ukrainians love holidays. no really, the LOVE them. every time i blog about ukrainian holidays i try to get across just how much they love their holidays. but i don’t think anything i write will help you to understand the extent to which holiday hay-fever runs in their veins. but it’s not just about taking the work day off. no…that, i would be more than okay with…but they celebrate with concerts. and long ones at that.
my second year of teaching in ukraine means i have a lot of concerts behind me and a lot more ahead of me. my second first bell, my second teacher’s day, my gazillionth time practicing the virtue of patience. i’m not sure what it is about concerts/talent shows that ukrainians can’t get enough of…any chance they get they’ll have singing and dancing and memorized verse repeating.
i should clarify that i have noting against concerts or talent shows per say. just ukrainian ones. i try my best not to complain about ukraine much, but concerts get to me. the general rules are this: anything we find tacky, they love. no try outs for talent — you’re simply in. i’m probably being extremely judgmental, but i guess that’s what countless hours of terribly karkeoked songs, photo slide shows with glitter type and waving kittens, and underage girls dancing inappropriately infront of the school would do to you.
so i knew that’s what i was in for on my second teacher’s day in ukraine — there’s no escaping a concert. the day started off similar to my last school’s teacher’s day in which the 11th formers filled in as teachers for the day. it’s more fun for them than anything i think, watching them shift from the goofballs in class i know them as to authoritative ‘teachers’ at the head of the class. they loved every minute of it.
after shortened lessons, it was time for the school concert. which i was reminded about 20 or so times NOT to miss. oh…i know…i know i have to go. the idea of sitting through another concert loomed over me since the last concert. we all crammed into the stuffy performance hall where ‘im sexy and i know it’ blasted from the speakers. how appropriate!
i took my seat and everyone took theirs and then we began. and of course it’s no event without speakers and a microphone. oh, you wanted to keep hearing abilities? too bad. even in small rooms where it’s really not necessary, they will be used. my guess is maybe it’s not as authentic without it?
this question took up a good 10 minutes of day dreaming while the concert continued. it was song, after song about teachers. some that i even recognized. never thought that would happen in my lifetime! then some gifts presented to the school director, another song, dancing, some man with his fly down that i’m 92% sure was drunk sang a song and made all the teachers cry, some culutral insensitive jokes about teaching methods in china and other countries, dancing, singing, photos, etcetera, etcetera.
it was about hour 2 of the concert when my head began to hurt, my stomach was growling, and my mood was becoming increasingly bitter towards being trapped in concert purgatory. almost two years in ukraine sitting through ukrainian concerts and i JUST couldnt’ do it anymore. i almost began thinking of was to discretly off myself as to save myself the pain.
normally i would reason with myself, saying that i’m simply being dramatic, don’t blog when you’re still angry about something as dumb as concerts. but no…the final tally of time i spent sitting patiently at that concert today: 2.5 HOURS. 2.5 HOURS!!!!!!!!! that’s almost the length of titanic. no concert should ever, ever be that long.
and the sad truth is, they’re not usually all that much shorter. that’s what bothers me the MOST about them. i can stand the glitter type, the waving kittens, and the off-key singers. i can! just not unnecessary lengthy exposure of them. there’s gotta be a cut off. gotta be a way to keep things short and simple. if i had my hand in the matter everyone would be in and outta there in 30 minutes flat. precise and compact american style.
but unfortunately for me, and all the other pcvs that have to sit through the same, that is something that will never happen. so it’s 7 more months drawn-out concerts for all to participate, glitter type, and waving kittens. i will cherish the day ukrainian concerts are no longer in my future.
until then i’ll stop my griping and share some pictures ; )