It’s the third Friday of August, the day six- or seven-year-old children go to school for the first time in their lives. It is a big day for the kids and their family. Most first graders go to school in traditional costume, holding their parents’ hands many of whom are also wearing the traditional clothes.
This year the school welcomed 40 new students. They gathered in the playground and sang national anthem. School principal called each student’s name, four at a time. The students got on a sledge-like cart and their teachers pushed the cart for about 5 meters. That’s the moment their school life began.
Chris and the filming crew went to the school early in the morning to make this important event to A Taste of Greenland. A crane cam was set in the school ground, having a cute small fence around, and a camera was put up on our truck for time lapse. At school, Chris met Julia and Bo, whose twin boys started the school today, for an interview. In the middle of the interview, the crew had to stop a couple times as there was a girl who was crying hysterically near the scene. She probably wasn’t happy about going to school.
After the ceremony, families throw a kaffemik, or Greenlandic social gathering that comes with lots of cakes, and coffee and tea, to celebrate the day. Kaffemik is held whenever there’s something to celebrate, such as birthday, wedding day, confirmation, first hunting day, etc. It is more like an open house. During a four- or five-hour span, friends and families come and go freely. The hosts usually don’t know how many guests they should expect, as to RSVP isn’t common here. It can be 50 people, or 100 people, or even more. For bigger events like confirmation, parents prepare the food for almost a week.
For today’s kaffemik, Julia and her family prepared the cakes and food for two days, expecting about 70 guests. And Chris decided to contribute with his scallop appetizer. Chris cooked the scallops again at the house the crew is staying, and went to Julia and Bo’s house to share his dish with their guests.
Here comes the tricky part: Loads of kids had their first day at school, meaning there are a number of kaffemiks going around in the city. It’s not surprising one person is invited to several kaffemiks today, meaning we do not know when the guests will be here.
When we finished setting up all the cameras in their balcony, it was around 3:30 p.m. Julia invited people to come from 4 to 8 p.m. so we still have some time. We thought we would need to wait just for a bit. We sat back and relaxed, having a cup of coffee/tea and some cakes Julia baked. But soon we started realizing that we might need to wait longer than expected. We ended up waiting for about two hours until we had enough guests to film of.
Video by Mikael L. Jacobsen
As the house got crowded, Julia and Bo became busy to greet the guests and make sure the food was not running out. “I’m so proud of them,” Julia said, looking at the boys hanging around with the guests. “They’re little kids, but now they’ve grown to go to school.”