March is traditionally the month when R.E.A.L International School, Cheras Campus holds its annual International Day celebration. This year was no different with the event taking place on March 4th at the campus’ Hall of Character. What was in store for this edition however, was distinctly its own.
Dubbed the ‘Food & Cultural Festival 2016’, it was a Friday filled with fantastic food, fun and festivities as students, teachers and staff alike collaborated to transform the school hall into a bright and colourful ‘international centre’ of sorts; with everything you need to know about the four featured countries of China, India, the United States of America and of course, Malaysia. Intricately-decorated booths were set up, with each representing a particular country.
Among those who were present at the event include Mr. Kenny Sim, Vice President of Group Corporate Resources; Mr. Joel Law, Special Assistant to the President; and Ms. S.P. Lee, General Manager of R.E.A.L Schools, Cheras Campus. Upon the arrival of the VIPs and the singing of the national anthem, Mr. Kenny delivered his welcome address and proceeded to officially ‘open’ the event.
In his speech, Mr. Kenny mentioned that the best way to know a culture is by tasting it. He continued by saying that for Malaysians in particular, food is a common factor that binds society together during cultural festivals and celebrations. Whether it is Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Chinese New Year or Deepavali, food is a great equalizer regardless of a person’s race or religion. The Vice President also noted how the event resonates with R.E.A.L’s core values of Collaboration and Creativity.
It was easy to see why too, from the diverse lineup of entertaining performances that were dished out from the get-go; which consists of a live band performance by students from the Art & Design programme, a traditional Chinese fan dance, a classical Indian folk dance, a Bollywood dance, a traditional ‘Zapin’ performance and a hip hop dance. There was also a hotly-contested ‘Best Dressed’ competition, in which both Primary and Secondary students came fully garbed in a host of traditional and superhero-themed costumes. These were showcased during a fashion runway-style show where the budding models ‘cat-walked’, posed and strutted their stuff confidently on stage.
These enthralling performances followed the ‘Parade of Nations’, which preceded the booth visitation segment where the VIP guests were given a tour ‘from country to country’ to immerse themselves in the multicultural activities, games and food that were in store. Apart from putting up the usual posters, flags, maps, photos, illustrations, as well as traditional costumes and games like hopscotch and carrom; some booths even went the extra mile and built miniature props such as the Statue of Liberty and Taj Mahal. The VIPs even a tried their hand (literally) at a game of ‘batu seremban’, a favourite childhood pastime for many who grew up before the days of smartphones and social media.
Overall, the success of the event was largely attributed to the effectiveness of the school in fostering the R.E.A.L Core Values of Collaboration and Creativity. This yearly ‘celebration of cultures’ had truly demonstrated the calibre of the RISS students and the experience gained will hold them in good stead, whilst serving as a springboard for success.