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Today was 11 February. Also known as Fete de Jeunesse, the translation being something akin to Youth Day (Party Time).

I went down to the grandstand by the Mairie (Mayor's office) to watch the festivities. First, the national anthem, and a really, really long speech. Then, we had several Majorette groups (or minorettes, as they called themselves). Girls from 6 to 16 in matching uniforms doing somewhat synchronized dances. It was incredible (when they were dancing) and hilarious (when they were totally disorganized). Then there was a traditional dance/drum performance from the students of one of the local high schools. Then the parade. For every school in Bamendjou, a flag carrier, a sign carrier bearing the name of the school, and then many children of the school marching in lines, from smallest girls up to biggest girls, then smallest boys up to biggest boys. First all the primary schools, then all the secondary schools.

Let me tell you, Bamendjou has a LOT of schools. Some of the marching was more enthusiastic. Some schools sang songs as they marched. The secondary schools also had signs for their clubs. The Red Cross club had a plant in the crowd who fainted as they went by and they picked him up and put him on their stretcher.

Towards the end, there was also a Tae Kwan Do school who did a demonstration, and then the marching band of 8 finished off the parade.

So. Pictures!! (I took nearly 400, almost all of them of students marching. It was like a 3 hour parade).
Approaching the parade grounds... Jane's teacher friend, hand-holding, a legion of students.

National Anthem. That's the Mayor in the Background.

Check out the one-white glove. The one glove style is not only popular with Michael Jackson, but also the Majorettes of Bamendjou. Also seen: lace capes. Yes, please!

Traditional drums, pre-beating.

Dancers, with shell noisemakers on their legs and athletic shorts on their heads. No joke.

The start of the parade was the Ecole Maternelle, or pre-school. Teeny tots.

Teeny tots were excited about marching, even after standing around and waiting for half an hour. The kids here (mostly) have amazing patience!

Yeah, he's into it.

Kids on the fence watching the parade.

Other clubs included: Environmental Club, Computer Club, Non-Violence Club, and an all-guys Ballet Club from the Catholic secondary school.

Hoop-spinning, fo sho.

The sewing section of the Catholic vocational college. See, there is the pattern and they are all wearing it! I am not sure why the model is white.

Oh, gosh, what was a miniskirt on the other majorettes was floor-length on this minorette.

This makes up for the 400 marching photos. Cool, huh?

Til next time.