“Embracing Togetherness”: ISA Celebrates Global Village Day
What is Global Village Day?
ISA held its annual Global Village Day celebration on 21 February. As an international community, with students representing almost 60 countries, Global Village Day is an opportunity for everyone to celebrate the unique aspects of their individual cultures together as a community. The event embodies the spirit of ISA’s mission to educate for international understanding as it offers everyone the chance to learn about different cultures from all around the world.
How Does Our Community Celebrate Global Village Day?
Students and staff are encouraged to come to school dressed in traditional clothing from their home country. From Kilts to Kimonos, Hanbok to Hockey jerseys, flags painted on cheeks and flowers worn in the hair, everyone is proud to represent their individual culture.
The celebrations begin in the ISA Upper School Gym, where students and staff gather for a morning of performances, followed by the most anticipated event of the day, the Parade of Nations. The event is screened in the ISA Cafeteria Annex for parents to enjoy. During the afternoon, classrooms throughout the Lower School are turned into “villages” which represent different countries. In each village, groups run by students, parents and staff hold different activities relating to that country.
This year, the Middle School Student Councillors opened the event with a speech which emphasised that ISA is a culturally intertwined community which embraces togetherness and celebrates a common humanity.
What about Third Culture Kids?
One question that is often raised is how Third Culture Kids, who do not have any strong ties to any particular nation, are able to celebrate Global Village Day without a country to represent.
During their speech, the High School Student Councillors offered us some insight into their feelings on this issue. They questioned what makes up our individual identities in an increasingly globalised society. They argued that while national identity is important for some people, identity as a whole is far more complex than nationality.
There are advantages to being “from nowhere” too; Third Culture Kids are able to view the world in a more objective way, having benefited from learning culture in a more immersive fashion.
They emphasised that while Third Culture Kids do not have ties to a particular nation, they did belong to a strong community; the international school community. Together, they possess a collective international identity. Ultimately, Third Culture Kids take part in Global Village Day as part of ISA’s diverse international community, celebrating the diversity of cultures from a unique perspective.
Cultures from all around the world performed for the ISA community this year. We were treated to a spectacular dance performance by the Chinese community. Dressed in bright yellow and gold costumes, they performed the ‘dance with 1000 hands’, to the delight of the crowd. The American community performed a hip-hop dance, while representatives from the Republic of Georgia sang a traditional folk song, accompanied by an acoustic guitar.
The Indian community had a colourful performance with a few different styles of dance, including the Bollywood style, which was a big hit with the crowd. Dancers from the Mexican community performed a traditional dance in West Mexican clothing, which included colourful skirts and decorative flowers in their hair. Finally, the Korean community choir performed on traditional instruments, dressed in colourful Hanbok.
Beaming with Pride: The Parade of Nations
This year, the Parade of Nations was walked by 420 students representing 52 countries around the world. Whether they walked in a large group, or as a single individual, each student beamed with pride to represent their home country and bring a small part of their culture into the ISA community.
The most gratifying part of Global Village Day is the celebration of community and diversity, as well as the hard work that is put into the event by staff, students and parents. Global Village Day is an important reminder to embrace togetherness as a community.
Written by Megan Amelia