Like most communities around the world, Woodstock has its own unique way of celebrating national holidays. This year too, on Aug. 15, the excitement of celebrating Indian Independence day amongst the staff and students was at its peak.
Unlike several institutions in India, Woodstock does not offer a day off from school, instead it invites members of the community to be a part of a special celebration.
Woodstock’s chief guest this year was one of the faculty members, Mr. Arjun Puri. He has given several speeches in different parts of India and joined the school in Spring 2018.
In his speech, Mr. Puri spoke about the importance of Indian leaders in the success of the nation.
For the first time, Woodstock experienced four, not two, students hoisting the Indian national flag. All of them have been students for over eight years and have largely contributed to this community in several ways.
Even though Woodstock is located in India, it did not forget to acknowledge the Korean liberation day. This intermixing of cultures is a rare sight in most Indian institutions.
This year too, the Korean national anthem was followed by a group of Korean students elegantly performing the Korean traditional fan dance, spreading an essence of their culture.
Students from several cultural backgrounds were also observed wearing a Hanbok* or Sari.
Alice Lee, Class of 2021 said, “I love how Woodstock embraces diversity, even though there aren’t as many Koreans.”
At Woodstock, food plays a major role, and students get a chance to explore different Indian cuisines, ranging from Kulchas from the North to Dosas from the South.
Aliciah Serbastian, Class of 2021, described her experience of trying South Indian food for the first time, “India is a massive country. And I have never been to the Southern side, so I feel that Woodstock bringing in all these dishes from different places gives people like me an opportunity to try new dishes.”
While Woodstock has been following the tradition of celebrating the Indian Independence day along with the Korean liberation day for a couple of years now, in the past, it celebrated the event in a slightly different way.
Ms. Prathana Singh, Midlands dorm parent and Woodstock alumni mentioned, “We used to have a cultural night where we had performances. And a week before [Independence Day], we would also have the cultural week, where we would have the performances from outside.”
Even though Woodstock has altered the way it celebrates the event, it continues to make the community experience a day brimming with diversity.
Hanbok – Korean Traditional dress
Photos by Mikko Aoki Liu
Edited by Hyenjin Cho