03 Nov, 2017
10 : 00
On October 24, Yew Chung International School of Beijing joined in the worldwide celebration of United Nations Day, with students participating in international-themed events and activities, including a national dress fashion show and a lunch buffet with delicious dishes from all around the world.
During the morning, students even had the opportunity to listen to guest speakers from the UN, who spoke about the importance of equality and respecting people of all countries, backgrounds and genders.
Below, Iyabo Tinubu, Year 5 Co-teacher at YCIS Beijing, shares more information about UN Day, as well as how celebrating diversity links to YCIS Beijing’s own Character Education Programme.
Voices Inside the United Nations
One of the most impactful events of the day was during the morning assembly when students gathered in the auditorium to listen to guest speakers from the UN. Helen Hai, Goodwill Ambassador for Africa, began by speaking of her work with African countries in order to build their economies. She explained that when the United Nations works to help countries build self-sustainable economies, the entire global community benefits.
Next, Henry Li, from the Gender and Equality Department at UNICEF, spoke with students about the need for gender equality in societies around the world. Mr Li was extremely entertaining and had the auditorium in stitches when he told a story about himself playing with dolls as a young boy. Through the use of humour, Mr Li was able to connect with students and illustrate that we should focus less on adhering to specific gender roles, and more on celebrating the equality and capability of all people.
The Beauty of Diversity
Throughout the rest of the day, teachers organized other activities centred around celebrating the diversity of the YCIS Beijing community. Students coloured paper flags in the likeness of their home country’s. They then carried the flags with them throughout the day before pasting them in the foyers to represent the full collection of nationalities at the school.
There was also an international-themed fashion show, as both teachers and students were dressed in their country’s national attire, as well as a delicious lunch buffet with food from all regions and corners of the globe. The activities were fun for students, but the central message was evident throughout the day – the importance of celebrating the beauty of a diverse and multi-cultural planet.
Universal Character Traits
Finally, one of the students’ biggest takeaways from UN Day was that it reminded them of the need to respect each other. As much as everyone has their different ideas and beliefs, at the core, we still appreciate and respect the same things. This ties into the YCIS Beijing Character Education Programme – no matter what country students are from, traits like honesty, discipline and empathy are prized and valued.
When students saw their close friends and classmates wearing different types of clothing and waving different coloured flags, it caused them to pause for a moment and think to themselves about the differences and uniqueness amongst themselves. Yet spending the rest of the day laughing, eating and playing together, students paused again before reflecting further, “But we’re actually the same.”