By Alexandra Augustak Photo Credit Emily McColl
Every four years when the countries of the world are given the chance to come together and battle each other with the peaceful prospects of the Olympics, the games are opened with a Parade of Nations. Noting the inspiring form of respect to nations all over the world, Branford High School has been carrying on the Olympic tradition each year, even with all the athletes at home. Every year, we begin the “unofficial start to the school year” with our own version of The Parade of Nations. Students from all grades volunteer to represent a nation as they parade around the commons of the school with the colours of the world. Being one hundred percent Polish, I have always wanted to carry the red and white flag of Poland in the parade, but always shied away from the idea of walking in front of a large crowd. However, being a senior, I decided that it was finally the time to face my nerves, and to proudly take the job of holding the colors of Poland in front of the school. It was a great moment to be able to represent Poland, a vastly underrated nation, and to be able to show my peers that I am not ashamed of the country that I love. Senior, Aaisma Regmi, feels the same about bearing the flag of Nepal with her brother Anamol, and friend, Reitsuma Panta stating “I felt very patriotic since [my country] is not very well known, so it gave us a chance to show our unique flag to the whole school.” But the flag bearers are not only for those from a specific country. Any student is able to represent the nation that they so choose to, even if they have not a drop of the said nation's blood in their veins. Take for example Bhumika Shah, a senior whose roots originally trace back to India, as today she gladly took to bear the flag of Peru with a fellow sophomore. Essentially, this epitomizes the purpose of The Parade of Nations, as it not only acts as an homage to the nations of the world, but also as a reminder that diversity is beautiful and respected in the Branford High School community.