International Day Celebration at Prem 2014

On Saturday 15 November Prem International School celebrated the annual International Day event. The day was filled with joy and laughter as the Prem community proudly presented their unique diversity from around the world, as parents, staff and students represented their home nations with pride.

Prem is home to over 150 boarding students of varying ages from over fifteen different countries around the world. On the day boarding families, staff and students were involved with cultural performances – both singing and dancing, preparing, cooking and selling traditional food and drinks whilst enjoying the experience of being exposed to over twenty-two different country and community related booths.

Boarding students and staff explain their personal account of International day in relation to their country’s display of culture.

Thailand

My name is Irene and I volunteered at the Thai booth. We made "Kanom Krok' – a traditional Thai snack made from coconut milk, and similar to a mini Thai coconut pancake. I really enjoyed taking part and learning this new skill as I have never made them before. It was a fun experience and I hope if I try making them again, they would look and taste even better. (Irene, Grade 10).

Many of the Thai boarding students were involved with a traditional Thai dance called the Fon Malai (flower dance) to begin the International Day event. The girls spent all morning dressing in traditional Thai outfits, followed by extensive hair and make-up sessions. The girls looked lovely and completed their Fon Malai performance to perfection!

Zimbabwe and South Africa (Jessica Wragg)

I represented Zimbabwe at the International Day event held at Prem. This booth had a combination of traditional South African and Zimbabwean delicacies and decorations. The food available included a very popular snack in South Africa and Zimbabwe called Biltong. Biltong is beef that has been dried and cured in traditional South African spices – this biltong was handmade by my father right here in Chiang Mai. Our booth also had the following food available: rusks: a biscuit/slice made with buttermilk, bobotjie: a dish consisting spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping. We also served cooked chicken from a 'braai' (BBQ). Our customers seemed very impressed as we had sold out by the end of the day. Just how we like it in Southern Africa!

Chinese (Shelley, Grade 9)

It was a great day and all the Chinese members of the community worked hard to introduce our culture. We were selling Chinese dumplings that are sweet and round in shape. Chinese dumplings are traditional delicacies that Chinese people eat when celebrating the spring festival and lantern festival. Chinese people eat them as they believe they will bring them good luck in the following year. Fried potato was also available and this is a very common food in South Western China.

On the day there was Chinese calligraphy – called “Shufa”. It is a very old and traditional activity. Using a Chinese writing brush people write their feelings on Xuan paper, and then hang them onto the wall or send to a friend. This is a way that Chinese people use art to express their life.

On the day our T-shirts had a golden dragon printed on the back. A golden dragon in Chinese culture means virtuous and honourable. This is the reason why the Chinese Emperor used a golden dragon as a symbol of himself. There were other traditional clothes worn such as a QiPao, the oldest dress, that has long sleeves and a beautiful silk belt. This dress is from the time of the Han Dynasty, and is what a Chinese woman would wear.

In the afternoon the Beijing Opera – a traditional Chinese theatre – performed. It combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance and acrobatics. It was popular in the Qing dynasty court, and is now regarded as one of the most important cultural treasures of China.

What we presented at International Day is just a little part of Chinese culture. Chinese culture is wonderful, and we hope you enjoyed it and we hope to bring more Chinese culture to Prem in the future.

Japan

Many students dressed in traditional Japanese costume and volunteered their time at the Japanese booth. Various Japanese delicacies were available such as flavoured ice – this is very popular in Japan and ‘Mochi’ – Japanese rice cakes. The rice cakes were made fresh at Prem by two very hardworking men who repeatedly pounded down glutinous rice into a paste. The rice cakes were then moulded into shape and served with a variety of toppings. In Japan Mochi is enjoyed at Japanese New Year and made in a ceremony called mochitsuki.

Germany

My name is Hannah and I am from Germany. I was really looking forward to International Day because I was very eager and interested to learn about other cultures. On the day I dressed up in a dirndl, the national costume of Bavaria. At the German booth you could buy typical German sausages, bread and ‘Brezeln’, a Bavarian pastry. The International Day 2014 was a great experience for me and I hope there will be many further International days in the future, so that many more students, siblings, relatives and others can enjoy that special day. 

Hannah, Grade 10

Bhutan

At International Day 2014 the Prem community was privileged to watch three Bhutanese dance routines followed by a vocal performance from Ajarn Sonam. It was a brilliant display of talent that entertained and educated the supportive crowd.

During International Day I performed a Bhutanese dance to the song Tharingsa. I really enjoyed being with the Bhutanese community here at Prem and representing my country and my culture to people who are from different places around the world. We all came together as a family and I felt really proud of being from Bhutan. Being a boarder you miss home a lot so it was really nice to eat Bhutanese food – Kewa Datshi and rice also shakam azey.

Leona, Grade 11

This year's International day was unique with a lot of variety in the food stalls and national costumes. I felt proud representing Bhutan and seeing others represent their country as well. Everyone enjoyed the food the most as it made us feel a bit closer to home. It was incredible seeing similarities in clothing patterns and food between countries. Overall, it was an amazing day and I look forward to International Day next year.

Pema, Grade 11

Stephanie Watson
Head of Girls' Boarding

 

 

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