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The Crane - 11th October 2013

All British children

All British children know the rhyme: "Remember, remember, the 5th of November, Gunpowder treason and plot! We see no reason why gunpowder treason Should ever be forgot!" So, if Guy Fawkes himself wasn't actually burned at the stake, why do we burn his image? As with most modern festivals (Christmas, Easter, for example...), the rituals are hybrids based on various customs and beliefs which abounded at the time. To give some examples: • Burning at the stake was in fact a common means of capital punishment in the UK, until as late as the end of the eighteenth century. Public executions were celebrated and enjoyed in those days in a manner which would be considered cruel and barbaric today. • The timing of the festival is also near the time of the pagan Samhain, which is one of the forerun-­‐ ners of Halloween, and bonfires and burning effigies were part of that. • According to some, the commemoration of the burning of Protestant martyrs by Catholic Queen Mary, has also been superimposed on the same event. Just as Autumn is busy for us, the British of the 17th and 18th centuries found themselves with a lot of events they had to celebrate at the same time of year, so, very practically, they started to kill a few birds with one stone and do them all at the same time. The result is the modern Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night as we know it in the UK. The Thanksgiving Law, which forced Brits to hold this celebration, was repealed in 1859, but, whether as a celebration that the historical monuments were saved, or that the government of the day prevailed, as a dire warning of what might happen to you if you committed treason, or just because hanging round a bon-­‐ fire eating heartwarming food while watching the fireworks is a lovely way to spend an evening, the annual ritual of holding a bonfire meeting on the day Guy Fawkes and his friends were caught, has continued in the UK to this day. It may seem a little macabre to be burning someone in effigy, and we at HIS in no way wish to glorify the practice of burning people alive, nor any form of capital punishment. This is offered simply as an example of a British cultural tradition, exactly as it can be experienced on this night all over the UK. Many countries' customs have their roots in historical practices that we may be less than proud of but they are part of our heritage nonetheless. As British families, we use this as a chance to remind our children how lucky they are to be born in a time and place where they do not have to worry that they might meet the same kind of gruesome fate as Guy Fawkes. But mostly, like all of us at that age, they mainly remember the fireworks and the marshmallows. We hope this goes a little way to explaining our strange custom, and of course, that you can make it to HIS on November 8th, to join in the fun. After School Activities It was wonderful this week to see so much life in school after 3.30pm: for years it has seemed like this has been restricted to sports team training or to our English Language Program. However, this week was different; students from Kindergarten through to Grade 12 participated in cookery, homework club, manga drawing and kendo. One of the attributes of the IB Learner Profile is that students should be ‘balanced’, i.e. have a variety of activities in their lives, academic and non-­‐ academic, as well as time and space in which to unwind: a good activities program is one part of providing such balance. 2

Parent Coffee Morning The next Parents’ Coffee Morning will be held at Tully’s Coffee Shop – Chuo Dori Branch (3F) (near Parco) – on Thursday, 17 th October starting at 09:00 prompt. Following on from a request at the last coffee morning, there will be a presentation, including videos, about the Pamoja online IB Diploma courses that HIS has just started running for our students. The presentation will cover what options are available and what the learning online looks like. If you have any questions or issues that you would like me to address after we’ve had the Pamoja presentation then please e-­‐mail me at mexton@hiroshima-­‐is.ac.jp and let me know what they are: this way I can be bet-­‐ ter prepared and able to give fuller answers. From the PTA PTA からのお知らせ Food Service We have had a few parents asking us if the school can run a cafeteria: unfortu-­‐ nately, we are neither equipped in terms of spaces nor staffing. However, in the land of the bento lunch it should be possible to set up a system whereby lunches can be ordered for delivery to school. If any parents are interested in forming a ‘task force’ to look into this I can facilitate the group and provide them with the parameters under which such a system could operate at HIS. If you are interest-­‐ ed in being part of this please let me know. Main Points 今週の要点 l Family picnic tomorrow! ファミリー交流会:明日! l Halloween Event Sign Ups & Reminders ハロウイーンいろいろ l Halloween Bento Sign Ups ハロウイーンお弁当オーダーサービス l Costume swap ハロウイーンの衣装の交換 l PTA Meeting October 17 th PTA ミーティング10月17日 FAMILY PICNIC ファミリー交流会 Saturday October 12 th , Hiroshima City Forest Park, meet near the Insectarium. Bring your own lunch. See last week’s The Crane for details. 明日、10月12日(土曜日)10時から、広島市森林公園に集合!昆虫館の近くで集まりまし ょう。ランチは持ち寄りで。詳細は先週の Crane をご覧ください。 Car pooling may be possible. 「行きたいけど、車がない!」という方、連絡ください。 HALLOWEEN ハロウィーン Please don’t forget to get your sign up sheets in for Halloween @HIS on November 1 st . The deadline is Tuesday October 15 th . ハロウイーンの参加申し込みの締め切りは、10月15日(火曜日)になっています。お早めに オフィスに提出してください! A box will be in the office from Monday waiting for your candy donations for the Trunk or Treat part of the evening. Remember: we can only accept individually wrapped items. Thank you in advance for your gener-­‐ osity! 3

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