Abstract / Concrete

In Finland, there has been in some schools a tradition according to which the kids of a school class can vote for who they think is the most fair & friendly student in the class. The most voted students will be given a plaster statue called Hymytyttö/Hymypoika (Smiling Girl or Boy) which depicts a head of a gently smiling child.

This word, hymytyttö/-poika has also been used as a nickname for (all too) well-behaving kids. The school I went was not participating in this tradition, and for many years I thought that hymytyttö/poika is only a nickname of certain kind of persons. When I first time saw a concrete statue I was stunned. There really existed a system for acknowledging friendly pupils!