Round Square International Conference 2019

Round Square International Conference , Indore India, from October 2- 7, 2019. 126 Schools from six continents. Four students and two teachers for SAI International School attended their first Round Square International Conference. Pictured from left to right AKANKSHA, AKSHATA, ORISSA & KRITI.

Short Video About the

Short Video about our experiences during the conference

OCTOBER 2 by AKANKSHA & AKSHATA Class XI, ORISSA & KRITI Class X

After a long day’s journey, from Bhubaneswar to Hyderabad, and then to Indore, we finally arrived at our host school, The Emerald Heights. It was a truly beautiful place with the architecture resembling structures similar to Oxford University, and the staff and students were extremely helpful and friendly. It was so wonderful to see such enthusiasm in people our age.
After we registered, we were given beautiful handcrafted rucksacks with goodies inside them. We were escorted by one of the student volunteers to the ‘Carnival’ and had a delicious dinner there. The decorations were extremely beautiful. We were then escorted to our dorm rooms where we were separated and split off into different rooms with people from various different places around the world. I think the long and tiring journey was certainly worthwhile considering the number of people we’ll get the chance to interact with over the next few days. We are extremely looking forward to seeing what all this experience has to offer.

OCTOBER 3 by KRITI of Class X

The day started off with all of us waking up with hopeful smiles, excited to meet like minded people from all over the world. We donned our bright orange uniforms which made us stand out from the din of greys and whites. We went down for breakfast in the Ashwamegh Hall and ate our first breakfast at round square with a group from morocco. After breakfast was the grand flag bearing ceremony where every school proudly marched their flag across the stage and down a central flight of steps and got in line all across the auditorium. Kriti did the flag bearing for our school. The bearers had to stand until the music stopped and unitedly put their flags in place as it stopped. It was a moment of great magnitude. We had a conference picture with nearly 1500 people trying to fit in. After which we had our very first keynote speaker, Kailash Satyarthi who is a Nobel Peace Laureate. He talked about his work about child labour and the number of kids he helped and how they considered him their friend, their brother, their father but not a celebrity. He inspired us by telling to follow three D’s. Dream, to dream of big things. Discover, to find out how we can achieve that dream and Do, to finally get down to doing it. After lunch which as always was interesting eating with different people we had our first Barazza session. Conversing, discussing and laughing with people from everywhere. We all made some amazing friends. One thing which our entire group had been excited about was the speech from Shashi Tharoor and he did not disappoint. We were all on the edge of seats listening to him articulate his words with absolute ease, the epitome of intelligence and politeness. He talked in his dignified manner simultaneously sipping his tea and kept us wanting for more. He answered questions from the delegates with grace and made each one us feel important. We, as ravenous as we were, were unwilling to for our tea break. We had some free time and we practiced our cultural performance in front of the football field. The cultural performance as everything was amazing and what was perhaps more impressive was the audience who showed so much unity and support for whoever was performing. We ended our day on a high note with dinner in the field which looked absolutely breathtaking. The rustic charm as it was decorated with straw huts and mud statues. There were performances from people from India’s Got Talent who defied gravity with their stunts. After which the students got on the stage and requested music. No matter which country you are from music always manages to make people come together and have a good time.

OCTOBER 4 by ORISSA of CLASS X

Our day started at 6:30 beautifully sunny morning. At around 9:00, after breakfast, we rushed to the auditorium. Our first keynote speaker was Sophia. She’s a robot and also happens to be a citizen of Saudi Arabia. She answered questions about how artificial intelligence will benefit us in the future and why we shouldn’t be afraid of it. Afterwards, we headed to the courtyard for tea followed by our first Barazza session where we exchanged our views on the AI scenario.
Afterwards, we had lunch followed by our second keynote speech o the day by Kiran Gandhi- an artist and a women’s rights activist. She spoke about the power of equality and told us her story and then went on to perform some of her own tracks. She was truly inspiring and definitely pumped all of us with a ton of positive energy. After the session, we head out for our second Barazza sessions. We talked about Feminism and the power of the movement. We also had an interesting activity where all of us created our own hashtags and had to explain them in front of our respective Barazzas. The theme of our hashtags was ‘the future we wish to see’.
After another break at a half past four, we had an extremely beautiful multicultural evening where students from an array of different places performed. At around 7:30 we had a meal in the dining hall and then headed to our dorms after yet another extremely busy, yet super fun day to get some rest to prepare for the all the fun we were to have the next day.

Our day started at 6:30 beautifully sunny morning. At around 9:00, after breakfast, we rushed to the auditorium. Our first keynote speaker was Sophia. She’s a robot and also happens to be a citizen of Saudi Arabia. She answered questions about how artificial intelligence will benefit us in the future and why we shouldn’t be afraid of it. Afterwards, we headed to the courtyard for tea followed by our first Barazza session where we exchanged our views on the AI scenario.
Afterwards, we had lunch followed by our second keynote speech o the day by Kiran Gandhi- an artist and a women’s rights activist. She spoke about the power of equality and told us her story and then went on to perform some of her own tracks. She was truly inspiring and definitely pumped all of us with a ton of positive energy. After the session, we head out for our second Barazza sessions. We talked about Feminism and the power of the movement. We also had an interesting activity where all of us created our own hashtags and had to explain them in front of our respective Barazzas. The theme of our hashtags was ‘the future we wish to see’.
After another break at a half past four, we had an extremely beautiful multicultural evening where students from an array of different places performed. At around 7:30 we had a meal in the dining hall and then headed to our dorms after yet another extremely busy, yet super fun day to get some rest to prepare for the all the fun we were to have the next day.

OCTOBER 5 by AKSHATA of Class XI

We woke up at what seemed to us like the crack of dawn; an early start at 5:30AM! After having a quick breakfast, we gathered around the bus area, excited for the Indore Tour! We looked forward to it all the more as we were travelling with other schools and couldn’t wait to know more about them; another reason why we didn’t mind the 2-hour ride to Mandu – the ancient fort city of Madhya Pradesh! While we were waiting for our buses to arrive, we taught our African and Scottish bus mates ‘Rumaal Chori’! We boarded our buses soon after and were so engrossed in the sceneries, music, and discussions that we didn’t realise when the 2 hours flew by! An Eleventh Grade student of our host school happened to be our guide for the day. Our first stop was the Baz Bahadur Palace! The architectural perfection, the acoustics, the story behind it, it was all so mesmerizing! Our next stop was Rani Roopmati’s Pavilion. She was Baz Bahadur’s wife. It was gifted to her by her beloved, Baz Bahadur. We were told about the Revakund and the several stories and myths surrounding it, it was so fascinating! We even practised our cultural performance in the beautiful remains of the pavilion! We even stopped by to buy a hat for Orissa as the Sun was at its best. We next went to the Jahaz Mahal. It was surrounded by water on all sides giving it such a peaceful vibe! Our 16-year old guide explained to us about the monument after which we went on to get tons of pictures, some even with Odissi poses! The Sun was at its peak while we walked to the Jami Masjid, India’s first marble structure and the inspiration for Taj Mahal! Our FitBit told us we’d walked 10000 steps which tells how tired we must already be with the Sun on top of that, yet we kept walking and captured the moments in our phones! We even posed with the other school students – memories! We were done with all our destinations and were drained, and thankfully our next stop was lunch!! We went to a nearby resort which had been prepared and ready to serve all our humgry stomachs! We had a quick lunch and headed back to the school realising we had very little time left for getting ready for our cultural performance, yes, the day had come! The school was considerate to understand us and shift ours to the end of the lined up performances. We ran into our dorms and thanks to Jayanti Ma’am and Jessica Ma’am, we managed to get ready quickly yet amazingly! Kriti did our Odissi make-up and we were set to go! We all trembled a little as we went up the stage but the energy of the crowd just got us in the groove again! We had an amazing performance and the adrenaline levels were beyond the roof! We did something unique after this, we taught the signature step of our school SAI to all the students and teachers in the crowd for them to pass it on in all their schools as well and spread the joy- the ClapOfHappiness! They loved it!! We even tossed a giant inflated globe into the audience preaching the phrase ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – One World One Family’. We told them about how the youth plays a huge role in not letting our planet fall and keep it where it is supposed to be. We knew we did a great job, the smiles and excitement on their faces proved it all and our hard work paid off! We were tired after this crazy hectic day and had no patience nor any energy left in us to change, so we went to dinner with our Odissi costumes still on! People kept coming to us saying how good we were, it felt so great! We had dinner quickly, danced a little, clicked a few pictures with our friends from all over the globe, and with all the million memories made in just 24 hours, we went off to our dorms to get a good nights sleep – we deserved it!

OCTOBER 6 by KRITI of Class X

We woke up before the sun at 5 in the morning, with hopes for an exciting day. We trudged to the dining hall for a quick bite, then we were ushered to the basketball court. There we boarded buses with our Barazzas: Koyal, Neelkanth, Maina and Cheeraya. It was the service day and we had to part ways in the morning. We all had quite entertaining bus rides, where we got to strengthen our bonds with our Barraza mates. After about 45 mins of discussing the different cultures and political systems, and simply fooling around, we reached different locations. Kriti went to an underprivileged school where she played with the kids and served them food; Akshata went to a school for students with dyslexia where she painted walls and gave out school shoes and uniforms; Orissa went to a school for blind children where she made laddus and pen stands; while I went to an old age home and block printed bed sheets and pillow covers with the grandparents, which were gifted to them. It was an enriching experience. We got a warm feeling after communicating with the kids and grandparents. Some of them even opened up to us about their stories which brought us to near tears. In the bus ride back to Emerald Heights we reminisced about our experience and got a fresh perspective into problems that persist in India through our Barazza friends. We reunited for lunch which seemed to dart by as we were excited to visit Maheswar. On the two hour long ride to the commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh, we talked to schools from Canada, New Zealand and Bhopal. At Maheswar we were welcomed with thread necklaces by little kids and then we clicked a picture with the statue of Maheswari. Our guide: a 12th-grade Emralite named Soumya told us tons of interesting stories about the place. We even saw the traditional Maheswari textiles. Orissa bought two necklaces and we took pictures with the girls selling trinkets. After returning we had tea and cakes. Then we ran off to watch the spectacular cultural performances. The theme of the day’s dinner was festivals of India. We had delicious food while watching the Emeralites perform energetic dances. Despite the tiring day, everyone made it to the dance floor for a zestful conclusion.

OCTOBER 7 by AKSHATA of Class XI & ORISSA of Class X

The day didn’t begin like the other days with the wake up call followed by breakfast. Instead, we woke up at 5:00am which was followed not by breakfast but by us boarding our buses to travel to the starting point of what I had been waiting for, throughout the trip – the Marathon! It was going to be my first marathon and this being with Major D.P. Singh; the first blade runner of India; I was up in the sky feeling like the luckiest person! All of the students from all around the world with their red t-shirts on, were all set and ready to run for a cause of utmost importance – cancer. It was not just a marathon but a marathon with students from all around the world, a marathon with the first blade runner of India, and a marathon with a cause – it was a big deal and it felt amazing! The 3KM marathon was run by all including teachers and all faculty and it was so heart warming to see everyone united, running for one cause irrespective of any differences among themselves, this was us preaching the ideals! We finished the marathon in an hour and were so hungry. Thankfully, we were treated with apples and bananas, I’ve never found fruits this yummy! The host school even planted one tree with the name of every school who attended RSIC, this was amazing to see! We went back to the school, freshened up, had our breakfast and had our first speaker Major D.P. Singh give us words which are now embedded in our minds. His speech on believing in one self, self-appreciation, determination, importance of having control over ones own life really had us getting goosebumps. We had our Barazza session after the speech where we discussed and debated on several topics with various activities based on global issues. We had our lunch quickly to attend yet another speaker, Swami Gaur Gopal Das whose inspirational statements really made us value our life all the more and understand what happiness truly is. He also explained to us the importance of attitude in shaping ones success path and his words were really understandable and relatable for us. We had our last Barazza session in which we clicked several pictures and danced to Punjabi tunes. All of the delegates cried realising how they may never be meeting again. We exchanged gifts which we had taken along and shared some last goodbyes. We had a grand closing ceremony with a flag bearing ceremony and a mesmerising musical performance by our host school students. The RSIC head and the host schools incharge and principal gave speeches and became emotional as their hard work of 18 months in organising this grand event had finally come to an end, and it wont be wrong to say that every bit of each individuals hard work had paid off! The last night at the RSIC had a ‘Bollywood’ theme and after having the delicious dinner, we had our last DJ night where everybody grooved to the beats of Bollywood music. After a tiring day and with tears in eyes of the conference ending, everyone returned to their dorms with a hundred tears, thousand new friends and a million memories. The conference had ended, but the learning, the friends, the exposure and the love remained, and with that, everyone went off for sleeping with teary eyes yet smiles in their minds for having spent the best 5 days of their lives.

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