This weekend is a three day holiday here in Kazakhstan: it is Women’s Day. Different from Mother’s Day in the USA, because you don’t have to actually procreate to celebrate and be included in this one. My last school, which shall remain nameless, worshipped the procreation part so absolutely that women on staff who had not given birth were shunned on Mother’s Day, and got no little gift remembrance on the day. Meh – they could have skipped me, too, for that matter, not that I don’t love my children, I just don’t define myself by that. Anyhoo – idiocy aside….
The first celebration was a very sweet and heartwarming show put on by the male faculty at the school to entertain the ladies, complete with very, very nice gift drawings. You must understand, local Kazakhs earn on average about 300 USD a month, and the men had to chip in to purchase those gifts. VERY generous of them, truly.
I did not want to win one of the prizes, which from previous experience means that I will. I said this to the lady sitting to my right, and she did not believe me, so I told her “watch this,” and gave my number to the girl sitting to my left, and they called my number. If I do not want to win, I will. It has happened that way too many times to count.
I was introduced during the variety show they put on for us to a traditional Kazakh instrument whose name I cannot spell yet. Dumbra? It has only two strings, and they make fascinating and lovely music with it.
Then, the next day of the three-day weekend, I got to enjoy a cello band concert sponsored by the American Embassy. In a lovely small theater, an American modern cello band of three classically trained-cellists (and a talented drummer) performed one Brahms concerto, and then many selections of their original, modern compositions – some incorporating our city’s native Kazakh musicians as well. Delightful! I think the group called themselves Breaking Reality.
And it snowed again…… 😦