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Tagore International Goes Global

 

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Ms. Shivanee Sen & Ms. Niela Hariharan along with nine students visited Pakistan under Exchange for Change programme from 5th Apr.'14-12th Apr.'14
 

Tagorean for a Year, Tagorean always
Elise came to our school as an exchange student from Norway. She writes about her year ….

When I think back at the girl that stood in front of the gate in Paschimi Marg I see a different person. I see an insecure and scared girl, excited for this new adventure that she has been crazy enough to sign up for. I am not the same person today. I see a girl with more confidence, positivity in her mind and knowledge about things that you can never gain by just sitting in the back of a classroom. And this is all because of the experiences I gained while being a Tagorean...

If you have never been into an Indian classroom before, you will have no idea what I am talking about when I say it is loud. At times I could just sit on my chair in the back of my classroom and stare at the crazy people of my batch, and it could easily be compared with a zoo… I feel sorry for the teachers that have to deal with these monkeys every single day.

If I were going to say something about the education system, I would not even know where to start. The never-ending syllabus, the way of (not) giving marks, the memorizing, the strictness, the uniform and everything that can describe my life as an Indian student can not be described with words. It is impossible for me to compare these two totally different systems of India and Norway, so I will not do that. But it has been such a great experience for me to see how hard the students are working to fulfil their dreams. They have all my admiration, and I will bring this with me back to Norway to accomplish my goals too.

The value of respect for other people, and elders in particular is something that have been a big part of this year. My relationship with my teachers in Norway was a lot less formal, and when I came to India it was a huge transition. Respect is also used in different ways, according to the relation of the person you are in contact with, and think can lead to confusion for an outsider. Your teachers and any elder to you should the addressed as ‘Ma’am’ or ‘Sir’, but this is not the only unwritten rule. If the elder person is not in a formal relation with you, you should call them ‘Auntie’ or ‘Uncle. If you mess this up, you will face some very awkward situations. Thankfully I have never made the mistake of calling one of my teachers ‘Auntie’...


Apart from school, I have also had some wonderful experiences with India. I was lucky enough to be able to live with a host family for ten months, and I am so grateful that the school arranged this for me. My host sister was also my classmate, and she took so good care of me throughout the whole year. With my family I have seen parts of India that I would never have gone to myself, and they have shown me all the love and care that an Indian family can have.

I want to thank all the students for accepting me in their family, and I will always be a proud Tagorean. I will miss my getting up in the morning and dressing up in my uniform, even though I am happy to finally be through with this year of cultureshock. I will most definitely not miss the scolding and all the submitting of notebooks. Last, but not least I thank the wonderful students and teachers that have been there for me through the past year, I will miss you all.


Yours sincerely
A Proud Tagorean,
Elise Opdahl Knutsen
XI-B 13/14


Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes – Henry David Thoreau

Exchange programme with South Korea under RCE Delhi

Principal and teachers from schools in U.K interacted with students under T-GELF programme on 17 Feb.'14

 Visit by delegates from Shanghai, China & our partner school-- Jinyuan Sr. High School on 26 December 2013

 Visit by delegates from Shanghai Peoples' Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries(SPAFFC) on 09 December 2013

 Indo-China Cultural Exchange Programme

As a step forward to the ongoing exchange programme with China, the students of Class VI got a golden opportunity to learn two traditional dance forms of China. The experts from the Chinese delegation that visited the school introduced the two dance forms-Yangge and Yaogu to the students. In colloquial terms these are known as the Fan Dance and the Drum Dance. During the three day session, the students were divided into two groups and each group learnt one dance form. Ms Zhang Huichun taught the Fan Dance with the beautiful red coloured traditional fans that required to be opened and moved in coordination. The fans and the body movements in cohesion brought out the grace and poise that is integral to this dance form. The Drum Dance was taught by Ms Niu Fang. The brightly decorated drums were tied to the necks and were to be used along with the music. The students thoroughly enjoyed learning and performing the two dance forms. It was a good first hand learning experience for the students.

 OVERCOMING BORDERS: CELEBRATING INDO-JAPAN RELATIONS

Throughout history, India–Japan relations have traditionally been strong. For centuries, India and Japan have engaged in cultural exchanges. Infact, the year 2007 was officially declared as the “India-Japan Friendship Year”. Celebrating this century - long culture, Namaste Chorus Club, a popular Japenese choir, performed in the premises of Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar on the 5th of October. Speaking different, the Namaste Chorus Club indeed left all awed with their beat.

The event began with a performance by four members of the choir, who delivered a rather mesmerizing piece of jazz. Students were amazed on hearing the group introduce themselves in Hindi. This was proceeded by a group performance by the choir. Students were amazed by their sense of rhythm, which seemed as if the music advanced like the flow of a river, slow but smooth. It carried everyone along in its flow, leaving all swaying to the lilting music. Later popular English songs, Japenese songs and pop songs were presented. But most astonishing was the Hindi song. “Hum Honge Kamiyaab”. Everyone, teachers and students, joined in. The event concluded with the Principal, Mrs. Madhulika Sen, presenting each guest with a token of appreciation.
The event was a small step that could help both the nations overcome language barriers, and could lead to a healthy relationship between the two countries.
Shrishti Gupta
Class VIII B 

 Visit by students & teachers from various schools in Pakistan under Physical Exchange for Change Programme  on 11th Sep.'13

 Visit by students and teachers from DA QIAO Primary school, Singapore on 10 September 2013

 Visit to Pakistan under Exchange for Change Programme from 2 Sep. – 9 Sep.’13

What began as an exchange through letters and postcards of cultures and ideas across borders, with students of some schools in Pakistan, culminated a year later with an actual exchange programme for a select six students of Tagore International School Vasant Vihar.  Under the Exchange for Change programme initiated by a Delhi NGO, Routes 2 Routes (R2R) and the Citizens’ Archive of Pakistan (CAP), the students, along with the Principal, Ms. Madhulika Sen were selected to visit Pakistan.

After crossing the Wagah border on foot, the students were witness to the scenic beauty of the country. The rich history, culture and heritage of the country surprised them beyond expectations. Along with other delegations from Mumbai and Chandigarh, visits to forts, mausoleums, mosques, museums and also the partner schools, made the visit memorable. The shopping to the best of places was the icing on the cake. 
Besides Lahore, the students visited the capital city of Islamabad where they got to see all the administrative buildings of the country, like the Parliament. The cleanliness of the city and the green hills surrounding it added to its charm. 
The amazing hospitality and the welcoming nature of the people made the stay in Pakistan comfortable and enjoyable to all.
As a sequel to the visit to Pakistan, delegations from the partner schools in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore are on their tour of India. On their visit to the school, they were extended a warm welcome, with a hope that their visit to Delhi would be as enlightening and enjoyable as the Indian students’ visit was to their country!

- Sohini Chakrabarti (IX-'C') 

 International Cultural Exchange Programme "Joy Dancing Beijing" held in China from 6 Aug.'13 - 10 Aug.'13

To improve international cultural communication among children, to build the bridge of friendship among children from all over the world, to show the talent of children, to provide foreign children an opportunity to walk into and experience Beijing, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and China Education Television Association and Beijing Municipal Committee of the Communist Youth League and Foreign Affairs office of the people’s Government of Beijing Municipality co-hosted “Joy Dancing Beijing”- Global Grand Gathering of Boys and Girls, from 06 Aug.’13 to 10 Aug.’13.

Youth delegations from over 10 countries participated in the festival. Thirteen students and two teachers of our school participated in this festival. Our students performed ‘Dholna’ a Rajasthani folk dance and ‘Taraana’ in Kathak. They were awarded the gold medal for their enchanting dances and exquisite costumes. They also visited the Forbidden City, the Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall, the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube Station and of course shopped a lot.

 Calligraphy, Tai Chi and Mulan Fan Dance classes conducted by teachers from Jinyuan Sr. High School, Shanghai, China

Four teachers from Shanghai Jinyuan Senior High, China visited our school for a fortnight in August on a specific mission. The idea was to take the existing virtual class program into the contact mode. They taught our students higher levels of Tai-chi, Calligraphy and MuLan Fan Dancing, something they had been learning through virtual classes over the last few years.

The students presented their learning before the Cultural Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy, who applauded the efforts of the two schools to pull down walls between the two countries by introducing their cultural nuances to each other.

The teachers were “appreciative” of the learning attitude of Indian students and their respectfulness to teachers. They also were “amazed” by the wonders Delhi, Agra and Jaipur had to offer. Their parting sentiment was that they were sorry they had only fifteen days here; and that they would definitely like to return.

 Trip to the USA from 2 June – 13 June 2013

Twelve students along with Ms. Nishtha Mahendru, TGT Science, were a part of a delegation that visited New York and the hub of technology and discovery, Kennedy Space Centre, Orlando, USA. The trip was organised by SPACE.

It all began with a two day stay at the city of skyscrapers- New York. The Statue of Liberty, the twin towers, ground Zero, Fashion Street, Times Square and Central park were the places visited there. They also travelled in metros and walked long distances. During their five day stay in Orlando, the students visited Universal Studios, Disney world, the famous cocoa beach, Apollo Saturn V Centre and Florida mall. The various rides like the roller coasters and various water rides in Disney world and Universal Studios made it a fun and enjoyable experience. Also the shopping sprees at the very famous Wal-mart and Florida Mall added to the excitement.
The icing on the cake was the three day training program at NASA. The visit gave them an opportunity to be addressed by veteran NASA astronaut, Mr. Joh Balah. He spoke about his experiences and journey with NASA. The students then interacted closely with him over lunch. They also got an opportunity to tour up close NASA’s launch and landing facilities, experience interactive simulators where they were trained to be astronauts in the simulators room, enjoy live shows and have jaw-dropping encounters with massive rockets. It was all what the students could expect from an inspiring day at the Kennedy Space Center. The trip ended with an unforgettable view of the Niagara Falls.
Over all it was a wonderful and amazing trip with a perfect blend of education and fun where the students learned valuable life skills. NASA especially motivated them to choose a career as astronauts. 

 Tagoreans win accolades at ‘World Scholar’s Cup’ Global Round ’13 at Dubai from 20–23 June 2013

Six students from class XI and XII of Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar had the unique opportunity to participate and compete with over 1000 scholars from over 30 countries in the ‘World Scholar’s Cup’ Global Round 2013 held at Dubai.  Their exemplary performance at The World Scholar's Cup in December 2012 had qualified them for the Global Round in Dubai this year which was from 20-23 June The junior team included Kaveri Rawal, Swasti Acharya and Tanaya Yadav while the senior team consisted of Amlan Panda, Sanya Chhikara and Raghav Mehndiratta. They were accompanied by Ms Anuradha Rao, TGT, Math.


The event commenced on the 20th June 2013 with the Scavenger Hunt at the Dubai Mall and the Scholar’s World Social followed by the competitive events. The participating team from Tagore International were winners in all team as well as individual events. Kaveri Rawal from the Junior Team won the overall Best Scholar Runners Up trophy. Raghav Mendiratta and Swasti Acharya also earned the award for the Highest Team Scorer(s). Amlan Panda and Sanya Chhikara from the Senior team received Best Scholar Honorable Mentions. Raghav Mendiratta was also a part of the winning three member debate team and among the Top 10 Best Debaters in the Individual Category. The event finally culminated with the Talent Showcase and Awards Gala on the 24th June. The school’s participating team did the school proud by winning five out of six debates (3/3 won by the Junior Team and 2/3 won by the Senior team).

A desert safari and a Scholar’s Ball (nicknamed ‘Nerd Prom’) organized by the WSC at JW Marriot Marquis was thoroughly enjoyed by the students. It was an amazing experience for all the students as they got to meet over 1600 students from more than 20 countries. It was truly a global experience. 

 Junior School Headmistress, Ms. Preeti Chadha and Ms.Meena Nagpal along with eight students visited Middle School Attached to Shandong University, Jinan Province, China under teachers' exchange programme in May 2013

“Travel is rich with learning opportunities, and the ultimate souvenir is a broader perspective.” ― Rick Steves
We were too excited to sleep in the flight on our way to China and little did we know that there was a long day ahead. We travelled the whole day, first from Delhi to Shanghai, then we had a flight from Shanghai to Beijing and then a train from Beijing to Jinan! Oh my! A tiring day it was and it was only our excitement to meet our host families that kept us going. We had no clue as to who would be our host. We reached the school around 9 in the evening. Our host families were waiting there for us. As soon as we got down Tuan Tuan came to us asked if we would like to go with her. I and Tanvi readily agreed. Almost 24 hours of travelling had drained our energy. We were warmly welcomed to the house with tea and fruits. We exchanged gifts, had dumplings for dinner and slept as our exhaustion overpowered our excitement! The host family was very caring and sweet. They had decorated their house in order to welcome us. 


The next day we got up early as we had to go to school with Tuan Tuan. In school we attended a few classes and I realized that their studies were more about learning and reciting than understanding. I found this strange as our system of studies is completely different. Maybe the type of government has a role to play in this. After attending a few classes we looked around in the school. Then the principal took us out for lunch to a nearby restaurant and the lunch was amazing! We all experimented with the food and ate the weirdest of the things. After lunch we all had gone to the Shandong University which was a wonderful experience! In the University we got to experience the Chinese culture. We wore the traditional Chinese dress, did block printing and even played some traditional Chinese musical instruments!
Then came the much awaited weekend! We all had gone to different places with our host families. Our host family took us to Mountain Tai shan which is a mountain of historical and cultural significance in China. Mount Tai is one of the "Five Great Mountains". It is associated with sunrise, birth, and renewal, and is often regarded the foremost of the five. Mount Tai has been a place of worship for at least 3,000 years and served as one of the most important ceremonial centres of China during large portions of this period. It was a very long day, after Tai Shan we had gone to Tuan Tuan’s cousin’s birthday party where we had loads of fun. Then we went to Tuan Tuan’s grandpa’s house in order to see typical Chinese furniture and architecture. We also made dumplings at his place and unexpectedly they came out to be tasty!
The next day was the ‘shopping day’ as we spent the whole day in a market. Shopping was so much fun! For the first time in life did I have to bargain and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly! As it was our last day we had gone out for dinner and as the restaurant wasn’t very far away we walked. We had a lot of fun on our way!
Monday was our last day in the school so we had gone to school in our uniform. We attended the assembly and then changed into Indian wear. We practiced the dance we had prepared. Our performance went well. After having lunch with the principal we left for the primary branch of the school after which we had our train to Beijing.
We stayed in Beijing only for a day so we had a lot of places to cover up. It was again an enjoyable day. We went to the Forbidden City, The Great Wall of China and a Jade stone factory. Climbing the Great Wall of China was an exhilarating experience.
Shanghai is breathtaking! The skyscrapers, the colorful buildings, the big big cars! Wow! And the Jinyuan High School was a world in itself. And how can I forget the lavish dinner that the principal of the school gave us! 24 dishes!
In Shanghai we all visited the Consul General of India in Shanghai. He was a great person to talk to. We visited the T.V. Tower and two museums; we had also gone for the evening cruise.
On our last day in china, we had gone to Suzhong a place near Shanghai where we visited the humble administrator’s garden and then went shopping. We had also gone for boating here. On our way back we visited a silk factory. We had our dinner in an Indian restaurant and returned to our hotel.
840000 seconds, 14000 minutes, 233 hours Or 9 days are all I have spent in china. I have learnt and grasped a lot from a vast and diverse country like China. Learning is eventful but can only be achieved by exposure. Travelling is surely the best means of learning. Travelling alongside like minded people on a tour to China was an experience of a lifetime and would always be treasured. I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that god made heaven and earth, but a visit to china has enabled me to discover myself and made me a sensitive, innovative, thinking global citizen, which is the need of the day.

Ms. Sonia Bhatia & Ms. Deepali Mathur along with four students  visited  Jinyuan Senior High School, Shanghai under student teacher exchange programme in May.'13

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