Tajik School First Bell

Figure 1.--This is First Bell, the first day of school for these Tajik children in 2003. There is a formal ceremony for these children who are dressed up and brought to school by their parents to begin their school careers. Image courtesy of William Fergusson.

The first day of school is very important in Tajikistan. There is a ceremony called First Bell. This back to school ceremony takes the form of children dedicating themselves to working hard at their studies. Children bring flowers for their teacher and dress in very formal clothes. This seems to be a carry over from Soviet days. A HBC reader provides us details of the 2003 ceremony at his school. After the long hot summer vacation and a life of carefree activity it was back to school for Tajikistan children. September 1st was the first day of the new academic year. It was marked by the special First Bell ceremony. Children wear their best clothes for the occasion. They bring bouquets of flowers for their teacher. The ceremony is attended by parents, children and teachers. The children wear suits and black school uniform. Boys wear white shirts, ties and bow ties. Most of the boys are dressed in long trousers and wear black shoes. The girls are dressed in white blouses, while ankle socks, black dresses and some have large white bows in their hair. The children in less formal wear are likely to be new students. They might also be pupils who are taking part in the ceremony or children who wish to dress in an individual way. The school principal gave the opening address and spoke about the academic programme and his hopes for the students and what he expected from his staff, parents and students. The new teachers are introduced by the vice principal and the teachers give short speeches. The children perform traditional and modern dances, other children give speeches about their hopes for the year and their future. At the end of the ceremony teachers and children go to their classes and the first lessons begin.

William Fergusson


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Created: October 10, 2003
Last updated: October 10, 2003