It’s kind of a cliché to say that every day is international day at a school like ours. Even so, many international schools around the world celebrate their multicultural character at an annual springtime event. International Day is an opportunity for students (and parents and teachers) to display their national pride and to share their cultural distinction through dance, song, food, and ethnic dress.
International Day at ICS was this past Friday. What an incredible pageant it was! It began with the all-school Parade of Nations, with students (and sometimes their whole families) circling the track in groups by country, all dressed in national costume. Then the flag-bearer from each country welcomed the crowd and posted their country’s flag. The choir sang the Ethiopian national anthem and “We Are the World.” There was an Ethiopian dance performance. Then the crowd moved to the amphitheater where students presented dances, songs, and poetry from their countries. There was wonderful food from all around the world for lunch.
This year there were 84 different nations represented. Students with dual (or multiple) passports get to choose which country they want to walk with in the parade. Sometimes for one reason or another a student doesn’t believe in this kind of nationalistic display; we had six students walk with the ICS school flag and eight more representing the United Nations.
Greece was one of the few countries not represented, probably because there is a Greek school in Addis which most Greek children attend. If Alekka’s second passport finally becomes a reality this year, she wants to celebrate that part of her heritage by carrying Greece’s flag at the 2014 International Day.