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They stared at each other for a bit … noticing how different they looked compared to the rest of the class. And then they turned towards the teacher who started the day’s first lesson.
When a recess was announced, the class ran outside to play in the sun leaving the two kids alone. “ Grezi“ said Chulsoo. Sami nodded but gave a blank look. He had just started learning Swiss German. “Ciao, buon giorno.” Chulsoo reacted instinctively. Sami shook his head. Chulsoo frowned and said “Hellooo.” Sami smiled and replied “Hello back !” Sudan was a British colony until 1953.
The two became friends naturally as both had darker skin than the majority of the class. There were no bullying or teasing, although kids are known to be innocently cruel. But at age 6, so long as there are plenty of fun things to do, every one got along well. Sometimes, they even spoke English when they want to leave the other kids out of a conversation.
Just before Easter, the class went on a field trip to the Bern National Museum. The second floor of the Museum is dedicated to an impressive exhibition of the life and work of Albert Einstein who worked in the Swiss Patent Office in Bern and published his Special Theory of Relativity in 1905. On a continuous loop were videos attempting to explain the Theory to the public. It was entertaining and mesmerizing for the kids.
Chulsoo was particularly struck by the printed formulae of the Theory. He had no idea of what he was looking at. He pointed at the greek and mathematical symbols and said to Sami “I have an old typewriter at home which can hit out %!>+ but it cannot do ∫∑√∞ like those in the formulae !” Sami said they looked like scrawls on the walls somewhere back home in Africa.