The ISTA festival is over and done with. I feel like I have gained so much, from learning about cultural aspects of India, to finding new medias in which we could perform theatre, to meeting new people, and creating new friendships. After the final performance had finished, everyone who participated in the festival ate dinner together, and after had to say goodbye. It wasn’t until then that I realized how many new people I had actually met and connected with. The goodbyes were long and hard.
I feel like being an expatriate student I have to deal with this kind of thing a lot. People come and go through Green School and Bali very frequently, sometimes only staying for a month or two, and I am sure that other international students, like those at the ISTA festival, do too. I always find it very interesting to see the similarities and differences between all the different international schools and expat students. I came to the festival with a focus and a passion for theatre and gender equality, and it was so much fun to meet people that shared the same interests. It was also immensely inspiring to see how passionate and professional many of the students were about what we had come to do.
I also connected very much with the kids from the local Indian school that participated in the festival. I learned so many things from every conversation I had with them, and there friendliness and charm is something I will never forget. I now know that I will have friends whenever I come back to India, and as they told me, they will always remember me whenever they hear the word “Shanti” in a song.
I have never liked saying goodbyes. I much prefer “see ya’ laters,” or “until next times.” Although maybe it is true that I might not see most of the kids I just spent the last three days with again, we all shared an experience that was immensely rewarding and inspiring. I feel that we will all remember this festival and the amazing time we had together. Also, who knows? Perhaps one day I will cross paths with and international kid I met during the festival, or meet up with the people I met who live here one day when I come back to India. So, on that note, I won’t say goodbye. For now it’s see you later.