Friday, June 20, 2008

Flying the Jalur Gemilang

Jalur Gemilang is the name of the Malaysian flag, and literally translated means Glorious Stripes. To mark the last day of school yesterday, the boys' school held a closing ceremony, with some performances, an end-of-year school bell ringing, and the highlight which was the procession of flags.

The oldest student from each country carries the nation's flag into the hall. May, my friend from Thailand said children look forward to a chance to carry the flag every year, and this year was the first that her boys had this opportunity, only after the other Thai families with older children had left Moscow.

Being that we are the only Malaysian family in this school, Brian and Sean were given the honour of carrying the Jalur Gemilang (The boys are Malaysians but Brian thinks and insists he's Singaporean while Sean has said in the past that he was English(!) and yes they will both serve Singapore's National Service when they turn 18). In total, 55 countries are represented in the school. Singapore's flag was carried by the Ambassador's son.

The boys are seen here at the end of the video. Brian said that when they were seated later, Sean wasn't well-behaved at all, asking for tortoise talk, talking while speeches and performances were going on, and smacking Brian to get his attention. How embarrassing!

There were tears among many of the children and parents, as quite a number will leave Moscow and the school this summer after having spent a number of years here. Brian and Sean were totally cheerful though, cos what matters to them is SCHOOL'S OUT!!! (actually, not really for Brian hehehe...)


bACk in GERMANY said...

That's really cool... The future of the UN is goes to school together! ;)

Lilian said...

I like it that the kids are exposed to children from different countries since young.

Brian's closest buddy here is an Italian boy who's lived all his life in Russia, and whose great-great-great-great (x?) grandfather was an Italian count! And he's still in email contact with his best buddies from London, one who's now back in his original country Argentina (Buenos Aires)and another who's moved to the English countryside.

In school next year, the children don't remain in the same class but are reshuffled all over again. I think that's a good thing, cos they'll make more new friends, and they'll still see their old friends during breaks and lunch at the playground.

Alcovelet said...

That's such a different concept of school than what we have. It seems all work and pressure over here with the socialization as an aside, while in international schools (at least at the younger age group, it seems), socialization is definitely one of the key goals. The local powers-that-be don't seem to think that we should become global citizens rather than just high scoring nerds. :-(

Lilian said...

Well, I have a bone to pick about the lack of emphasis on academics here too. I'm sure there are many international schools around the world that strike a better balance, this school just isn't one of them. I shall refrain from saying too much lest there are school lurkers around.

It's all well and good to emphasise that kids should be great communicators, principled, open-minded, have inquiring minds etc, but I don't see why this can't be done in conjunction with an equal emphasis on strong skills in core subjects like Mathematics and Science.

Anyway, I'm not a professional educator so what do I know eh?

Alcovelet said...

Think I must be suffering from The-Other-Side -of-the-Fence syndrome :-).

Lilian said...

It's okay...I suffer from that syndrome all the time...together with the other affliction, grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side :)