Malaysia: A Country Of Festivities And Holidays

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As an international school in Malaysia, a critical part of life at The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) is celebrating both the host country and the school’s incredible cultural diversity.

Malaysia’s melting pot of cultures and religions, combined with milestones in Malaysia’s national development, results in a wide array of festivals and celebrations. Not forgetting our students, teachers and staff who come from different parts of the world, celebrating a multicultural learning environment.

Beyond celebrating public holidays, ISKL turns these into learning moments for our students to better understand other cultures and become global citizens.

A wonderful example of how we celebrate Malaysia’s festival calendar is the ISKL Elementary School’s celebrations of Hari Raya (Ramadan) and Merdeka. Students have the chance to be immersed in a Malay cultural experience, wear formal Malay dress, like Baju Kurung and Baju Melayu, and watch a traditional Malay dance performance.

Earlier in the year, our school came together to celebrate Chinese New Year. We welcomed the Lion Dance performance accompanied by drum musicians to officiate the celebration on our school grounds.

Dressed in festive red colours, our elementary students got to taste the festive cookies, learnt to write Chinese calligraphy and try their hands on zhezhi while our teachers had the opportunity to toss Yee Sang, a unique auspicious tradition known as prosperity toss.

Another enriching experience was when our Elementary School celebrated the festival of lights, commonly known as Deepavali or Diwali. Students and staff were dressed for the occasion in their traditional Indian clothing and our elementary girls had traditional designs drawn on their hands with Henna.

Our students created decorative patterns using colourful rice flour to make Kolam, learnt to fold palm leaf decorations and learnt the traditional Indian dance.

Our school calendar also has a unique cultural milestone: ISKL’s annual International Festival. Organized by volunteers from our Parent Teacher Association, the International Festival gives students, parents and staff the chance to celebrate the school’s tremendous cultural diversity. From dance and performances through to food and fireworks, every student has the chance to share their own culture in a welcoming, positive environment.

A highlight of ISKL’s International Festival is the flag parade, where our students come dressed in their national costumes and march proudly together with their national flags to the assembly point. By the end of the experience, they gained a deeper knowledge of the school’s incredible cultural diversity shared between students, parents and staff alike.

Besides observing local moments, we also enjoyed celebrating Halloween with Trunk or Treat, another event organised by volunteers from the Parent Teacher Association. Cars were parked beside the school building with their trunks well decorated.

Everyone was dressed in their unique costumes with their buckets ready to collect sweet treats from trunk to trunk. As night fell, the decorated cars lit up with pumpkin lanterns as spooky music filled the atmosphere. It was a sweet-filled night for the students, teachers, and parents.

For future updates on how ISKL celebrates Malaysian festivals and public holidays alike, follow our 2019 school calendar for the latest on school events and activities.

Elementary School Hari Raya, Merdeka & Malaysia Day Combined Celebration (September 2019 Update)
Last week ISKL Elementary School students celebrated and learned about some of Malaysia’s cultural traditions. Students wore traditional Malaysian clothes and were treated to a Malay dance performance. Students also had the chance to try some delicious Malaysian treats.

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