I’ve come to quite enjoy teaching kids. They are full of energy, have none of the hang-ups about making mistakes in English that adults have, and if they would just stop trying to put their fingers in my anus all would be okay. Yes, my anus.
It’s a bizarre, yet widespread pastime which I have never managed to understand. The kanchou, as it is known in Japanese, is practiced by children the length and breadth of the land. The kids put the fingertips of each hand together, in the manner of a small child praying, and then sneak up behind an unsuspecting victim and ram the fingers into their bum. Needless to say it is a bit annoying, but it is also, I think, equally puzzling that such an activity has gained such popularity. Who teaches children that trying to put fingers up unsuspecting people’s bottoms is acceptable behaviour? Perhaps it is the same chap that tells little boys there is nothing more amusing than to punch a man in the balls. I don’t teach at kindergartens anymore so these days I am rarely kanchoed. A young boy did punch me in the nuts recently, though.
I was sitting on the floor for an activity with two of my primary school students, a seven-year-old boy and an eight-year-old girl. I was sitting cross-legged, when the boy leaned forward and attempted to punch me in the balls for what I presume he thought was a great joke. Fortunately, I saw it coming, deflected the strike and told him not to do it again. There was no harm done, but this kind of thing has happened often over the years and I just don’t know how or why this form of entertainment passes from generation to generation. And why does the novelty not seem to wear off? It’s a bad thing, because one day a teacher less tolerant than me is going to turn round and punch a six-year-old as hard as he can in the face. And rather than feel remorseful and ashamed afterwards, he will shrug his shoulders and say, ‘Well, the little fucker deserved it!’