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Tagore International Goes Global

 

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Breaking Barriers in New York

 

This October, four students from Breaking Barriers (our LGBTQI Rights Campaign team) were invited to LREI, a progressive high school in Manhattan, to talk about our pioneering work in LGBTQI issues in India. Jatin Kumar Sawhney, Tanya Roy, Tanya Bhardwaj and Shailja Kumar from Classes 11 and 12 spent two weeks meeting organizations and conducting presentations.

  1. They attended the national GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) youth meeting, where they presented their work. Everyone there was highly enthusiastic and supportive of the work TIS has been doing.
  2. The students met with GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), one of the USA’s largest LGBTQI advocacy organizations. GLSEN offered internships to our students! They also want to partner with us to increase their international work
  3. The founders of She’s the First, an underprivileged girls’ education charity, spoke to the students about their education work in India and Africa
  4. The students presented their work to the New York LGBT Educator’s Group, which wanted to brainstorm ideas on how to do similar work in New York
  5. As a special surprise, the students had an emotional question-answer session with Poorna Jagganathan, one of the actresses in the play ‘Nirbhaya’, which is based on the Delhi gang rape and the casts’ real-life experiences of abuse in India.
  6. The students also attended the UN Day of the Girl Summit, which featured speeches and performances on women’s rights at the UN Headquarters in New York
  7. The students closed the trip by participating in a school assembly at LREI, where they briefed the entire senior school about Breaking Barrier’s work in India.  

Apart from furthering Breaking Barriers’ work, the students also visited Harvard University, Yale University, Barnard College, New York University and Columbia University in order to learn more about undergraduate applications processes. They then toured Google and charity:water; the students loved the work atmosphere in these youthful companies! 

While in New York, the students stayed with host families and attended school, which gave them a real feel of life in the USA. They also did a lot of sightseeing – the students saw everything from the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building to Central Park and the Guggenheim Museum. Overall, it was an action packed two weeks in which they learnt a lot, shared a lot and made friends forever.

Six students along with the Junior School Headmistress, Ms. Preeti Chadha visited Konichiwa, Japan under Jenesys 2.0 Exchange program from 13 Oct. - 21 Oct. 2014


I, along with five other students and Preeti ma’am were privileged to have been nominated for a trip to Japan as part of the Jenesys 2.0 programme. Words are not enough to express our experience there. It was enjoyable, but at the same time educational. The Japanese language workshop that we attended definitely made us more confident speakers and we were at ease, having no difficulty in communication. The experience at Tokyo was amazing and it seems to me as definitely being a model to behold for a developing nation like ours. Japan, not only a mega-busy city that thrives on electronics and efficiency, actually has an almost sacred appreciation of nature. One must travel outside of Tokyo to truly experience the 'old Japan' and more importantly feel these aspects of Japanese culture. We each visited one prefecture other than Tokyo. We got a better insight into the Japanese culture and heritage which is vast and well preserved. The prefecture that I visited was in the countryside and I could see and experience the variation in lifestyles. We attended an “uso” painting workshop and had a chance to see and also have a go at two forms of theatre, “noh” and “kyogen”.We also had a chance to interact with university students, through which we realised that the Japanese education system isn’t very different from our own. 

The finest part of this trip was perhaps the home stay. It gave us an insight into the family life of the Japanese. We were treated with great hospitality and warmth. They took care of us as if we were their own, not giving us a chance to miss home.

At the end of the programme we put together our thoughts and learning and came up with action plans to implement once we returned to India, Ours included imparting knowledge on the importance of maintaining health and hygiene, proper waste disposal, better accessibility and most importantly to respect and take pride in our culture and heritage.

Moreover, this trip gave us the opportunity to creep out of our comfort zone and make many new friends, as with any other trip, it was hard to bid goodbye to our new friends. 

I definitely look forward to many more such opportunities to see the world, learn, rejoice and create many memories to cherish.

-Aiswarya Sunil, X A

MADAME PENG LIYUAN’S VISIT TO OUR SCHOOL ON 18 SEPTEMBER 2014

It was a Red letter Day for Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar when the First Lady of the People Republic of China Madame Peng Liyuan walked the red carpet rolled out in her honour on Thursday 18 September 2014.

The school has been abuzz with activity since the day the Chinese Embassy informed the Principal about the visit by Her Excellency to the school as part of her itinerary. The programme began with the welcome by the school Principal Ms. Madhulika Sen wherein Her Excellency was apprised of the close association between the school and its sister school in Shanghai. What followed was the demonstration of the virtual classroom, now woven into the school curriculum which had students from TIS, VV and the sister school mutually exchanging the cultural tradition of the martial Art - Tai Chi and Yoga.

In keeping with the spirit of Guru Rabindranath Tagore’s dream of a free India, a musical rendition of Tagore’s “Where the Mind is Without Fear” was graphically presented through three different dance forms –Kathak, Kuchipudi and Bharatnatyam. Taraana in Kathak style presented by the students was highly appreciated by the First Lady. The demonstration of the Chinese classroom by the Chinese teacher Mr. Tang Guangrong spoke about the extent to which the language has seeped into the mindset of the students. They were complimented for the correct pronunciation by Her Excellency. A Popular Chinese Folk song by the students had Madame Peng Liyuan sing along in unison. The highlight was the first lady herself teaching some characters of Calligraphy and the students emulating her. She explained the meanings of the four characters, the first character meaning review, the second character meaning past, third meaning understand and fourth character meaning new. What the characters meant together was - “ If one reviews what he has learned in the past, he will gain new things.” She added that it is always important to lay a solid foundation to one’s learning. She expressed her genuine wish that the students keep learning so that one day they could contribute towards their country’s progress.

An exchange of gifts sealed the bond. Her Excellency was presented with a statue of Gurudev Tagore sculpted by the famous sculptor and National Awardee Mr. Ram V. Sutar and a painting made by our student Aradhika Chakraborty of Class XI. The school library is richer now with numerous books based on Chinese culture presented by Madame Liyuan to the school. The program conclude with warm handshakes with the faculty members of TIS and affectionate hugs with the students. 


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Visit to Brown University, U.S.A under tGELF programme

 

Before the rainbow, comes a storm. Well, my journey to Brown was no less of a storm; an emergency landing, turbulences, missing my connecting flight and finally on the airport without a clue where to go. But as soon as I stepped into the campus, all my apprehensions were gone; I believed that this is where I’ll experience some of the best days. And a girl’s instinct is never wrong! 

My very first interaction with my roommate was like it is in the movies, all “Oh my Gods!” “Why haven’t we met before” to becoming really good friends over the course of two weeks. Something just clicked off the moment we met each other! And the first day was one of the best days, going randomly to people and becoming the best of friends with them! Ice Cream social was a cherry on the cake! And there on, the Main Green became our night hub, playing soccer, Frisbee to truth and dare; we knew our 9 o’ clock schedule way too well. 

Being handicapped in the case of directions, I lost my way more than once, but luckily there was always someone to get me back on track! I still remember when me and Ashley, once told the wrong directions to two guys and they trusted us more than their GPS. 

The classes were equally fun, with people from all over the world, each an expert in their own field and our ever wonderful professors. I think I was lucky enough to become the apple of their eye (surprisingly enough I even received a letter of recommendation from Brown). We learnt all about the global relations and issues which shape them, having presentations and talks with people who are like the best in what they lectured us on, to all the late night research papers we wrote! Our perspective on National Interests was totally changed after the course. 

The Perkins Hall (our dormitory) was where I think we have the best memories. All the pep talk from our leader fellows, to the midnight parties, the secret talks to completing our homework at 2 in the night, we did it all there! I still remember when my roommate thought that our room was haunted and started screaming in the middle of the night! Though hilarious now, at that time all of us were left open mouthed, with white faces! Calming us down would have been a herculean task! And the next day, everyone had a new joke to rely on! The meals were the times when we met people from different dormitories, courses etc., and well, there was no end to socializing! 

I can go on about it, because it gave me memories to last my life! But I remember the last day too clearly, when we all cried, even though a promise was made that none of would! Brown made me independent and gave me friends from around the globe. It taught me that college life is a lot more about discovering your life rather than walking on the trodden expected path!  I thank tGELF, my parents and my school for motivating me, believing in me and providing me with such a wonderful opportunity!

 

Kaveri Rawal
XII


Anjali Arora of Class XII went to Northeast Pennsylvania, United States of America for a ten month cultural exchange program in the session 2013-14

Visit by students and teachers from Lahore Grammar School, Paragon City, Lahore from 18 Aug.'14- 21 Aug.'14

Cultural Exchange Programme "Joy Dancing-International Children's meet" held in Beijing, China from 06 Aug.'14 - 15 Aug.'14

Sohini Chakrabarti of Class X-C attended the Columba 1400 Student Leadership Challenge 2014 in Scotland, organized by the Trans-Atlantic Student Innovation Alliance (TSIA), in collaboration with the Global Education and Leadership Foundation (tGELF).

Shanghai International Youth Science and Technology Expo 2014 held in Shanghai, China from 16th July 2014- 24th July 2014

 

July 16 was a much awaited day for us as it was the day we were leaving for china to participate in the Shanghai International Youth Science and Technology Expo 2014. The expo, which was held in Shanghai, had attracted over 8 countries and 12 schools from around the world. With our hearts full of anxiousness and excitement we boarded our flight to Shanghai from IGI, early in the morning at 2:30am on 16 July. It was not long when we landed at the Pudong Airport in Shanghai where we received a warm welcome from the volunteers who helped us with everything and a cameraman who recorded our every step as we exited the airport. From there we headed to the shanghai Open University where we were going to stay for the next 5 days. That day was pretty busy as we had lunch as soon as we reached the university and then head off straight to Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, the venue for the expo. There we set up our project and posters and then came back to the university for dinner. Initially it was difficult for us to adjust as none of us were used to have lunch at 12 and dinner at 6 but then we had to do so as there was no other option. The next day was very interesting when we attended the opening ceremony as well as exhibited our project- The Pre- Det Shoe to the jury and other delegates. The following days we were taken for sightseeing in which the organizers had done a very good job. We went to a museum where we learnt binding and made a book for ourselves. We also visited the Shanghai Orient Pearl Tower and saw an acrobatic show which was simply amazing. On the final day of the expo we attended the closing ceremony which was highlighted by the award ceremony and several performances by different countries as well as the volunteers. Our dance received many cheers and applauses from the audience. The organizers also held various games for our entertainment both of which were won by our team. After that we visited the Yuyan garden where we did a lot of bargaining than shopping. It was followed by the farewell dinner where we were served traditional Chinese food. The best part of the whole expo was getting to know and making friends with students from other countries. And so saying goodbye became a tough job. Although 3 days of our trip were still left, we all were very sad as we left for Beijing the next morning because bidding farewell to our volunteers, who by now had become our very good friends, was difficult. The schedule in Beijing was very packed but that had its own fun. For the first time in 6 days we had Indian food which delighted all of us. Then, we visited the silk, jade and pearl factory along with the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Climbing the Great Wall of China was a tough job but the view at top was worth all the trouble. All of these were spectacular sights which will be always remembered by us. In all, this trip was an experience that none of us will ever be able to forget when we became such good friends not only among us students but also with the teachers.  


Students and teachers from Ishiyama High School and Kumori Gakuen High School, Japan visited our school under Jenesys 2.0 Exchange programme on 25 July 2014

Visit to Brown University,U.S.A under Summer@brown programme by tGELF

 

Truly enchanting, that is exactly what comes to my mind whenever I reminiscence about my summer@brown experience. Since it was my first trip abroad everything was a point of learning for me, right from the immigration, to doing my own laundry, everything has taught me a lesson! 

Of course apprehension regarding how the programme would be like? Will I be able to make new friends? Will I feel homesick? Existed at the back of my mind but those thoughts soon disappeared on the first day itself! There is a different kind of atmosphere, filled with energy and enthusiasm at the Brown Campus. The students, staff and even the residents are extremely genial and always helped me whenever I lost track of the directions. 

My favourite part of the whole programme was making friends, with people from absolutely different cultural settings, during the course I was able to interact and make new friends not only from different, countries but from different continents. These are everlasting bonds and all of us are still in touch with each other over the internet. Another interesting thing about meeting new people at the Brown University, specifically my other classmates was that all of them were leaders in their own fields; each of them had an inspiring story to share. The story that inspired me the most was that of my course instructor, Ms. Cate Oswald. She left her home and life of comfort in the United States and moved permanently to work with an organization called Partners in Health in Haiti; her story left me in awe of her and has motivated my desire to work in the global health sector. 

There were a lot of different workshops, field trips and a challenge course for us during the period of the course, which sometimes did get exhausting, but in the end all of these activities really helped us in identifying ourselves as leaders and increased our enthusiasm. All the workshops were centred on the different types of leaderships, learning about the pros and cons of each type of leadership and in the end applying those learning’s at the challenge course and in our daily lives. 

One of the most important workshops was conducted by Dean Rose, on active listening. It was really an eye opening workshop about how most of the leaders are good orators but only a few of them are good listeners The workshop made me integrate her teachings into my daily life. 

Over the weekend, I planned a trip with a few of my friends to Boston, which was just an hour away. We visited the Boston common, Chinatown, Harvard University and a few churches. Again the trip to Boston has made me more independent and confident about myself. 

The last week was really hectic, with a lot more number of workshops and meeting the deadlines for the action plan but we sailed through it. 

The apprehensions had completely disappeared, but the sadness of saying goodbye to all the wonderful people I met there and all the wonderful experiences had taken place.

 Summer@brown will remain a journey that will be etched in my memory forever! 

I would like to thank tGELF for providing me with this wonderful opportunity and for guiding me at every step! 

Safina Amin
Class XI

Visit by teachers from our partner school Lycee Broceliande, Guer, France on 08 July 2014.
Tagoreans bagged Silver medal at the 16th Malaysian International Young Inventors Olympiad 2014 from 17-20 April 2014

Four students of class XI Sahitya Rajagopal, Shailja Kumar, M.Swetha and Nikita Arora along with Nishtha Ma’am participated in the Malaysian International Young Inventors Olympiad 2014 organized by Tun Syed Sheh Shahabudin Science Secondary School, University Sains Malaysia and Ministry of Education, Malaysia. They bagged Silver Medal for their project GREEN CITY. 

German teachers visited school on 15 April 2014
 
Ms. Shivanee Sen & Ms. Niela Hariharan along with nine students visited Pakistan under Exchange for Change programme from 5th Apr.'14-12th Apr.'14

 

 

This April, two teachers and nine students from Classes VIII, IX and XI visited Pakistan for an exchange program with Lahore Grammar School (LGS). It was a whirlwind eight-day trip, the highlight of which was the visits to two branches of LGS. Our students extensively toured both the schools, where they interacted with middle and senior school students, played cricket and basketball with them, attended classes, and watched LGS students perform plays and dances. Our students presented our school video to the LGS middle school Student Council, after which both groups became fast friends, with questions flying back and forth about the similarities and differences in life in the two countries. 

The rest of the trip was packed with visits to Lahore’s many historical sites and day trips to both the world-renowned salt mines in Khewra and Islamabad. An unexpected treat was our viewing of the famous Wagah Border ceremony from the Pakistani side. The group was delighted with the grandiose display; everyone’s cameras are completely full with pictures and videos! Lastly, one cannot talk about Pakistan without discussing their food and shopping. Our students spent hours in the various bazaars and markets of Lahore, sampling the delicious cuisine while buying unique gifts for everyone back home. 

This trip extinguished any misconceptions we had about Pakistan. We were feted, celebrated and welcomed with open arms. Some of the students didn’t want to come back! We look forward to many more such exchanges, where we can forge unbreakable bonds with our closest neighbour.