Wednesday, December 5, 2007

World Cultures, 101: Preschool-style

Thank God for the internet. Colin came home from school on Tuesday morning singing over and over again: "Dance the Hora, Dance the Hora". I immediately assumed that he'd just learned yet another "naughty word" from the other kids at school, but he soon clued me in--telling me all the interesting tidbits he learned about Hanukkah from Miss Linda. Prior to this my only knowledge of Hanukkah songs came from Adam Sandler. Though he made no mention of the Maccabees (this part, I actually knew!), he did know about the candles (as evidenced by his Menorah hat, above) and, not surprisingly, the gifts, and-- most joyous of all--the dreidel! Thanks to YouTube, we found a video of people actually dancing the Hora and he's been practicing ever since (it is a wonderfully active dance for kids and so much more fun than the squaredancing *I* learned in 10th grade gym class).

Then he told me all about the dreidel and again, thanks to the internet, we found a template to make one out of paper. And although we were short some gelt, we did find some fairly appropriate blue and white coins (from our poker set--is that blasphemy?) to use with it. If you've never played with a dreidel before, I truly believe it is a game made up by Jewish parents to keep their kids out of their hair while they enjoy socializing with other adults during the holidays--it's a long, long, neverendingly LONG game. But Colin was really excited about it (he even memorized the Hebrew letters so he could play by himself--thank Yahweh!) and that's good enough for me.

I'd better read up on Kwanzaa, I'm sure he'll be educating me about that next week...

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