ICE Day 2019
Multiculturalism is a term of great relevance in today’s global context. As more professionals become able to access opportunities beyond their home countries, they take along their families and unique heritage. This leads to an increasingly diverse landscape - one that is especially apparent in international schools.
Last term, AIS celebrated the 17th International Cultural Experience (ICE), an annual campus-wide festival that brings together the AIS community to celebrate our diversity. Also known as the “coolest day of the year”, the event was packed with cultural workshops, performances and food from around the world. From its humble beginnings as a small cultural food festival, ICE has become one of the most highly-anticipated events of the school calendar, as well as a major fundraiser in support of service learning programs.
The theme of the event was immediately visible at the start of the day, as students and teachers entered the school dressed in colourful ethnic attire. These ranged from rainbow hued Mexican serapes, a long blanket-like shawl, to the smooth, flowing fabric of saris, a silk or cotton garment worn mainly by Indian women.
The opening ceremony was preluded by energetic percussion, going into full swing when the Year 12 student procession took their place in-front of the over 2000 strong crowd. Each holding up a flag of a different nation, they represented the truly international community of AIS. This was followed by a speech by our guest-of-honour Ms Jo Tyndall, the New Zealand High Commissioner to Singapore, who then officially opened the festival.
A host of amazing performances peppered the festival schedule, with the majority occurring during in the Elementary and Secondary showcases. Each showcase presented no shortage of surprises, with a vibrant mix of music and dance acts. The modern K-Pop groups working the stage with their sleek dance moves, contrasted with traditional Indian and Chinese cultural displays and made for an engaging experience.
Students also participated in the many cultural workshops, to gain insights into the traditions of their peers and get hands-on experience by participating in unique activities. Ever wondered how delicious Chinese dumplings are made? Our aspiring chefs grabbed their rolling pins to learn the art of crafting perfect dumpling skin. The more artistically inclined dabbled in Henna, the art of creating temporary decorative designs on the skin using a plant-based dye. For those who simply wanted to move to the music, the Flamenco workshop taught them a thing or two about flaming footwork.
The highlight of ICE however, was the international food festival with representation from 17 countries. Those with a sweet tooth sunk their teeth into creamy goodness of Melktert, a South African dessert, or had a hearty helping of New Zealand ice cream to stay cool in hot and humid Singapore. The overwhelming favourite however, was the Mediterranean store which served up meze platters of dishes from all over the region.
As an international school, embracing multiculturalism is a key focus of AIS. Events like ICE brings our community together to gain a better understanding and appreciation of each other’s cultures. This celebration of our diversity will go a long way in helping students succeed in an increasingly interconnected world.
Simply register online to secure your child’s place at AIS.