WISS Today Article

International Day is one of the highlights of the WISS calendar. Every spring, the WISS community showcases its diversity and home country pride by sharing national foods, music, and costume. We are lucky to be part of a truly international community with students, staff, and parents from over 54 countries around the world.

Although this year, we are unable to meet in person, we still want to honor the WISS community’s diversity, international-mindedness, and culture. We hope you enjoy this feature that highlights just a few of our lovely international WISS families.


WISS Family from Malaysia

Aravind Family

Haeyshna Aravind G8
Hanusha Aravind G3

Traditional Malaysian Foods

  • Drinks –  Teh Tarik (“pulled tea”)
  • Sirap Bandung (is a mixture of milk and rose syrup)
  • Food –  Nasi Lemak – A national favorite loved by all local Malaysians. The most basic version is just a pocket of rice topped with sambal (spicy sauce), a hard-boiled egg on the side and fried anchovies wrapped up in a banana leaf.
  • Roti Canai – This thin piece of dough is fried in lots of oil and served with curry as a dipping sauce.

Fun and Interesting Facts about Malaysia

  • Malaysia is a multi-cultural country with half the population consisting of people of Malay ethnicity. The other half consists of people of Chinese and Indian ethnicity as well as other indigenous tribal groups, particularly in Borneo. These include the Bidayuh people of southern Sarawak, and the Kadazan people of Sabah- many of whom live according to ingrained traditions, speaking their own languages. 
  • In Malaysia, Taman Negara (literally, “national park”) is one of the oldest rainforests. At 130 million years, it is older than the tropical rainforests of the Amazon and the Congo Basins. It supports more than 10,000 species of plants, 1,000 types of butterflies, 140 types of animals, 350 bird species, 100 kinds of snakes, and 150,000 kinds of insects.

What does your family love about your home away from home (WISS & Shanghai)?

  • Being away from home exposes us to different cultures and lifestyles of the country we live it. It widens our view to be more open and accepting of the differences that exist in every person and culture.
  • Staying away also creates more possibilities for us to travel and explore the world around us.


WISS Family from Brazil

Kauling Rizzeto Da Silva Family

Julia, G3

Traditional Brazilian Foods

  • Feijoada – A hearty black bean and mixed meat stew that is often called the national dish of Brazil.
  • Churrasco – Churrasco is the Portuguese and Hispanic name for beef or grilled meat more generally. It is a prominent feature in the cuisine of Brazil
  • Acaraje – Acarajé or is a dish made from peeled beans formed into a ball and then deep-fried in dendê. It is found in West African and Brazilian cuisines.

Fun and Interesting Facts about Brazil

  • Brazil has the biggest river in the world –The Amazon River, as well as one of the biggest rain forests. It is full of nature, fabulous beaches, and friendly people. Brazilians love to get together to eat Churrasco and have fun with friends and family.
  • Brazil is a country of diversity, colonized by many European countries, as well as African countries. This mixture makes it unique and diverse.

What does your family love about your home away from home (WISS & Shanghai)?

  • WISS is a very special school for us, and we love the IB system and the way it challenges children to think. The environment at WISS is very special, and we do feel it is the best for our daughter.
  • Shanghai is an amazing city, full of surprises and things to do. As diverse as our home country is, we feel at home here. We love Chinese food and discovering different restaurants and places are what we like a lot here.
WISS International Day 2019

Country: MEXICO

Bonifaz Family

Erin, G5
Iker, PK

Traditional Mexican Foods

  • Mexico has a variety of food from the north to the south, but a really characteristic dish from our country is tacos. Tacos can be filled with chicken, beef or pork, and served with side dishes like salsa or beans, and complements can be sour cream, cheese, onion, or cilantro. We love spicy food; most of our food is spicy.

Fun and Interesting Facts about Mexico

  • We have several traditions and celebrations. On November 1st and 2nd, we celebrate “Day of Dead”. November 1st is a day to pay our respect for kids, and the 2nd is for adults, but everything is focused on celebrating the lives of the ones that are not with us. We celebrate with parties, family reunions, and favorite foods and music.

What does your family love about your home away from home (WISS & Shanghai)?

  • We have been living in Shanghai for five years now. We love that we can find nice, caring, fun, and warm people in both our community and in WISS, just as (we do) in Mexico.
  • We love to have amazing friends that become our family, and we love that we can celebrate important days, like Independence Day with the Mexican community.


Pleil Family

Marius Pleil, G8
Sebastian Pleil, G11

Parpan Family

Tim Parpan, G5
Sina Parpan, G6

Traditional Austrian Foods

  • Vienna Schnitzel and Cheese fondue
  • Sachretorte  (Austrian chocolate cake)
  • Kaiserschmarrn (sugared pancake with raisins)
  • Apfelstrudel (apple strudel)

Traditional Swiss Foods

  • Swiss Fondue
  • Raclette
  • Swiss chocolates
  • Zopf (swiss bread)

Fun and Interesting Facts about Austria

  • Austria is one of the most peaceful countries in the world.
  • Vienna is considered as one of the world’s best cities to live in.
  • World’s oldest zoo is located in Austria.
  • Many famous people were born in Austria, among them: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sigmund Freud.

Fun and Interesting Facts about Switzerland

  • Switzerland was originally called Helvetia.
  • Switzerland produces the most chocolate in the world.
  • The Swiss eat more chocolate compared to any other country.
  • Switzerland has 7000 lakes.
WISS International Day 2019

What does your family love about your home away from home (WISS & Shanghai)?

  • We love WISS and the international community! We love the possibilities for the children concerning academics and the many fun activities. 
  • Shanghai is great! We love the EASE of living. In shanghai, you can get everywhere easily, and enjoy great delivery services as there is superb transport. Shanghai is also a great base to travel to many other beautiful destinations.

Country: Italy

Tremori Family

María Sofía, Grade 2
Giovanni, Grade 7

WISS family from Italy

Traditional Italian Foods

  • Italy has a lot of delicious food from South to North! Pasta and pizza are the most famous.

Fun and Interesting Facts about Italy 

  • Do you know with 55 sites, Italy is the country with the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites, alongside China.

What does your family love about your home away from home (WISS & Shanghai)? 

  • We love to share our culture and get to know other cultures and traditions. In WISS, as a very multicultural school, you have that great possibility and many opportunities for cultural exchanges.

These are just a few of the countries that students, parents, and staff of the Western International School of Shanghai represent. Read more about the diverse, caring, and international community at WISS.