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Sun, 25 December 2016 20:35:11

International Day at ISB embraces diversity, acceptance

There'll be flowing Korean hanbok dresses, elaborate African kitenge apparel, colourful flags, and excited young faces painted, as the elementary students of the International School of Beijing parade through the hallways and stadium track.

Cheered on by parents, teachers, and older students, the kids have a chance to revel in the carnival-like atmosphere to a soundtrack of music from around the world.

This Friday, October 14, ISB celebrates diversity at its 24th Annual International Day. The day provides a fun-filled way for students and parents to share their culture and learn about others through entertainment, food, crafts, and games.

“Our kids are always very excited for International Day,” says Karen Fidler, a Pre-K teacher. “Riding their tricycles around the stadium track with everyone cheering them on gives them an enormous sense of pride and deeper appreciation about what it means to grow and learn at an international school.”

The last stop of the parade is the cafeteria where food vendors tempt the taste buds, serving foods from a dozen different nationalities—ice cream, sold every 15 seconds over a two-hour period, was a big hit last year.

Approximately 2,000 students—representing more than 50 nationalities—staff members, and parents will then have the chance to browse the student-created showcases set up around the school. Each showcase contains food tastings, games, and information about the particular student’s culture. Many students don clothing representing their home countries and cultures.

Organized by ISB’s Parent-Teacher Association, International Day provides important opportunities to learn about the school’s rich cultural diversity, and to celebrate these differences.

“Our students are growing up in an increasingly connected world where diversity of thought and cross-cultural literacy are extremely important,” says Tarek Razik, head of the school. “We promote these understandings at ISB by upholding global-mindedness as a core school value. International Day is a fun, festive way for our community to celebrate this value by coming together.”

Entertainment is one of the highlights with last year’s event featuring a Chinese drum ensemble, a bamboo-splitting katana, an Ethiopian tea ceremony, Korean pig wrestling, an American basketball game, and Indian henna hand painting.

“International Day is a celebration of the continents, countries, and cultures represented by our families,” says Cherry Wu, PTA president. “We have more than 50 nationalities at ISB, each of which enriches our school community and makes this such a special place for parents, teachers, and students.”


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