As an international school, IST has a unique environment. In one school, you have students, teachers, staff, and parents from all six continents, across multiple nationalities and cultures. While this might seem like a challenge, we have learned that it is, in fact, an opportunity to learn about and celebrate each other’s culture.
The epitome of this celebration of diversity is International Day. This is a day when students from each campus dress up in their traditional clothes or colors, everyone brings food, music, art, and other paraphernalia to showcase the cultures and traditions of their homeland. It is also a day, where the host country, Tanzania, is showcased and highlighted. Through the Parade of Nations, cultural entertainment and displays where students move from one stall to another, everyone gets to ‘travel’ across the world without leaving the campus.
International Day is inspired by UN Day. Like the UN, IST was founded by people from different cultures coming together to pursue a common goal. The precursors to International Day were UN Day in the Elementary Campus and International Nite on the Secondary Campus.
UN Day involved Elementary students dressing up in their traditional clothes, performing at the morning assembly and then celebrating through a variety of cultural experiences. International Night involved Secondary students dressing up in traditional clothes, performing their favorite songs, and tasting food from all over the world.
These events started as school-organized events, however as the school shifted more towards involving parents to promote community engagement, this changed. Outside International Night and UN Day, a few parents and teachers started meeting at the school, sharing pictures, books, and treats from their respective countries. As more and more parents joined in, UN Day and International Night transformed into International Day. This culminated in last year’s joint International Day involving students, teachers, staff and parents from both campuses celebrating 55 years of IST.
International Day has now become a regular annual tradition of IST. With the Secondary and Elementary parent networks taking the lead in organizing the event, the IST community excitedly look forward to International Day every year