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Published: February 24th 2008
purpleish-rustish...brown... (trying it on)...then later buying it!
What a day. I can honestly say that this has been one of the most exciting days here! I woke up early and got into the car in my pj's and boots with Iska (h.dad). He dropped me over at Leena's where we ate some eggs together for breakfast, then I went upstairs to put the curlers in my hair! Today was the big day, finally! All these hours of practicing and it was here!!! February 15, 2008!!! The VANHOJEN TANSSIT!!!
The Vanhojen Tanssit is an old tradition in Finnish schools. The second graders (or juniors) all practice and learn special dances to be performed when the Abit (graduaters/senior) leave the school, when the second graders are the oldest students in the school. (this year February 14 the Abit left, so now we are the oldest students in school!) In the old days the students would make themselves look old with make up for fake rinkles and old dresses, but now days everyone just dresses VERY formally!!!
Heini walked over around 9:30 as I started taking the curlers out. I pinned all the curls up and Heini helped me use a gagging amount of hair spray to keep them
Aapo ja mina
before the morning dance
in place the entire day! When my hair was finished we walked over to the Ailio's house (second host family, neighbors, Heini+Henkka) where I put on my dress and Heini helped me with my make up! Henkka was getting ready also, but he was lucky, he didn't have as much work as I did, wearing only a tux! So after loading me up with hairspray and make up we got on our bulky coats (mine an ancient fur from Leena's mother) and Heini drove us to school!
We arrived just on time as all the beautifully dressed dancers were entering the gym! We stood around for a while as everyone arrived then the photographer arranged us on the bleachers for the group photograph. After striking our pose we disassembled, found our partners, (tall, blonde, curly haired, artist Aapo and I) and then the dance began. We performed at 12:30 ish for the student body, dancing our program: Kultaa ja hopeaa, Fireman's dance, Pompadour, Wengerka, Tango, Pas d'Espagne, Lucille, Wienin valssi, then "our dance" to Get Down On It!!! It was a blast! It went by SO quickly, but I loved every minute.
After I caught a ride to
Alina and I
before the morning dance
Kala-trappi (my rotary restaurant) with Aikka and Maiju, and met everyone from the dance there for a wonderful lunch! We all had ordered in advance, and I really had no idea what I had ordered, but I ended up with some fabulous reindeer quiche like dish, then some beef, then some fruit salad dessert! After eating we walked down to the harbor in the sunlight (YES there was sunlight, and it made me VERY excited!!!) to take some pictures!!!
We had our picture time coming up quickly (pictures at the studio) so Aapo and I got a ride with Heini and Henkka to centrum where we walked to Naantalin Kuvaus (photography studio in Naantali) and met up with the rest of the kids from school. We waited in line for a while since we had been early, but when it was near our turn I had a lot of fun making faces behind the camera lady trying to make the finns laugh and smile. The photographer said I could come back when she was taking pictures of the elementary students so I could help her make them smile! After powdering our noses we got our pictures taken and walked
back to the Ailios house where we did make up touch-ups then caught a ride to the big production with Marru aiti, Aida mummi, and Raija!
When we arrived the bleachers were FULL of parents, and ...ROTARY PEOPLE!! (AHHH!!!) We assembled at the top of the bleackers, then the music started, and we danced, again. It was magic. I was having SO much fun. The steps were ingraved in my memory I was having a good ole time finally performing and wearing such glam!!! I really enjoyed it!! After our final bow we had a short break where I was met by all three of my host families, and Eija (rotary counslor) and Tapsa Salatera (rotary). it was so nice seeing everyone! We all talked, took photos (MANY) and had punch and cake, then the "teachers band" began to play (Maiju's mother (my music teacher, Sirkku) singing and playing the piano!!!) and everyone began to waltz. It is tradition that boys dance with their mothers or older sisters and girls dance with their dads. I found Tom iska and we waltz around for a while! It was a lot of fun! Then everyone joined in one of those LONG
LONG LONG chain dances and dragged eachother around the dance floor!!! In the end I was sad to leave, but the party still goes on....!!!!
After driving home I quickly changed into my red party dress and Iska drove me back to Henkka's house (where I had left all my "getting ready stuff" earlier that day). We hung out together for a while then walked up to the Urheilu Talo where the music was blasting and there was a down right crazy dance party going on!!! The DJ threw us light sticks, and the dance continued!!!
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