It's September 1, 1999, and I went to school today. It is a solemn occasion. This day, the opening of the school year, is probably one of the most Important days in the Russian calendar.
The whole country pauses to take a look at its children. TV announces the fact. Radio speaks of it. The newspapers devote special stories to it. At home, Mama and Papa, despite themselves, are excited.
Parents came to see their children begin the school year. Most of the kids had been away all summer at camp. Now they were back - tanned, taller, healthier.
There was a trumpet call, some brass band music, speeches and then, the young students accompanied by boys and girls in their last year, went solemnly into school to which they would probably go until they, too, finally finished 10 years later.