“Praveshanotsavam,” the colourful reception accorded to children entering Class I on school reopening, marked the day across schools in the city and the rest of the district which reopened after two months of summer vacation on Tuesday.

The day turned out to be a painful experience for some as the feeling of being torn away from the comfort of their homes dominated over the grand reception accorded to them at the school.

At the same time, many others were ebullient on entering an altogether new environment and that too accompanied with a reception in which they were the centres of attraction.

The new entrants into the world of letters presented a mixed picture, with some smiling and others shedding tears.

One of the parents who came with the new entrants was Kim-Kun-Bue, a South Korean national. Mr. Bue said he was nervous while admitting his children to a school where everything, starting with language, was alien to them, but his fears were allayed the moment he stepped into the school campus on Tuesday, holding the hands of his three daughters.

The event turned out to be a pleasant experience for this parent and children who came to the Government Girls' High School here.

Though language proved a barrier for Mr. Bue to express the happiness and relief he felt about the friendly atmosphere at the school, anyone could have read his emotions from his face. While his youngest daughter Grace was admitted to Class V, her younger siblings Lidiya and Glory entered Class III and Class I respectively.

Undergoing a three-year course at NIIT, he would be flying back to his homeland with his daughters in three years.

Mayor Mercy Williams inaugurated the education sub-district level Praveshanotsavam at the Government Girl's High School.

She expressed happiness on seeing so many smiling faces around. The distribution of 150 cycles at the district level to girl students under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan was also inaugurated on the occasion.

First standard students were received with chendamelam performed by the high school students at the same school. Class rooms were decorated with festoons and balloons.

If that was not enough, cartoon characters painted on the walls smiled at them giving them the impression that they were in some kind of theme parks rather than in class rooms.

Television sets erected at the classrooms played cartoon channels with the promise that it was not a first day-gift alone but was to be shown later as well. Sweets were distributed all around.

The reception song given to schools by the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan was rendered in all schools in the district. While the lyrics were the same, it was tuned differently in different schools.

“All schools were asked to organise Praveshanolsavam but were given the freedom to conduct it in their own way,” Abdul Rasheed, District Education Officer, told The Hindu.

In most schools, classes were dispersed early.

More In: Kochi