Dear Teacher: extracts from a letter

So the Easter holidays are coming up, and we are planning a trip to Greece to celebrate Greek Easter. The thing is, Greek Easter is on a different date to Protestant Easter- one week later to be exact. So in order to celebrate on the right date, we need to take Aliyah out of school for a week. And in order to do that, we must ask for permission, in writing, from the head teacher. I think that’s absolutely fair enough.

Please note I don’t advocate taking kids out of school for the sake of it. It’s just that as I wrote this letter today, I spent time explaining the reasons I feel this would be a good trip for Aliyah to take, and that the value it will add to her life experience is worthwhile. I actually enjoyed writing it, so I thought I’d share some parts of it with you for today’s blog post:

“…..The reason I am asking is that my family and I are planning a trip to Greece in order to celebrate Greek Orthodox Easter. This is not on the same date as Protestant Easter – it is on Sunday 28th April. Easter is a huge religious, but also cultural festival in Greece. It is one of the times in the year that communities come together, attend church and reenact some of the key moments of the Easter story. There are processions in the streets and fireworks on Easter Saturday to celebrate the resurrection. On Easter Sunday, families get together and roast a lamb on a spit, outdoors. This is an experience that every Greek child has every year. I have strong and lovely memories from Greek Easter as a child, but my own children have never experienced this.

Members of my extended family have a house in a mountainous area of Greece called Pelion, and usually go to celebrate Easter there. This is a beautiful area of Greece. The village is called Makrinitsa (meaning ‘little far away one’). It is quite remote, with no cars going through it, a village square, one shop, one bakery and one church. It is a traditional community where Easter is celebrated all the more. This year the plan would be for the whole family to go there together, including my mother, her sisters and their husbands, and my cousins, who also live outside of Greece, one of whom also has children. I feel this would be a very valuable experience for Aliyah, in order to further understand her Greek background, and culture. I think it will bring the Easter story to life for her – which is also part of her background, and a huge part of my own upbringing….”

“…..I feel that this time away will provide an opportunity not only for cultural and religious education for Aliyah, but also for quality family time, and memories made that will last a life time.

For the above reasons, I feel it would be beneficial for Aliyah to go on this trip this month, and this is why I have asked for your permission for her to miss school….”

I’m looking forward to it all the more after writing this.