In Chapel on Thursday, we celebrated our global community at Lakefield. LCS is a member school of Round Square, an international network of over 150 schools in 50 countries. As a member school, we place an emphasis on several IDEALS, one being the ‘Spirit of Internationalism and Diversity’ where we encourage our students to develop a spirit of Internationalism: To seek out, discover and embrace the similarities and differences between cultures and nationalities in ways that promote meaningful and lasting understanding and respect. Given that we are a global community, this ‘spirit’ is of utmost importance for our community.
One of the most amazing things about Lakefield College is that the community is a microcosm of our world. The diversity in culture, religion, and nationality makes LCS a special place to live and work. Our SICs of Global Learning Meeri '21 and Dana '21, lead our community in a celebration of all the places that we call home. Herein lies the complexity, an individual can identify from many places, whether it be belonging to multiple nationalities, or simply your place of birth, or perhaps using your current place of residence. When a country or region that someone most connected to was read out loud, they stood and everyone celebrated together.
People’s Republic of China
Meeri ’21 shared how someone’s nationality, home, or place of birth doesn’t always tell a full story. People often make assumptions about her heritage, but it’s not so simple:
“I was adopted from China to Finland when I was just a baby. I can’t speak a word of Mandarin and my parents are just regular Finnish people.
When I came here last year people asked me where I was from, when I answered: Finland, I got the weirdest looks. Some even asked me: No, where are you really from? And I explained the whole adoption thing and it makes more sense right?
Then I got an idea. What if next time someone asked me where I was from I told them to take a guess. So I did. No one guessed right, obviously but they also didn’t want to say China as their first guess because that would be assuming. Everyone has their own unique story and you should never judge a book by it’s cover or where people are from by their appearances.”
“In the end we are all just individuals; where we come from or our nationalities don't determine who we are as people.” — Dana ’21
Houses took time to share with one another a bit of their heritage; how many languages they speak or a tradition they celebrate in their family. Remote students reflected on their own traditions, culture and what makes them special and were encouraged to reach out to someone they care about to share.
What works well at LCS is our ‘culture of community.’ That is, a place where people care about one another, form lifelong friendships and feel a bond of trust. A place where everyone knows one another in a genuine, deeply connected way. We discover, celebrate and embrace our similarities, differences and all that makes our community unique.