No matter their differences in background, nationality, gender, religion, sexual orientation and values, five hundred students from around the world were now dressed up in their host families’ skiing outfits from the eighties. Coming from around the world, these students had gathered in the Norwegian forest, and they all had high expectations of what the snowy fields had to offer. After several days of debates and discussions, confrontations of prejudices, teaching, learning, and trading ideas, all participants were now gathered to cross country ski.
During the winter of 2013 I volunteered for ISFiT as a press affiliate. My job was to make sure that all domestic and international media gave adequate coverage to ongoing events and published news about the festival’s theme. There was no doubt that this event should be in the spotlight, because it captured what ISFiT is all about (not to mention that watching people ski for the first time is pretty entertaining in itself.)
ISFiT is about defying cultural differences, making friends and getting to know one another through laughter and bonding. It is about fostering creativity by going beyond the familiar, and about developing the best ideas on the basis of respect and dignity. All participants and volunteers seek justice in their ideas, because they are the student rebellion that makes a peaceful revolt.
It was a victory for many to make it safely down the hill that day, and it was a victory for us all to be able to have fun and enjoy each other’s company despite our differences. And to me it was a victory that ISFiT’s values were captured on TV so that everyone could play a part in building the ISFiT experience.
I am one of ISFiT 2015’s International Ambassadors, and will continue to promote and share ISFiT’s values from New York. I want every person in this city to be aware of the amazing things that will take place next February in Trondheim. Keep your eyes peeled on further news!
Kristine Bjartnes, New York