The first day of school in Moldova starts with the first bell ceremony where all the students come to school outfitted especially for this special occasion. You may wonder if the students are required to wear uniforms since they all look so similar. No uniforms, just true Moldovan style. Black skirts and dresses with white blouses and white pom poms in the hair for girls and three piece suits for the boys.

The ceremony starts with the 12th graders ushering in the 1st graders and giving them school supplies. Then of course there is singing and dancing and the reciting of poetry. After that comes the speeches from the mayor, school director, and an honorable guest invited from the raion (county). And to close the ceremony, two 12th graders carrying two first graders (one boy and one girl) on their shoulders walk around the perimeter of the area a few times while they ring the first bell.

I think it is a great tradition, definitely a better way to start the school year off than what I was accustomed to in the states.

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