UN Day is a special time at UNIS. Whether you see it as a celebration, a time of inspiration, or a chance to express cultural pride, it is central to our school and the values we hold dear. Here is a sampling of how our students, parents, faculty and staff feel about this day:
I've found UN day to be a great way to celebrate our schools incredible diversity and remind us of our special connection to the UN. I'm especially excited for this year's theme of taking action. It will be a great opportunity for the school to learn about what people are currently doing to make the world a better place and think about how we can help.
Tut House Student Council President
UN Day reminds me of what a special school UNIS is for everyone in the community. At the Queens campus, we celebrate UN Day with an inspiring concert of cultural songs and musical performances by our students who are dressed in their native attire. Following the concert, we celebrate our diverse cultures and traditions with an international potluck luncheon in each classroom. We can't help but feel joyous and hopeful for a better world! UN Day reinforces our strong sense of community and motivates all of us--students, teachers, staff, and parents--to share the ideals of the United Nations with others in our local and global communities.
UN Day at UNIS Queens is very special because everyone gets to share part of their culture with others. From the joyful concert to the delicious international feasts in each classroom, UN Day brings the UNIS Queens community even closer together. UN day inspires me to bring the values of the UN and UNIS with me wherever I go.
What I enjoy the most is the international buffet where we share and learn about dishes around the world and taste them in our classroom. Listening to the songs about peace that children share remind you to feel that you are part of such a special learning community! The significance of the UN day is to make us realize every year that we are connected to the UN and have a big responsibility to keep maintaining and building peace by choosing to act peacefully and sensibly.
Throughout my years at UNIS, I have learned that no matter how we celebrate UN Day, the thrill will always be in wearing our 'national attire'. As a kid, if someone were to ask me where I'm from, I would simply say "Japan." It sounds nice, it's a one-word answer, and as a country in East Asia it easily complemented my appearance... Yet wearing a kimono on UN Day never felt right. Though my blood may be Japanese, I am Brazilian; born and raised. Nowadays, nothing feels more honorable than frantically searching my room for my iconic replica of the Brazilian soccer jersey— because UN Day to me means being able to proudly represent my country.
In 2002, I felt overwhelmed with emotion when I witnessed my first UN Day. That feeling has never left. As soon as I see our students, parents, and faculty dressed in their countries attire, that fantastic feeling starts to take place in anticipation of what is ahead. UN Day is my favorite celebration at UNIS because it is a day where we all celebrate as ONE by representing our many identities and backgrounds.
Spanish Teacher/M3 Homeroom Advisor
UN Day is a celebration unique to UNIS, honoring the birthday of our parent institution. Here, in the flesh, are representatives of most of the nations of the world -- some of them little children, some older kids, some of them teachers, all of us mixing and mingling pretty much without regard to language or culture or appearance. I remember particularly being struck in my first years here by the Junior School parade around the rest of the building, all these super-cute little kids, slightly awestruck to be in the big kids' territory, straggling along wearing national dress and carrying all their different flags. Other highlights were the parents' astoundingly wonderful and varied food, and the "cultural show," when we saw people we were used to seeing in their everyday New York version suddenly showing off a gloriously colorful range of national costume, national dance, national music, etc., etc. All a bit hokey perhaps -- in recent years we seem to have got more earnest, more UN mission-oriented -- but the fun was fun.
Tut House History/HOK Teacher
For me UN Day represents a day when our children can proudly stand in their shoes and represent their heritage and culture through songs, dance, and food, while appreciating other cultures.
UN Day means that we celebrate individuals from all nations, peacefully coming together to have a good time. We learn about and appreciate each other's cultures through songs and music. It means being curious, being respectful, and showing acceptance of other people's value systems. It means we have fun together."