It was fantastic to see the efforts of the International Reps for each house assist with the planning and preparation of the Internationalism Dinner 2020, held on Saturday 18 January in the Lord Riche Hall. This year, as well as international full boarders, pupils who embody the ethos of Internationalism were also invited to attend. This included those involved in fundraising for international charities, those involved in the Model United Nations, those on the International Baccaulaureate Diploma programme, those studying A Level languages and others who have participated in Round Square exchanges and overseas Big Build projects.
There were 42 nationalities present and celebrated in the traditional national anthems part of the evening, where pupils are encouraged to stand up and be applauded for any national anthem they identify with. Andrei Lebedev, (Windsor’s) was on hand to play piano on the guests’ arrival. During the dinner there was a modern dance performance by Eva Verdonkschot Maganto, as well as a quartet formed by Maria Tan, Helen Matthews, Jude Leng and Alex Crossey who played ‘The Entertainer’ on violins and cello.
The student hosts on the evening were Noah Hermann and Hanna Pircher - 2 Upper Sixth pupils, who did a great job introducing the acts as well as speaking about what Internationalism means to them. Mr Townsend welcomed us in a variety of languages and our guest speaker this year was Carola Deflorio, an Old Felstedian from Italy who attended Felsted for two years in the Sixth Form. Carola spoke about the strong friendships she made at the school and how every year for the last six years, a group of 30 OFs all go on holiday together! There were videos shown of pupils and staff explaining what Internationalism means to them and social dancing at the end for pupils to enjoy.
A person living out a spirit of internationalism respects the need to preserve and celebrate national identity, cultures, traditions and heritage, while opportunities are sought to connect with those from different countries and cultures, exchanging points of view and ideas across borders and developing international and intercultural understanding. I like to think that the Internationalism Dinner contributes to fostering this outlook at Felsted.
Taken from the Round Square philosophy
Thoughts from those who attended:
The Felsted Internationalism Dinner was an amazing experience of the celebration of cultural uniqueness and strength. After the dinner, I had a newfound perspective on how we are all distinctly our own beings, but at the very same time we all share a beautiful human connection in common. This is why I thoroughly enjoyed the internationalism dinner, we celebrated cultural differences as well as finding a common bond of humanity that we all should cherish. Matthew Elliot, Year 12, Elwyn’s
Highlights of the evening included the grace given by Reverend Little, the speech given by Headmaster Mr Chris Townsend in several different languages and the national anthems of 42 different nations playing to represent the students. It was a really fascinating evening where we were able to see the differences and similarities between us and others, realising that it's just those differences which make us so special.
Elizabeth Luo, L6, Thorne House