Flavours of Harmony: Food Stalls Uniting Cultures on International Day

Student Intern Adele Chandler writes about the student experience on the day.

In today’s interconnected world, celebrating cultural diversity is more important than ever. International Day at IGS provided an enriching opportunity for the students, teachers and staff to come together, learn and appreciate the unique heritages that make up our school community. This annual event not only fosters a sense of belonging but also promotes cross-cultural understanding and respect.

This day was thoroughly enjoyed by many in our school community.  In the words of IGS Teacher and parent Mr Cameron, “I was delighted to observe my children’s growing excitement as the big day approached and mightily impressed to see how it all came together.”

Among the attractions, including exciting dance classes and art workshops, the food stalls stood out as a favourite for many IGS students.  These provided a delightful culinary journey, each offering a taste of the world’s flavours. They not only presented a feast for the palate but also a window into the traditions and customs that shape the unique cuisines of different cultures.

Food is much more than just sustenance; it serves as a mirror reflecting the rich tapestry of human culture and history. Across the globe, diverse communities have developed unique culinary traditions that are an integral part of their identity. The cultural significance of various cuisines goes far beyond mere taste, they delve into social rituals, historical heritage, and the very fabric of human relationships.  The food stalls at IGS International Day presented side by side the cuisines of many cultures, encouraging students to enjoy a diverse range of flavours.

Traditional recipes and cooking techniques are often handed down through generations, acting as a tangible link to the past. Whether it’s a traditional Italian pasta recipe, a Chinese dim sum feast, or an Indian thali, the taste and preparation techniques carry with them the stories and memories of those who came before. When learning about different cultures and sharing in various cuisines, students are able to fully immerse themselves in new cultural experiences, very different from their own.  Mr Cameron observed, “I have never seen such an event at any other school before, and I particularly admire the deep pride many students take in their heritage.”

These activities and stalls encourage IGS students to appreciate that as societies evolve and become more interconnected, the preservation of cultural heritage becomes crucial. Traditional food practices act as a repository of knowledge about history, agricultural practices, and local resources. By passing down recipes and culinary customs, cultures can safeguard their unique identities amidst globalisation’s homogenising forces.  By learning new elements of other cultures and appreciating the diversity among the school community, students have the opportunity to fully understand the importance of upholding and respecting traditions.

This preservation of cultural heritage was especially appreciated by IGS teacher Mr Mandrini. “I thoroughly relished the day as it gave me the chance to embrace my Spanish heritage, he said. “I particularly enjoyed seeing the children dressed up, their various national garments showcasing the rich diversity at our school.”

IGS International Day allows students to immerse themselves in a variety of cultures and they were very enthusiastic when sampling the culturally diverse foods that were made available to them. The younger students in particular took great delight in being able to share the practices of their own heritage and were also eager to learn about the other cultures in our community.  It was a wonderful and worthwhile experience for all.

Adele Chandler
Student Intern

For more from our students on International Day, see Max Nemlich’s story here