“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
SAI International School has been regularly conducting collaborative, inter-cultural exchange meetings with various partner schools across the globe, to promote understanding and respect for each other’s culture and nurture students towards becoming global citizens.
The school has been actively conducting virtual meets with Jr & Sr High School of Kogakuin University, Tokyo, Japan since Thursday April 16, 2020, to understand the lifestyle, practices, education, culture and many more of each other’s countries. In continuation with the collaborative activities with the Japan School, the virtual meet on Friday, August 28, 2020 was held on the topic, ‘Summer Fun’.
Summer activities are always of interest to the children and this week they discussed what festivals they celebrate, what special foods are eaten and places they go to visit while school is closed. SAIoneers spoke about two things including what they are doing this summer during the COVID 19 lockdown and what they normally do if they were having a regular summer break. They spoke about honing new skills in drawing, singing, dancing and even learning a new language. They also spoke about what they would normally be doing if there was not a pandemic, such as trips to see their relatives, outings with friends, celebrating Ratha Yatra, the famous Chariot festival etc. They discussed the types of fruits and veggies available in India only in the summer like mangos and litchi.
The Japanese students spoke about a few festivals, specifically one called ‘Obon’, where they welcome their ancestral spirits home. Families place offerings of fruit, rice, green tea, and lotus-shaped sweets at the graves or family altars. Paper lanterns are hung round the house to help guide the spirits home. Some families carry lanterns from the graves back to their homes.
SAIoneers made a comparison to the praying areas in their homes where they keep the photos of their deceased loved ones. Japanese students also spoke about a summer festival that started over 300 hundred years ago with a focus on warding off diseases that could harm the Japanese people. It was a highly enriching and enjoyable discussion.