Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Tour of the World in a Few Hours



     
My son and a family friend, who was visiting with us.  Our friend is studying in Oxford, England this year, and came to see what Qatar was all about--trying to "open his sky."

      What's it like to attend a school that comprises 72 nations in the student body?  My high school senior is finding out.  Last week they had an International Week where everyone was able to wear their country's clothes, bring ethnic food, and celebrate at a flag ceremony.   Because he is rubbing shoulders daily with students from ever corner of the world, I know his life will never be the same again.  For example, one of his good friends is from Sudan--a place that before had seemed so far away on a map.


     
There was a flag ceremony, almost like the Olympics, where the students carried the flag of their country.  South Africa was represented by two students--one was black, and other one was white.  I was inspired by the respect, courtesy, and acceptance that was exhibited as each country carried their flag down the aisle.  Everyone cheered for every flag--all 72 of them.



Every child brought food from home that represented their country.  Since I am Icelandic, I appreciated that my heritage was represented from the lone student from Iceland.
         

A Canadian teacher dressed up for the occasion.
       

Platters of rice and lamb at the Middle East table.
              

The Middle East table with an abundance of Arabic cuisine.


The little girl in the middle is dressed up in Qatari traditional wear.



All the kids dressed up for the holiday.


The adults even dressed up, from almost all the 72 countries.  These are Danish moms serving the food that day.
The Greek moms started folk dancing to Greek music, and belted out a few 'Ompas' to the crowd as we clapped to the rhythm of the music.

The Asian section where they were making sushi!
My other son at his International Week with our neighbor and friend.
     Maybe I will never go to an Opening Ceremony at the Olympics, but today I felt the world shrink as different, diverse peoples laughed, danced, and tasted one another's foods.  Maybe they should try an International Week at the United Nations this year....