Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Graduation Day in Jordan

Today is the day that all high school seniors are waiting for. It's the day the kids find out if they passed their senior exam. "What is a senior exam?", you ask. Well, in Jordan all seniors are required to take a senior exam during the last days of their senior year. The exam is taken over a variety of subjects. If they fail any part of their exam, they have to retake that subject(s) during the upcoming senior year...and if they fail the following year, then again they have to retake the subject(s) the next senior year and so forth. Even more important than graduating from high school....this exam determines which areas they can study in the university. It is not like the United States where you can choose whatever area of study that you prefer. This test determines which area they will study based on the score that they recieve. For instance, if they score 95-100 they will study medicine and if they recieve 90-95 they will study Mathematics, 85-90 will be another field, etc. (Someone from Jordan please advise me on the correct scores and subjects).

What does this mean to me? Today, all day and in to the night, I hear the whistling of teenages, honking of horns, fireworks blasting and gun shots firing in the air followed my car alarms and crying babies (including my own)! Gun shots firing in the air?! Yes, in Jordan, many people celebrate by shooting their guns in to the air. The streets are filled with teenagers driving their parents cars. They are hanging out of the windows hooting and whistling with excitment. They block the streets on either side making it nearly impossible to pass to the nearest store. Many have parked their cars and are singing and dancing on the edges of the streets. They will continue to celebrate in to the night by doing the same and having extended family members visit their homes.

Jordan, it is a country filled with life and excitement. At times I wish there were such a thing as noise pollution/control, especially on a night like tonight. Yet, they are having fun never the less and it is fun for me to experience them as they celebrate. Congrats seniors!

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