This afternoon we celebrated Natalia's birthday at her kindergarten. She requested a Polly Pocket Hula Dancer cake. Sure, no prob. This is what I came up with... In my copious free time, of course!
Here's a close up of Polly and her friend...
Natalia was so excited! The kids started off by singing "Каравай," the game in which they hold hands and sing in a circle with the birthday child in the middle -- and he or she then picks friends to come hold hands and dance with him or her. I have good video of it, but I'm having trouble uploading it.
As an American, I just can't embrace this game... It automatically leaves other kids out, kids who might feel that this means they're not considered good friends... I can remember how many times it made Katya cry when she was in kindergarten... We just wouldn't do this in the USA! Here, however, it's completely normal and Natalia was really looking forward to it.
She surprised me by picking as her first friend the girl who has driven her the craziest this year! That girl has bossed her around for months, telling what to do, when to do it, and how... This week, however, they've become friends. I'm so proud of Natalia!
We then played games with our parachute; the kids loved it since they'd never seen one before. The other Russian kids usually have a clown or entertainer come for their birthdays; Chris and I just don't want to do that... I like homemade birthdays...
A nice part of Russian birthdays, however, is how the children all make "toasts" the birthday girl or boy, standing up and wishing them things such as "growing up healthy and tall," "all straight A's in school," "having many friends," "never getting your feelings hurt by other kids," "being happy," etc.
You can kind of picture these same kids twenty years from now doing the same with a shot glass of vodka or some champagne! It's SO Russian...
When we got home I assembled the cake decorations and they're now waiting for Natalia in the bathtub!
Hmm... Feels good. It was cheaper -- and more delicious -- to buy the Polly Pocket toys and make the cake than to order one... I'm thankful I can bake!