Emily and Phoebe

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

More music

Phoebe has learnt a new song at school which, oh dear, is called "Δέκα μικρά αραπάκια" (Deka Mikra Arapakia). This could roughly (and perhaps charitably) be translated as "Ten Little Golliwogs". It certainly isn't the sort of word that we want the kids to be using, even in a song, so we had a breakfast-table conversations in which we attempted the tricky balancing act of showing that we don't like or approve of her song without going over the top (and if there's anything that makes me feel like going over the top it's this) or undermining her teacher (even misguided teachers need support!)

2 Comments:

Anonymous deviousdiva said...

Tough call. Been through it. I still can't believe that some of these songs are still taught but since they are, I guess we have to deal with it !

I did the same thing. Talk about how I disapproved (and why) while trying not to undermine the teacher. Perhaps a head to head meeting with the teacher in question is the best way. I've always found that once you can talk personally, barriers are broken down and usually individual can understand the issues.

Let's face it (between you and me) we passed this almost 30 years ago. I was about 5 when "golliwog" became questionable and then unacceptable. Greece is way behind but I do think that some are ready to move on and become better.

Good Luck !

Do your girls go to Greek local school or international school? I think that makes a difference right?

1:47 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Hi DD and thanks for commenting.

You're right that I probably should have raised it with the teacher but for a variety of reasons I didn't (including dislike of confrontation, not wanting to be culturally imnperialist about these things and have the kids be perceived as foreigners, the sense I have that suggestions and comments I make to teachers are met generally with glassy-eyed incomprehension, and so on).

The window of opportunity where I could have said something has now passed, but if Phoebe reports they've been singing it again (or anything similar) I think I'll definitely have to say something.

BTW, the girls are state-educated. I wouldn't really know whether private schools are any more enlightened, and as for international schools, your guess is as good as mine!

8:59 AM  

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