Purim in Katamon
Last Monday, I attended one of Bakehila’s traditional festivities for Purim. All the children of the neighborhood were invited. It is a big event, more than 200 children and their families were expected.
When I enter the Kagan center in Katamon, I immediately notice the huge drawings representing flag and famous place from all over the world. I am still looking at a well-done Eiffel Tower alongside the Canadian, Belgian and Australian flags when a little girl comes and shows me the Ethiopian flag just above a drawing of the Gizeh pyramids, on another wall: this year, the Shinshinim (i.e. Bakehila's service year volunteers), helped by the volunteers of the youth movement, invited the children to travel across the world.
Listening to the Purim songs the speakers play, I get closer to the “Antarctic” room: excited children are waiting to dig for a gift in a mountain of paper, which represents ice I suppose. Following a face painted little boy I arrive in front of the “Brazil” room. There, you can win something if you succeed in scoring a goal with the soccer ball. Next to the “Brazil” room, you can jump race in “Australia”. A bit further in the hallway there is a dozen of children queuing to enter the black flag-doored “Norway” room. A few minutes after, a boy in a shopping trolley goes out the dark room and describes with enthusiasm how one of the ShinShin scared him. Just after the “Norway” room, we enter “Texas” in which two boys are trying to put out some candles using a water gun. In the gymnasium, some children are enjoying themselves in an inflatable slide while two boys are facing in sumos’ costumes. Going back in the main building, I see some ShinShinim making cotton candies. All that reminds me the fete in my school when I was younger. One of the organizers explains me how to go to the face painting and creating masks workshops; indeed there is no Purim party without disguise! Some girls are adding glitter and feather on a mask while another girls whose face just get painted hugs the ShinShin who has done her make up.
It is still early when I left the festivities, and there were not 200 children yet, but every child I saw was enjoying himself.
by Aurore, Intern at JVP Community