United Nations Day at the United Nations International School of Hanoi is a time to celebrate our diversity. It is a grandiose and very exciting affair. Teachers, parents and students dress in their national costumes and wear their national colours. Our multicultural community unites in a festival of colour, smiles, music, dancing and delicious international food. UN Day is a time for dignitary spotting such as the UN representative for Vietnam, Vietnamese ministers of culture and education and national ambassadors from several embassies here in Hanoi seen mingling with students, teachers and parents. I certainly feel very proud to be part of the UNIS, Hanoi community.
However at UNIS we are also mindful that this celebration might cause a little uneasiness for some. Some of us may not necessarily feel we belong to any one nation or share an identity with any of the flags being waved. Some of us may have never visited the country written on the cover of our passport. Those of us who feel that way might be what Pollock (2009) describes as a Third Culture Kid (TCK). As Wikipedia states: 'One of the challenges of being a third culture individual is developing a sense of belonging, commitment, and attachment to a culture. These factors play a strong role in one's self-esteem and identity, and are especially apparent as present or not present among TCKs'.
This video documents an assembly which confronts this issue. Agu a grey piglet from Okinawa is also a TCK. He feels a little uneasy about where he belongs. He helps our early childhood students feel at ease whoever they are, whatever they like, and wherever they feel they feel they are from.
Christopher Frost, teacher, principal and curriculum coordinator