School Life News

International Festival of Nations at British School of Sofia – A Small Journey Around the World

10 Jun 2023

It is only during folklore festivals that you can see so many diverse cultures - traditional music, food, and crafts. The first-of-its-kind BSS International festival became a truly multicultural celebration with representation from more than 35 countries across 4 continents. Captivating performances mesmerized the audience, with over 500 participants and guests joining us for this extraordinary celebration.

The festival was organized by the British School of Sofia (BSS) team with the support of students and their parents, along with the special participation of members from embassies in Bulgaria. The aim of the festival was to bring together students, their families, teachers, and friends to celebrate the cultural diversity of the BSS community.

The festival commenced with The Parade of Nations, where our students and their families dressed in traditional national costumes, proudly carrying the flags of the countries they represented.

At the BSS backyard stage, the WonderWorld audience enjoyed a festive program in which our students and special guests participated. There were songs and dances from near and far, showcasing beautiful costumes and inspiring performances in different languages.

The festival was inspiring and exciting, evoking nostalgia and a sense of pride among many of the guests, particularly because the feeling of belonging is strongest when you are far from home.

Many students from the British School of Sofia found the most interesting ways to share their native countries, including through the language of music. Seventh-grade students from Serbia, Poland, Romania, Kurdistan, and South Africa learned sirtaki to perform a dance together on stage. Fourth-grade students from 10 different countries presented tongue twisters in Spanish, while another group performed children's songs in German. A Vietnamese girl, who had lived in the USA and Bulgaria, sang a traditional song in Vietnamese. On the BSS International stage, we also witnessed a beautiful Turkish ballad, a Hulusi performance (a classical Chinese instrument), and both modern and classical dances, all performed by BSS students.

The professional groups that participated in the festival were also truly amazing. We had dancing groups from Russia and Indonesia. The festive program closed with a performance by the Bulgarian folklore ensemble 'Neda' and a traditional round dance 'horo', in which participants from all over the world joined.

As part of the program, there was a demonstration by the taekwondo club 'Samson', where BSS students train. Festival guests had the opportunity to dress in traditional South Korean clothing, specially brought by our guests.

The participants' pavilions in the International Festival were placed near the stage. Families of our students, as well as members from Sofia embassies, prepared delicious traditional meals and drinks for our guests to enjoy. The culinary journey around the world took us to Great Britain, China, Russia, Vietnam, Indonesia, South Africa, Iraq, India, Syria, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and many other places.

Various games and demonstrations were among the surprises that exhibitors used to showcase their nations and cultures. Bulgaria was represented by the team from Private High School 'Constantine Cyril Philosopher', with teachers and parents preparing some of the most popular and beloved traditional Bulgarian dishes, rose oil products, and souvenirs.

The festival also had a special charitable cause. A donation of BGN 2000 was made to support the care of an animal that BSS is planning to adopt for a year: the Addax antelope, a critically endangered species known for its long, twisted horns. There are only 3 of this species at the Sofia Zoo.

The International Festival of the British School of Sofia was a tremendous success, uniting different cultures and fostering a spirit of unity and friendship.

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