Tajik School Graduation

Figure 1.--This Tajik boy and girl aftter gradution are dressed for formal dancing--a waltz. The girl wears long white dress with large bow in hair, ankle socks, and black strap shoes. The boy wears a dark suit, white shirt and red bow tie, and black shoes. Image courtesy of William Fergusson.

A HBC reader has provided information about Tajikistan School graduating ceremonies. Tajikistan children believe May is their favorite month. It is strawberry and cherry season. There is no stopping their consumption of these fresh and delicious fruits. These are in abundance and mark the start of summer. Another indicator that summer is here are the many school preparations for the Graduation Ceremonies which will be held at the months end. This is main reason why May is a good month for children for it is the start of their summer holiday. No more school and three whole months of holiday bliss until September 1st.


The end of May is when the Graduation Ceremonies takes place at every school throughout the city. These ceremonies mark the end of the academic year. I was able to attend two of these ceremonies. These were at Dushanbe International School and School 21.


I have photographed this event at these school ceremonies. Most of the photographs included in this article were taken at School 21. Theirs was an outdoor one while the former took place in the Opera Ballet theatre.


The pattern of the Graduation Ceremony is the same regardless of where it is held. They start with the School Directors' address. This was about the students, their work and progress and where their future. At DIS several of their students are going to Universities in America Britain and France.

The DIS Director called upon the Minister of Education to give an address. He spoke about the Tajik Turkish educational partnership. The Minister of Foreign Affairs then spoke about the high standard of education of Tajik children. There are 9 living languages spoken in Tajikistan and there is a 99% rate of literacy.English is taught as a second language and most children have some knowledge of English.French and German are also taught. The Tajik language is replacing Russian as the mother tongue language.


The speeches over and to a trumpet fanfare the graduating students were called onto the stage. The students walked through an archway of flowers.


The boys were dressed in black suits and the girls wore dresses. At School 21 the girls wore two large white bows in their hair. All wore a red sash which had gold Russian writing on them. The wording said, Graduation Ceremony 2003.


Once on the stage they were presented with their diplomas and awards. Each then gave a short speech about their final year of schooling. The oldest graduating student then made a short speech to next years graduation class. They were presented with a symbolic key, year book and torch of knowledge. With these education symbols they promised to continue the tradition of academic excellence and hard work. I recalled the following verse by a Polish poet You take the torch of Knowledge and build the new roads into the future. It was a verse that inspired Madam Curie to strive for greatness.


Year 1 students presented a bouquet of flowers to each of the graduates. After this there was a programme of music, dance and drama by each of the classes. These performances were singing, cultural dancing, comedy sketches, There was a performance of Tajik music played by the school orchestra on tradition Tajik instruments. All the students took part in a last dance. During this a small child enters who is carried on the shoulders of a graduating student. She was ringing a symbolic school bell. It is the last bell and with its tolling it signifies that lessons and the school year is over. The music and dancing stopped and the students leave the stage. The graduates sign each others sash and for them their future begins. For the pupils returning it is the start of their vacation. The director of School 21 ended her address wishing her students a happy holiday and good luck. . ("Happy holiday and Good Luck my dear Students.") These words are a good place to end a report about a graduation ceremony.

William Fergusson


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Created: May 29, 2003
Last updated: May 29, 2003