One of the fondest memories I have of my childhood years in a small village in Bulgaria is the annual welcoming of spring on (or around) March 21. I enjoyed the event not only because it could potentially result in a day off from school (if the date happened on a week day), but also because it gave us kids the opportunity to spend time in nature playing games and laughing in the sun. The best aspect of the whole experience was the fact that the entire school, including the teachers, joined in on the celebration. What child would not enjoy such a fantastic opportunity to leave the classroom and spent time with friends playing in the open? It was a true expression of being happy and carefree and this is why I cherish the memory greatly.
The problem, of course, is that I doubt such celebrations still take place in my native country. Playing out in the sun with nothing but sticks and dirt as resources fostered our creativity and imagination, but it seems to no longer be a valid way of entertainment as far as children are concerned. There are TVs, computer and video games, and a plethora of other activities to keep children inside so why would they want to be outside in the dirt? Further, I seriously suspect that if allowed to be outside in the open with nothing but themselves and their imagination, most modern kids would be completely bored not knowing what they could do to amuse themselves.
A big target in the world of human rights violations is the abolition of child labour anywhere in the world. The ultimate goal is to let children be children and enjoy their childhood not having to work fourteen, sixteen, or more hours a day. That is a perfectly sound goal, but a definition of enjoying one’s childhood needs to be included. Does this involve having a TV, and a computer, and a myriad of other technological gadgets, the only purpose of which is to focus children’s attention and prevent them from being unruly and destructive? Not in my opinion. If we want to let children be children, then we should allow them the opportunity to experience the world and not hide them from it inside, behind doors, and in front of some kind of screen. As an adult, I intend to do the same as much as I can!
And since it is officially spring time, what a better picture to acknowledge the event than that of a кокиче, or snowdrop, as I found the name of this flower to be in English? This flower signified the coming of spring when I was growing up and it only seems appropriate to include a picture in this post.