Pyongyang’s June 9th Middle School is the showpiece school in North Korea and the reason for that is not really a surprise: Kim Il-sung himself ordered to build a new school in 1969 – on June 9th, hence the name.
Since we started to run behind schedule due to crashing an English lesson at the *Grand People’s Study House* we basically rushed through the June 9th Middle School, even past the painting of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il surrounded by children that decorated the entrance. Almost all the pictures I took made me fall behind the group, luckily my fellow travelers wanted to take photos, too, so there was always somebody else at the rear. Pauses were only made in class rooms. One showed the history of the school, one housed the an exhibit collection (for example taxidermy animals and eggs of more than a dozen birds) and one was clearly the science room, with two microscopes on each table; different models, by the way – and I have no idea why there were pencil cases on each table; one row for boys (blue), one row for girls (pink). Although there were some boys playing soccer outside the place felt strange to me. Well, it was past 5 p.m., so barely any school in Germany would be more lively, especially in the afternoon before a national holiday, but…
We were in for another treat anyway – since the school is proud of their education in the fields of dance, drama and music a couple of students insisted on performing for us. After two tourists were dragged on stage at the *Mangyongdae Schoolchildren’s Palace* I asked Sarah if this would happen again, so she told me about that school we would visit later during the trip… and I decided to place myself in second row again, making sure to have people sitting both to my left and right. A wise decision, because for the grand finale all but a handful of foreign visitors were dragg–… invited by kids to join them for a group dance performance.
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