Thursday, August 16, 2007

Peace and passivity

School started this week, and to mark the event, a national declaration for peace in schools was made today. The "ceremony" took place outside my window in the park.

The declaration is a good idea, as it tries to tackle bullying and other anti-social behaviour in schools, and for what I've heard all upper-primary students (13-16 years old) of Jyväskylä attended, and the event was broadcast by a national radio channel.

The event was actually an hour-long concert featuring four local bands. Ask me again in three months, but I think it's good that the park is alive, local bands get a chance to perform and there's culture for young people, by young people. (The only annoying bit was the soundcheck, and some idiot mixer showing off and playing TOTO on maximum volume at 9 in the morning, much louder than the actual concert).

But, I think the event fell well short of what it could have been. I got the feeling that for the audience it was just another lesson. The pic is taken during (IMO) the best performance, and you can't really describe this as an enthusiastic crowd. OK, I'm not the right person to criticise anyone for not dancing, but I think this bunch has confused going to a rock concert with going to a funeral.

I don't know who planned this event, but I suppose it wasn't the kids themselves. Perhaps the music (metal, all 4 bands...) was not the grooviest possible, but still I think there was a missed opportunity to have a PARTY where people could get a positive experience from moving, dancing, being together. This could have had a positive effect on the school spirit and perhaps brought the different "cultures" closer together. But instead, they chose to have people sitting down quietly, only giving polite applause after each band's performance. Which they did perfectly, good kids.

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