Today is 100th at my nephew’s school. Oddly, because of the weather, it’s been pushed until tomorrow. So I have no huge qualms with teachers, students or parents who love 100th day. I personally think we should make more holidays to celebrate. Here’s my main issue. No one seems to have an issue with it. I have never heard any concerns over it in the general public, in the paper, which brings me not to make a plea to cancel the day. Instead my call to you as parents, teachers, administrators, future parents!, etc. is to just THINK about the way we celebrate it. And maybe how we can do it better.
First of all, is it really necessary to dress up like old people? If we dressed up like Chinese people or Indians or African Americans or hairy people, I am SURE some people would be offended. So what is it about dressing up like old people that is okay?? I’ve heard the argument that getting old is universal. There haven’t been any law suits or complaints… hmmm… where are the people who would be offended? Are they lawyers (perhaps retired), officials (perhaps retired)? Are they people who have power and are they able to defend themselves? How involved are they in society to voice their opinions and seriously, if a 90 year old complained, would people listen? Would they listen if some lady called from her home, from a nursing home?
With Kindergartners dressing up as old people, I really question how honoring or flattering these costumes are to seniors themselves. Yes it is all in good fun. But how many young/middle aged women and men (in secret) freak out over one white hair? How many of us shout to joy when we see our face wrinkling up? Kids hobbling with a cane, pretending to be weak and feeble or having white hair and wrinkles are in fact traits of old people. But are they traits that people desire, revere, respect? Unintentionally, are making fun of struggles that our elderly truly have? No wonder our society and you and I do not look forward to “getting old”. Is there a reason that depression is so prevalent in the old?
My sister thought of the ingenious idea to bring my 100 year old grandma in for 100th day at my nephew’s school. Last year Mama, my grandma went and the students asked her questions about her and I think that made so much more sense. Of course, there are not enough 100 year olds to go around to each classroom, so perhaps there are other ways to better celebrate. Maybe giving the kids 100 pieces of candy would be less detrimental=) Anyhow, there MUST be better ways! Brainstormers, creative folks, please do share so our students can keep their party on.