On June 5th all the families and children of Ein Bustan gathered on the banks of the Kishon river to celebrate together the Shavuot festival. All the children dressed in festive white, and wore flower crowns that the teachers had made for them. Our new "crop" of new babies was very much in evidence.
We enjoyed singing songs in Arabic and in Hebrew, with Amir accompanying on guitar. One child's grandfather also played recorder, Amir joined him and together they had an impromptu duet. While they played, the girls spontaneousy danced, twirling their dresses around and around.
We also played some circle games together.
In one game, the teachers stand at first in the middle (an Arab and a Jewish teacher), with palms touching with the children forming an outer circle. They sing a song, which goes like this:(loose translation)
"Once there was a big house (the teachers form a "house" by standing opposite each other with palms touching in a "bridge" above the children)
And in the house there was a deer (one child goes "in" the inner circle between the teachers)
A rabbit came knocking at the door (another child tries to come in) and said: "Oh please, deer, let me in, otherwise the wolf will eat me"
"Come enter little rabbit, don't be afraid, let's all live in peace" (the child joins the teachers, now there are three in the inner circle, and they start the song from the beginning.) Each time a animal (child) enters the inner circle from the outer circle, until all of the teachers and children are standing in one circle. Each time they start a new verse, it is in the other language (once in Hebrew and once in Arabic) and the last one to enter is the wolf himself(!) who doesn't want to be left out and agrees to live in peace. When it's finished they all sing "Let's all live in peace".
After the games of course it was time for food! The table was heavy with many foods, both from the local Arab culture (such as stuffed grape leaves and traditional festive date cookies), as well as traditional Jewish food for Shavuot which include milk oriented foods such as such as cheese cake, salads with vegetables and cheese, cheese quiche, etc. A tasty ending to a great celebration.