The morning temperature carries a chill. The leaves from the trees are beginning to fall. Young children are being led by the hand carrying flowers. All kids are dressed wearing their best. There is excitement and anticipation in the air.
A new school year has begun.
I had the privilege to attend a first bell ceremony at one of the many schools located in Balti. Every school in Moldova starts school on September 1 and each and every school in the country celebrates with a first bell ceremony.
For the first bell ceremony each child brings a bouquet of flowers or a gift for their teacher. The courtyard of the school fills with well-dressed kids & parents along with various colors of bundled flowers.
As the hour nears 8:30 AM, the kids line up according to their class and the first bell ceremony begins.
Loud music is played as the newest students of the school are led into the middle, holding their parents hand. The parents eventually leave their young children after a song or two and join the rest of the crowd and take photos of their small ones standing at attention during the ceremony.
Songs are sung, poems are shared, and various people speak to the group gathered for the special first bell day.
After the first bell, I had the opportunity to attend a class and meet some students. I introduced myself in Romanian at the beginning of class and then at the end I wished them luck and much success in the year (in Romanian of course). One girl handed me flowers after I spoke and I’m sure my look of surprise made them all laugh.
I’m grateful that I got a peek into the first day of school for some students here in my new community. It was fun to learn from them on their first day of school and see this tradition of literally ringing in the new school year.
I was able to grab a few video clips of the morning and put them together in a very quick (less than a minute) video to share to give you a little more of an idea of what the first bell ceremony is like.