

Ending the year with noise... Nice! I love how everything grinds to a halt during winter break so venn pongal would be perfect to belch and pass out :)

Anonymous said...

what a cute tradition. Btw, schulsilvester sounds like the teacher in Glee. His name is Schu sylvester :)

Anonymous said...

This sounds so much like fun!! Wish we had schulsilvester in US too..

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