At 10 a.m. yesterday, the conductor of the Israeli police force’s official marching band raised his baton, and his men began parading and playing a festive tune. They were followed by a smiling man dressed as a doctor and holding a sign “We’re experts at repairing the world.”
It was Eli Nechama, the principal of a Tel Aviv school that caters almost exclusively to the children of undocumented immigrants to Israel. And he wasn’t about to let his young charges feel left out on the most festive of holidays. Nor was the police, frequently feared by Nechama’s students and their parents: On Purim, all agreed, everyone should feel nothing but joy.
And so began the parade, led by the school’s first graders, with the band abandoning the march and playing “Despasito” and other hits the children recognized and loved. Kids born in Africa and in South East Asia, in Israel and in China and elsewhere walked by, dressed up like Superman and Spiderman and Queen Elsa and Snow White, unaccustomed to the attention they received from passersby. Some neighbors took to their balconies to smile and wave, and most shopkeepers along the parade’s route fired small confetti canons, each explosion causing the youngest marchers to squeal with delight.
“What, you’re giving all that away for free?” one passerby, observing the torrent of colorful paper streams, asked a local store owner, according to a reporter on the scene. “Doesn’t it cost money?”
The shop keeper grinned. “Look how happy it’s making the kids,” he said, shooting more red confetti into the crowd. “Because we made them so happy, we’ll have a good livelihood, God willing. They’re good kids, and we gave them a happy holiday.”
You can watch the parade take off here:
— ha makom (@ha_makom) February 27, 2018