Ett äpple till läraren. 先生に林檎。An apple to the teacher.

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大学脇で、突然りんごを貰った。お腹がすいているように見えたか、それとも将来さまよっているように見えたのか。なんでりんご配ってるの?と聞くと、代替教師を探している、とのこと。オッケー?どうやら、教員を紹介する会社のアドバタイズメントらしい。丸いプラスチックのケースには、会社のアドレスと共に、「相応しい人を相応しい場所に。」と書いてあった。教育を学んできたわけでもなく相応しい場所も見つかっていない私だが、差し出されたので貰った。お腹もすいていたしちょうどいい。彼に見せると、「スウェーデンでは昔、先生に感謝の気持ちをこめて林檎をあげることが習慣だったんだよ。この会社はそれをひねって、将来の教師に林檎をあげることにしたんじゃない」とのこと。へぇ~。調べてみると、現代っ子は林檎なんかあげないらしい。ただ、個人的に高価なものを贈るのは買収行為になるというので、クラス全体でチョコレートの箱や花束を学年末に渡すことが推奨されている。先生や家族などの身近な人に感謝の気持ちを表すのって疎かにしがちだけれど、本当は大事なことだよね。だけどやっぱり、言葉が一番、林檎は添え物。

I was so hungry and tired when I was about to pass the university door and a woman suddenly turned to me showing a plastic ball slightly bigger than a baseball. “Here you are!” she said and shake the ball. It rattled. “It’s an apple!” she added.

I was puzzled by the sudden invitation to the plastic protected apple and asked why they were giving it away. She smiled and said, “We are looking for a substitute teacher.” I was so hungry so just got the free present. On the ball, it said “Right person for the right place” and the company’s website address. It was probably an advertisement for students studying education, but even I, who don’t study to become a teacher and don’t know my right place, could get it:p I might become a teacher someday, who knows?

“Long time ago, students gave an apple to the teacher to show gratitude. Thanking in advance, the company was giving the apple to you” my boyfriend commented on the free ball.

According to an article I read, the tradition of giving teachers presents in the end of the school year still alive in Sweden. But it is getting problematic to give and receive expensive and private presents as it can be considered as a bribe. A chocolate box or a bouquet from the whole classroom is better (Lindén).

I never heard such custom in Japan, but showing gratitude to someone close to you is very important. And I think the best present is the word, the apple is just a garnish.

Source: Lindén David. Ett äpple till läraren är definitivt inte en muta. 9 jun. http://www.na.se/opinion/ledare/ett-apple-till-lararen-ar-definitivt-inte-en-muta

 

 

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