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Discovering New Cultures Through Food, Activities, and More!

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From March 27-31, BCIS held “Mother Tongue Week” once again as a way to celebrate the cultural and linguistic diversity present at the school. This special week has become a great opportunity for families to share part of their heritage with other members of the community. Some of the language-based activities held this year include the screening of the film, “If the World Were a Village” based on the classic book, the creating of name tags and bookmarks in different languages, and the sharing of books in a student’s mother tongue. The highlight of the week however, was the wonderful and massive undertaking known as International Lunch, where people discover culture through food! Karen, the PTA President, gave this simple, but powerful statement about the activity, “It’s always fun! My family and I have been a part of the school for ten years now. International Lunch has always been my favorite event.”

As is tradition, many parent volunteers graciously took the time to join in the spirit of Mother Tongue Week by coming to BCIS to prepare a lunch of mass proportions 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, Germany, Fiji, the USA, China, and many more were well-represented by the parents serving everyone that stopped by their tables, all while dressed impeccably in their country’s traditional clothing. This year’s International Lunch coordinator from the PTA, Samantha, stated, “I think it’s a very fun and interesting event. Perhaps because this year I’m the main coordinator, I am able to feel the school spirit more, becoming more aware of the students and community. Each of the four years I have taken part in the event, I am able to meet with new people, learn more about different cultures, and taste a little bit more of the world. This is definitely a great way to make new friends and feel the true essence of the BCIS community.” Parent volunteer Stephanie, who hails from France and recently moved to Beijing with her family, agrees with this statement, mentioning, “International Lunch is very important since it brings the community together. When my family was in Abu Dhabi, the school my children attended did not have an International Lunch day. Therefore, I know it’s a special time and I enjoy it very much.”

Mother Tongue Week has been a great way to promote awareness of the importance of one’s mother tongue, and the need to maintain its use at home. It has also served an essential purpose in acknowledging the diversity of languages in our school community and beyond. By sharing cultures and language during this brief period, the BCIS community has indeed grown even closer and stronger.

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BCIS is accredited by the CIS (Council of International Schools) and WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), which demonstrates that the school meets demanding international standards in all the areas of philosophy and objectives, curriculum, governance and management, staff, student support services, resources, and student and community life.Visit www.cois.org and www.acswasc.org for more information.

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation, motivated by its mission, focused on the student. The three programmes for students aged 3 to 19 help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Founded in 1968, IBO currently works with 2,771 schools in 138 countries to develop and offer three challenging programmes to over 763,000 students aged 3 to 19 years.Visit www.ibo.org for more information.

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