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Apr 01 2019


Greg Choi

From March 25-29, a week-long celebration of cultures and diversity took place on the BCIS campus. Once again, that special time of the year where BCIS reinforces our China connections with the world has taken place to the delight of the entire community: "Mother Tongue Week." This annual tradition serves as the perfect way to celebrate the cultural and linguistic diversity thriving at our school. Indeed, this special week has become a great opportunity for our families to share part of their heritage with other members of the community, as well as learn about new cultures.

Numerous language-based activities were held on different days, as organized by the ES ELL Team. Among these were daily morning presentations giving by parents, teachers, and students from places such as the Netherlands, Australia, Mexico, South Africa, Fiji, Canada, the USA, and of course, China in the Theatre. Even our Head of School Julie Lawton took part and presented with the group from England, sharing information about their traditions and displaying their unique wit and humor. Furthermore, Grade 3 ELL Teacher Diba Kader gave a presentation (as she usually does each year) on the history behind International Mother Language Day, which is a day observed on February 21 that recognizes the 1952 Bengali Language Movement in Bangladesh, where she is proudly from.

Another activity that is always a hit with students is the creating of name tags and bookmarks in different languages as part of "Name Day." Teachers and BCIS community members from Bangladesh, Cambodia, and other parts of the world sat around the ES Library again this year to write the names of students in their mother tongues. A new addition to this year's event was the highly popular "3 Cs Photo Booth: Country, Culture, and Costumes" activity. As the name implies, students were able to try on different traditional garments and costumes, as well as get their photos taken as souvenirs. As one can imagine, many eager students lined up to be dressed in the outfits from various countries and look amazing!

Arguably, the highlight of Mother Tongue Week at BCIS is the wonderful (and truly massive!) undertaking known as International Lunch, which is coordinated and organized by the great efforts of our PTA. Through this, our community gain the opportunity to explore and discover international cultures through food! As is tradition, many parent volunteers graciously took time away from their busy schedules to join in on the spirit and celebration by preparing national dishes from their respective home countries. This in turn contributed to an incredibly amazing feast for all the students, teachers, staff members, and themselves of course, on the Main Campus. Special cuisines from countries such as Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Brazil, Australia, Fiji, the USA, China, and many more were well-represented by the parents and teachers serving everyone that stopped by their tables, all while dressed to impress in their country's traditional clothing. Overall, our International Lunch holds a very important place throughout the week since it brings the community together.Mother Tongue Week has become a special feature at BCIS to promote awareness of the importance of one's mother tongue and need to maintain its use at home. It also serves an essential purpose by acknowledging the diversity of languages in our school community and beyond. Without a doubt, by sharing cultures and languages, the BCIS community continues to grow even closer and stronger.