Sunday, February 27, 2011

International Day at the School - 18 January 2011

Our school had its first-ever International Day on Friday, 18 January 2011. The director and his wife had attended such a day at another school in Kyrgyzstan, and decided that we must have one too.

It was an excellent idea. The event started after lunch, and the whole school, plus parents, assembled in the room we use as an auditorium/indoor playground. Our preschool aide presented an Indian dance, which was amazing. You know a dance is good when 70+ elementary school students sit still for 5 minutes. (The preschool aide is from India and majored in Indian dance.)

On the wall, around the room, were drawings of flags for all the different countries represented by our student body. We were instructed to gather around our flag. Of course, the American and Kazakh flags had the most people. Some flags, such as Germany and Iran, had just one student. Beneath the Israel flag stood one 2 1/2-year old boy, a bit confused as to what was going on (and definitely wondered why everyone wanted to take his picture--he was so cute!)

Then, there was a mini parade of nations, as everyone walked around the room, carrying their flag.

After that, we broke into groups of 8 or so students per teacher/assistant, and we went to another building. (Our school is made up of 5 buildings--enough room for every class and activity, but a pain to move between in the cold weather!)

I was in charge of most of the 11-year old class, and we started on the top floor, at the Austria booth. Parents had volunteered to represent their country, and about 13 countries in all were represented, with activities and food from each country. We had ten minutes at each station.

It was a lot of fun, and even the 11-year-olds, who had at first been skeptical that this event would interesting for them, enjoyed it. We learned a little and ate a lot.

We visited Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, the USA, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, South Korea, India, Finland, Canada, Poland, Japan, and Iran. (And perhaps I'm forgetting one.) We got food at each booth. The students also had "passports" which were stamped at each booth.

In the USA booth, we got chocolate rice krispie treats (because they don't sell plain rice krispie cereal here). In Kazakhstan, we could eat horse meat. In Japan the girls tried on kimonos and we ate sushi. (Well, I didn't. I don't like sushi.) In South Korea we watched a Tai Kwon Do demonstration. (The kids loved that.) In Pakistan we ate the most delicious food. I have to say, Pakistan was my favorite country, the food was so good!!! Spicy, yet totally delicious.

In Poland we ate tons of home-baked goodies. In Finland we learned that Santa Claus lives in Finland. In India we got tons of free English-language comic books about Indian mythology. (Cool.)

Really, a good day. It was so much fun learning about different cultures, seeing the paintings, pottery, etc, and clothing on display. And eating the food.

The food, from top: Austrian goodies; horse meat from Kazakhstan; yummy Pakistani food; Polish baked goods

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