Embrace a global perspective

31 Jul 2020

Now perhaps more than ever, with our borders temporarily closed, it is important to be outward looking and engaged with the world – and Round Square International Week is a fun way to celebrate diversity in our community and learn about different peoples and cultures.

As ever, Round Square International Week began in Chapel on Monday morning, with our International Languages Chapel Service featuring languages learned and languages spoken at College and a thought-provoking sermon. In his address, Year 13 student and Head of International & Round Square Angad Vraich asked the boys to look at themselves, their backgrounds, and how that has shaped their lives and attitudes, and then discussed the impact of social exclusion, racism and microaggressions and suggested ways to change, engage with, understand and accept others.

“Try to gain an understanding of what makes you who you are and, in doing so, make others feel welcome for who they are ... Challenge yourself to be more open and accepting.”

At Monday lunchtime an enthusiastic group of boys gathered in the gym to have a go at Tchoukball – an indoor team sport devised by Swiss physician and physical educator Dr Hermann Brandt. With elements of handball, volleyball and squash, the fast-paced game of teamwork and skill soon had the boys running all over the court, having a whole lot of fun.

Good food is guaranteed to bring people together and the boys’ culinary flair was put to the test at lunchtime on Tuesday at the House sushi making competition. Using the finest fresh ingredients and traditional seasonings, plus some more adventurous and unconventional sweet options, teams from each House came up with their signature sushi. Teacher Steve Everingham and Year 13 students Jamie Yee and Ben Davis gamely agreed to judge, with their deliberations based on appearance, creativity and how they thought it might taste – and, after careful consideration, declared Harper House the winner, with Condell’s House and Somes House runners-up.

For a wider perspective on internationalism, Matthew Nichols Civic and International Relations Manager at the Christchurch City Council spoke at assembly about his career as a diplomat working in Paris and as an advisor to the Ministry of Defence, visiting Afghanistan, India. He outlined the exciting jobs available in the intelligence community and in large international companies and urged the boys to try to learn another language which would provide understanding and cultural perspective.

He said keeping an eye on the BBC world website, and on terrorism and global trade were important to maintain a global view of what’s happening in the wider world.

Lunchtime saw food trucks in Upham Quad descended on by hungry hordes, while teams tested their general knowledge and collective intelligence in the Chapman Room in a House quiz. It certainly helped if you’d studied geography, history and kept up with current affairs. The Flower’s House team won, with Rolleston taking second place honours and Julius coming in third.