The weather matched the festive mood on Saturday, October 25 as more than 800 students, parents, staff and community members gathered at Tashkent International School to participate in the school’s annual UN Day celebrations.
The day began with the opening ceremony, held in the TIS gym and heralded by Uzbek trumpets near the front gate. The hour-long ceremony featured the Parade of Nations with more than 45 different nationalities represented by students, parents and staff members, many of whom wore their national costumes as they proudly accompanied their flag on stage.
The parade was followed by the TIS student choir and musicians performing an awe-inspiring rendition of Wavin’ Flag by K’Naan. The group consisted of students from both the elementary and secondary schools and was coordinated by music teachers Natalya Khon and Guime Odendaal. After the parade, several TIS students participated in a candle lighting ceremony with Stefan Priesner, UN resident coordinator in Uzbekistan and the TIS UN Day speaker. As each child lit his/her candle, they recited part of the UN Declaration of Children’s Bill of Rights.
With the ceremony finished, guests then proceeded to the main classroom building where they could “tour” more than 20 different countries which had set up displays throughout the various classrooms. Tourists sampled Malaysian sweets, listened to live renditions of The Beatles, learned how to write their name in Arabic, had their photo taken with U.S. President Obama, and created origami cranes, to name a few of the many multi-cultural activities offered.
Outside on the TIS grounds, guests were able to sample a wide variety of ethnic treats at the International Food Festival and shop at the various craft booths featured in the International Craft Bazaar, both sponsored by the TIS Parent Teacher Organization.
UN Day is a traditional event at TIS and one of the largest-attended activities the school sponsors. This year’s theme for UN Day at TIS was ‘Every Child Counts,’ paralleling the overall United Nations theme in Uzbekistan of ‘inclusiveness.’
Celebrating 20 years as an international learning community, TIS was founded in 1994 and is an International Baccalaureate World School offering all three IB programmes. The school has almost 500 students in preschool through grade 12 from 37 countries and will boast its largest graduating class next May with 43 students in the Class of 2015. TIS is the only school in Uzbekistan authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate programme.