Russian Word of the Day

  • present = padarak

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Nauryz Play!

Day 8

Happy New Year from Kazakhstan!

Today Tim, Mom, Cal, and I got to attend the children's recital at the babyhouse in honor of the new year celebration of Nauryz! Nauryz is technically on March 22, but they were celebrating early. The children performing were the oldest at the babyhouse... the 3-year-old group. At age four the little ones get booted up to an older children's orphanage in nearby Akkol.

As excited as we were, Tim and I were ridiculously nervous about this expedition because there has been no secret about how heavily we are being analyzed while at the babyhouse. Our every move is the subject of meaningful glances and rapid fire russian between passing caregivers, none of which is translated. Adding a rambuncious 3-year-old to the "are they worthy of parenting our baby" equation made us very concerned about our reputation.

We shouldn't have worried. Calvin was as good as gold. He smiled and said "Dobraya Ootra" to the various caregivers and even the stern looking babyhouse director(who sat down next to us! Eeek). Then Calvin sat on Tim's lap for the entire half hour production and didn't make a peep. What a good boy! With a happy baby on my lap and a well behaved 3-year-old on Tim's, I was positively beaming with pride by the end of the show.

Did I mention that the show was darling!!! Oh my god are these little one's cute. Mom and I agreed that we would have smuggled a couple of them out in our suitcases if we could. They were all dressed in traditional Kazakh attire and the entire production was accompanied by a caregiver on the accordian. They started the performance by filing into the music room holding fake flowers. They sang a song and waved their flowers in unison. The rest of the performance was made up of little dances and songs and recitations. The boys show off a swinging stick dance. Two cutie pies sing a song. The one on the left is named Sasha and mom and I agree that he was the sweetest! If anyone out there is thinking of adopting a toddler, come get Sasha!!! Every child deserves a good home, but I can tell that Sasha would become the light of your life! All the little ones jam along with the accordian. The chubby fellow second from the right was named Ruslan (too) and he was a menace his instrument. He wacked the little guy with the tamborine right in the head! The children perform a dance in pairs. In this "scene" they are pretending to be mad at each other. Note the crossed arms and wagging fingers. Next they turned around and hugged. The two girls perform a very dance where they pretend to brush their long flowing hair. Funny, really, because they have the same haircuts as the boys. The boys show their strength with a game of tug of war. All of the kids got to do it. It always ended with someone falling down.
This was my favorite part of their performance: the demonstation of the children's version of the traditional Nauryz sport competition. I've heard that on Nauryz, Kazakh men and women show their prowess on horeseback by competing in complicated races. In one such race, a man on horseback takes off after a woman on horseback in an attempt to catch her and kiss her. The kids at the babyhouse did the same thing on hobby horse, galloping around the music room in pairs and then nearly knocking each other over in clumsy embraces. Soooo cute.
At the end of the performance the babyhouse director gave a short speech, presumably praising the kiddos for their fine efforts. Then the caregivers passed around a plate of traditional fried dough and we were excused so that the children could revel in their success with a slightly larger snack of fried dough, tea, and currants. They all seemed very pleased with themselves and they should have been. I just wanted to scoop them all up in a big hug!
Instead, I hugged my two boys... at the same time. A rare treat! For the remaining half hour, Nana got to hold Garrett, Calvin got to run amok in the playroom, and Tim and I got to breath a sigh of relief that everything had gone so well. What a good day.




Baby Kaz Moore said...

The children are adorable!! Thank you for posting them. I was in Kaz this time last year and the play I saw was with the adults who work at the baby house. You definitely got a treat in seeting the toddlers and the wonderful Kaz culture.

I'm so glad that things are going so well. Your boys are darling and it's easy to see many, many years of loving brotherhood.

Best, Susan from Austin

ault family said...

That performance sounded so adorable! Getting that many 3 year olds to do what they're supposed to do at the right time must have required lots of practice! :)

My heart was warmed by this post. Especially seeing Nana with Garrett! (Was that the 1st time they met?) How precious a moment that must have been.


Anonymous said...

tears are rolling down my cheeks...Sasha needs a home.

we love you four.


Malar said...

Just so adorable. Wish all those little ones find homes too. Loved the picture of little Garrett, big brother Cal and you-just darling. It was so nice to see all 5 of you in a picture too! All of you look wonderful and so happy.
Big hug to all.....

patrice said...

Like I said, reading your blog is second to being there! What an amazing experience it must have been for the four of you to be at the children's performance. They looked absolutely darling all dressed up and acting away. You are doing such a lovely and loving job of chronicling your journey.
I loved the pictures of the children and of your family.
Love, Aunt Patrice