It’s April 1st. Which means I owe you all a very Happy April Fool’s Day or, as I’ve recently learned we say in Italy, April Fish Day!!
My knowledge of this cultural difference came from the bilingual kiddos I work with on Thursday evenings. We were charting out the program for our lesson when I brought up the end of March and asked if they knew what was coming up. They all immediately responded, “April Fish Day!” Being the foolish American I am, I of course instantly assumed they were mispronouncing “fool” for “fish.” But no, no my friends, as per the norm, my students are geniuses and in fact, they meant “fish.”
Being a naive ex-pat, I never even considered the various ways different parts of the world may celebrate April Fool’s Day. Apparently in Italian schools, kiddos take the morning to create the April fish and then spend the day affixing it to someone’s back. The goal, of course, is to not disturb the person whose back you’re attaching it to so that they’re not aware of its presence. Afterwards, the jokes and frivolity ensue. From what I’ve been told, once you realize the fish is there, you’re completely allowed to remove it from your own back and begin the task of plotting whose back to adhere it to next. Although my somewhat adult mind can’t completely grasp what sort of hilarity this “trick” might befall, my students assure me it’s both comical and awesome.
So Happy Fish Day delightful people! And watch your backs for any scaly friends that may appear there today…