Today the Independence Day festivities continued with all of my school going to the town center/park for a celebration. I got to the park early and watched as all the kids from my school paraded to the park. The country we were learning about today who shares the same Independence Day as El Salvador was Costa Rica. The stage in the middle of the park had big cutouts of the national birds, national flowers, national trees, flags, and coat of arms of both El Salvador and Costa Rica. Here’s a little info about Costa Rica:
Flag- The blue, white, and red horizontal design was created in 1848 by Pacífica Fernández, wife of then president José María Castro Madriz. Fernández was inspired by France’s 1848 Revolution and the creation of the French Second Republic. The new design to the Costa Rican flag adopted the colors of the French tricolor. The blue color stands for the sky, opportunities, idealism, and perseverance. The white color stands for peace, wisdom, and happiness. The red color stands for the blood spilt by martyrs in defense of the country, as well as the warmth and generosity of the people.
Coat of arms- The coat of arms of Costa Rica was revised in 1848 and placed in the center of the flag. In 1906, when the coat of arms was modified, the updat was placed in a white disk on the flag’s red stripe, and later on an oval, set toward the hoist. The coat of arms depicts the isthmus between the Pacific ocean and the Caribbean Sea, with 3 volcanoes. The 7 stars stand for the 7 provinces of Costa Rica. The Spanish name of the country is scrolled on a white banner, and the Central American union is recognized in the blue upper scroll.
Flower- Guaria Morada (kind of orchid)
Tree- Guanacaste (called Conacaste in El Salvador)
Motto- “Vivan siempre el trabajo y la paz” (Live long work and peace)
Anthem- “Noble patria, tu hermosa bandera” (Noble homeland, your beautiful flag)
Capital- San José
Costa Rica's flag
Costa Rica's coat of arms
Yiguirro - Costa Rica national bird
Guaria Morada - Costa Rica national flower
Guanacaste - Costa Rica national treeStudents from the girl's school, the kindergarten school, the private schools, and the high school all showed up for the ceremony. The celebration began with the band playing a song while some people from City Hall and the director of the school walking down the center pathway and sitting down on chairs in front of the stage. Then the Salvadoran flag was paraded down the path followed by the Costa Rican flag. After that the Salvadoran National Anthem was played. Everyone sang along and the director of the school slowly raised the flag on the pole. I know the tune very well but I still need to learn the lyrics to the song. When that had finished some of the kids from one of my fifth grade classes took the stage to sing the Costa Rican National Anthem. I also know the tune of this song because I’ve heard the kids practicing it for the past several weeks.
Following the songs it was time to say the “Oración de la Bandera” which is the Salvadoran version of the “Pledge of Allegiance.” One of my third grade students got up on stage and said the pledge verse by verse with everyone in the park repeating what he said. After he’d finished one of my sixth grade students got up on stage and recited a poem about El Salvador. Once he was done one of my first grade students got up on stage and recited a different poem. I was impressed by each of the students who got up on stage to recite the pledge and poems. They all did wonderful.
After the songs and poem it was time for a performance by “Los Negritos” who were some of the kids in my fifth grade class. I’m not sure how to describe Los Negritos. I guess the name literally translates to “Little, dark ones.” Here in Berlín, it incorporates several characters from Salvadoran legends, such as Cipitío and Sihuanaba, as well as other characters like the Devil and Death. They are common at parades and celebrations, and they dance around with each while everyone watches. Los Negritos often try to dance with people in the audience, or they’ll throw flowers or confetti. Sometimes they try to scare people. It’s a little different every time.
To learn more about Salvadoran myths and legends you can visit my blog on June 10, 2011 called “Salvadoran Folklore.” Also, there is an actual dance called “Baile de los Negritos” that takes place in Cacaopera, Morazán, El Salvador but from what I can find I think it’s a lot different. It is a dance that originated with the Kakawira who inhabited the area of Cacaopera over 500 years ago.
The park in Berlin
Marching into the park
A poster with info about El Salvador and Costa Rica
Here come the important people
Now the flags
The Salvadoran flag being marched to stage
The Costa Rican flag being marched to stage
The director raising the flag
Kids singing the Costa Rican National Anthem
Reciting the "Oracion de la Bandera"
Gathered in the park
Reciting a poem about El Salvador
Another poem recitation
Here come Los Negritos
About to start
Doing a dance
Going to terrorize the crowd
Coming over to terrorize me
Dancing with each other
Not sure what this character is
Got to love the boys in dresses
Taking a bow
When Los Negritos had finished performing they all ran off behind the stage. This was the end of the performances. The band played again as the Salvadoran and Costa Rican flags were paraded off stage. The director of the school said a few short words and that was it. I chatted with some kids for a while and then went to watch the band performing over on the street. They played for a while, surrounded by a huge crowd, and then marched back to the school.
At the school there was some sort of drama competition going on. I’m not completely sure what it was for. I’m often confused and lost when it comes to things that go on at the school. But then again, I’m usually not alone. Sometimes no one knows what’s going on. I stayed for a while to watch some kids recite poems about El Salvador. After about an hour I took off for the house. It was a fun morning and I’m really glad I got to be a part of the festivities.
There go the flags
Kids from one of my 3rd grade classes
I love this boy's shirt:
"I said I need to see your parents...not you parrots"
People who have shirts with English on them
rarely know what the shirts say, so I translated:
"Zombies are after brains...so my sister is safe"
The band performing on the street
A big crowd gathered
Love the drums
Los Negritos join in the fun
Dancing to the music of the band
Getting ready to march back
Heading back to the school
My 2nd graders
Some of the teachers walking back holding
the Salvadoran bird and coat of arms
Pretending to direct the band
Back in front of the school
Judges and spectators
Someone from the girl's school performing
I love the little kids who performed
He was very dramatic
As was she
I liked his performance the most