Thoughts on International Day by Allison Jaquier, BIS parent and Chair of the BIS International Festival 2019.

“Where do you come from? It’s such a simple question, but these days, of course, simple questions bring ever more complicated answers.”

So begins the thoughtful 2013 TEDGLOBAL talk of British novelist and non-fiction author Pico Iyer.

Such a simple question.

But for many of us, “home” can be defined in many ways — the passport we hold, our country of residence, or the place we remember most fondly from our childhood, just to name a few. The longer I spend in Bali, the more the community of Bali Island School has come to feel like a very important part of that which we call “home”.

This is why International Day at BIS has come to be one of my very favourite events each year. It is a day to celebrate our similarities rather than our differences, to share our cultural traditions and to experience the customs that are important to the friends we have made during our time here. No matter where we come from, for a few short hours on a hot afternoon, THIS is our home. And our home is a beautiful, colorful, noisy and tasty celebration!

Thank you so much to the parents, students, teachers and staff who work tirelessly to make this day a success each year. The student speeches and performances were amazing. The artwork was inspiring. The food and decorations of the 20 countries which participated were impressive and delicious! I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.

Bali may be just one destination of many in all of our lives. Thank you to our host nation Indonesia for allowing us to experience this beautiful island, and to be shaped by our time here, however long or short that may be.

Where you come from now is much less important than where you’re going. More and more of us are rooted in the future or the present tense as much as in the past. And home, we know, is not just the place where you happen to be born. It’s the place where you become yourself.” ~ Pico Iyer

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