Reader's Digest International - - Contents - BY COR­NELIA KUMFERT

How those ex­cit­ing, first days of school look for kids around the globe.

How those ex­cit­ing, first days of school look for kids around the globe

1. TRA­DI­TION­ALLY teach­ers in Es­to­nia re­ceive flow­ers from their pupils on the first day of school. This wel­come bou­quet is also cus­tom­ary in Rus­sia and the Ukraine.

2. FIRST GRADERS IN JA­PAN are eas­ily rec­og­niz­able by their bright-col­ored hats. Above all, th­ese yel­low bon­nets are de­signed to be quickly seen by mo­torists.

3. SCHOOL UNI­FORMS are manda­tory in Aus­tralia, as they are in many other coun­tries as well. The young lady on the right, how­ever, ap­pears to dis­agree with this pol­icy.

4. IN NORTH KOREA pupils are ac­com­pa­nied by their par­ents on the first day of school. In the coun­try’s to­tal­i­tar­ian sys­tem, rules and dis­ci­pline play a cen­tral role in the ed­u­ca­tion process.

5. A SWEET START to school life is all but guar­an­teed in Ger­many, where stu­dents are given a Schultüte or bag full of candy and use­ful school sup­plies.

6. FOR CHIL­DREN in cri­sis re­gions, be­gin­ning school is some­thing to cel­e­brate. That is the case for th­ese sib­lings from a refugee camp for earthquake vic­tims in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Here they fi­nally get a chance to be kids again.

7. AS PROUD AS CAN BE, this lit­tle Chi­nese girl poses for a pho­tog­ra­pher on her first day of school. Her uni­form is rem­i­nis­cent of that of a sailor, which is typ­i­cal for Asia.

8. IN RANK AND FILE th­ese South African stu­dents ex­plore their fu­ture class­room. Black and white chil­dren learn­ing to­gether is nor­mal now, but dur­ing apartheid un­think­able.

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