Bhopal to Berlin- Adieu Mayla!
Mayla is returning to her hometown Berlin, Germany taking with her fond memories of India and particularly of her brief sojourn in Bhopal.
This short term programme of 12 weeks from July 2015 till September 2015 marks the beginning of a strong inter-border, inter-country cultural exchange in Bhopal through AFS, which is one of the world’s largest community-based volunteer organizations dedicated to building a more just and peaceful world through international student exchange.
Billabong High International School, Bhopal which is strongly committed to the spirit of world peace and harmony hopes that this initiative will surely pave the way for other local schools in the city to follow suit and support this by associating themselves with AFS.
Mayla, the ambassador of goodwill for our country has promised to popularize the traditional sports- Mallakhamb, Kabaddi, Kho-Kho of which she was an integral part at Billabong. Naturally she also takes along recipes of delectable Lucknawi cuisine and symbols of Indian tradition and culture gifted to her by the Agarwal host family.
The rejuvenating Yoga sessions practised by Mayla under the able guidance of Mr Bharat will serve as a reminder of the ‘karmic’ connect she will always share with Billabong, the few friends she made here and ensure her health and mental well-being for years to come.
"The Sanchi Educational trip with my classmates of Grade 11 was an experience of a lifetime."
"I have two families now - one in India and the other in my native Germany. The freedom of thought, speech, religion that I was granted by the Agarwals will always endear them to me."
"Bajrangi Bhaijaan" and "Phantom" revealed to me the insane magic of Bollywood while Boat Club, Manav Sanghralay, the Birla Temple and food at the innumerable eating outlets shall remain an indelible imprint of my stay at Bhopal."
‘My thanks expressed to one and all in my own special way’...
Global Social Leaders is a transformational leadership experience developed by Future Foundations and the Wellington Leadership Institute that brings together young people from across the world who are driven to make social change on a global scale.
Anhad Mishra, a student of Cambridge ‘A’ Level programme was invited to attend the Global Social Leaders programme at Wellington College, United Kingdom, from 10th August to 21st August, 2015.
‘There were around 80 participants from several different countries like China, Kenya, Australia, India, Jordan, Canada, Germany, UK, USA and South Africa. The participants were divided into groups and my group was named ‘Passion for Profession’. I am quite proud to admit that this name was suggested by me because I believe that one cannot do justice to any profession unless one is passionate about it.
The activities for the teams were so designed that it taught us all the importance of teamwork and unity. One of the activities was a RAFT building challenge. A simple procedure was to be followed in which each team had to make their own raft and race. The activity required teamwork and co-ordination.
Another important activity was ‘Trust Fall’. Each team member was supposed to fall flat on his/her back from a certain height (an elevated platform) and other team members were supposed to catch him/her in mid-air. The person undertaking the challenge had to have full faith in his/her team otherwise he/she would never dare to fall. This was a trust-building exercise wherein the team members blindly trusted each other.
Another activity was ‘Serve to Lead’. Interestingly, this involved a presentation to hand out loans to the needy in Africa.
There was a surprise in store for me when I was asked to compete with one of the GSL participants in playing drums. He was an Indian origin American citizen and a good companion. Some of my friends had noticed me on the drums and my competitor was also a drum player. We performed for a full house and the winning candidate was adjudged on the basis of the cheers that each received. Thankfully, to my secret amusement and immense pleasure I garnered more cheers and support as people flocked in, to congratulate me for my extraordinary performance. However, it was nice to observe that there was no formal announcement made about the winner, so that there was no embarrassment and neither a sense of one-upmanship. We both remained good friends.
I was even invited to present my Facebook page FACE: Fight Against Child Exploitation: ‘Voice to make silent Noise’. It was received very well and each one of the participants and organizers present, was profuse in his/her appreciation of my initiative for this cause. In the question and answer session that ensued, people were genuinely interested to know what had prompted me to start this page. I was more than happy to share my thoughts. It was a platform to provide all children, an opportunity to voice their concern on matters pertaining to their safety and protection, while cutting across boundaries of country, class and creed .
I also grabbed the golden opportunity to interview children/participants from eight other countries and take their views on Child Rights. This will enable me to draw a parallel about the views of children from different parts of the world.’
World Scholar's Cup
On the World’s StageThe Ecstasy; the Exhilaration; the Camaraderie... all began at the Global Round of the World Scholar’s Cup held at the Bangkok Convention Centre, Bangkok from 25th June – 1st August 2016. Nearly 3000 students from 50 countries converged to participate in the event.
The World Scholar's Cup is a global event that attracts the student community from all across the world to discover their strengths and skills. Despite technically being a competition, The World Scholar's Cup focuses far more on bringing students from different cultures together to discuss issues and ideas relevant to today and the future.
A 9 member contingent comprising of some very promising scholars - Advaita Singh, Aditya Das, Afrah Sameer, Angad Kandal, Jaydeep Sharma, Kartikay Dutta, Nandini Taparia, Siddhant Rajoriya and Vaidik Lapalikar qualified to attend the Global Round after giving a stellar performance in the Regional Round held at Kanpur last year. They worked their way through the four phases of the competition which included debating, collaborative writing and competing in a Scholar’s Challenge.
In the words of one of the participants, Afrah Sameer – “Undeniably, the time we spent there was nothing short of magical. Every day was a new-fangled experience; time truly did fly there, summing up to exquisite memories. Whether it was our midnight hangovers from the exhausting, yet amazing day, or the impromptu debates that so often sprouted, Bangkok was unquestionably a fairytale experience. Nevertheless, each team did perform exceedingly well and proved so by winning various medals in all the stages. It truly was an enchanting moment and an experience that will forever be etched onto our minds...”
The students also attended a cultural gala showcasing the culture and tradition of their own country and absorbing the beauty and ethos of countries from all around the globe. They returned richer; in friends, experience, knowledge, not forgetting the 23 silver and 1 gold medal.
Displaying Cross Cultural Skills in a Globalized World
It was proud privilege for Billabong High International School, Bhopal to be invited by ‘Udbhav’ – Society for promotion of Indian Art and Culture to represent INDIA in 12th International Folklore Festival ‘SREBARNA PAFTA – 2016’ held at Kyustendil, Bulgaria from 28th July to 31st July 2016.
Eleven students participated in a three day long festival of Dance and Music to promote culture of India at International platform along with other participating countries - Macedonia, Cyprus, Georgia, Serbia and Bulgaria.
Three days were not enough to showcase the rich culture and varied dance forms of India but ‘Rajasthani Folk Dance’ coupled with ‘Folk Music’, fusion of three classical dance forms-Bharatnatyam of the state of Tamil Nadu, Kathakali of Kerala and Kathak of Uttar Pradesh and different formations with Indian Tricolour captivated the audience.
Deepening the understanding of other cultures and promoting International friendship and good will on the opening day parade that marked the beginning of the festival.
Showcasing attractive, skilful, vibrant and enjoyable free style folk dance of Rajasthan.
Taking pride in holding the school flag and creating a strong sense of identity with Indian colours. Connecting, enriching and empowering global community through their powerful performance.
Expressing inner beauty and divinity....Fusion of three classical dance forms Kathak, Bharatnatyam and Kathakali where each gesture seeks to communicate ideas and each facial expression the emotions.
The festival allowed them participation in new and unique experience beyond their own culture and community to develop understanding of diversity, build positive relationship, acquire knowledge and learn skills needed to be a global citizen.