NADINE HEGMANNS

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Very German

Wishing all first-graders in NRW a very happy first day of school - despite the current circumstances. Have you heard of the custom to give kids paper cones on the first day of school in Germany? Such school cones are not customary in the English and French speaking countries. When children start elementary school, German parents will fill the cones with treats, school supplies and small gifts to send off their first-graders – who, by the way, are given very funny nicknames, depending on what part of the country you live in: There is Abc-Schütze (i.e. first-graders learning the alphabet), i-Dötzchen in the Rhineland or i-Männchen in Westphalia (i.e. pupils learning their first letter, which generally used to be the letter i), while the word Dotz or Dötzchen describes the dot on the i.