Current Affairs

International Students Day 2023: History, Theme & Celebration

international students day 2023

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

Happy International Students Day! This International Students Day 2023, let’s pay tribute to the students who sacrificed their lives in Prague, in 1939. Let’s also pay our respects to students in the 21st century who are fighting for a better education system and fair tuition all across the country. 

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On November 17, International Students’ Day is observed worldwide. It draws particular attention to the need to guarantee that all pupils have access to education. Leaders from many walks of life are joining the demand for increased financial assistance for students so they can pay for their education and improve their future chances.

Do you know why we celebrate International Students Day, also known as Students Day? 

History of International Students Day

international students day

Why Do We Celebrate International Students Day? 

The context for International Students Day or Students Day commenced in the year 1939, in Prague.

Events that led to commemorating students and celebrating International Students Day.

  • The occasion honours the anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the University of Prague in 1939, which took place during World War II. The German annexation of Czechoslovakia and the murders of Jan Opletal and worker Václav Sedláek were protested by the students.
  • In 1939, medical students at Charles University in Prague staged a protest to mark the creation of the independent Czechoslovak Republic. The Nazis brutally dispersed the crowd, killing student Jan Opletal as a result.
  • At his funeral procession, which drew tens of thousands of students, an anti-Nazi protest was held. 
  • In response, the Nazis closed down all educational institutions in the Czech Republic. As a result, the Nazis arrested the students, killed nine student leaders, and interned more than 1,200 of them. The day is set aside to honour their grit and tenacity.
  • The multiculturalism of international students is now celebrated by colleges all around the world without regard to politics.

1939 Sparked the Student Protests Against Hitler and Dictatorship 

Post the protest by medical students in 1939, Europe saw the unification of the students and their interest in politics. 

According to historians, the Third Reich aka Hitler permitted the funeral march because they foresaw a potentially violent consequence. It would give the administration the justification it needed to shut down all Czech colleges, giving a devastating blow to intellectual and student activists’ attempts to rise up in resistance.

International Students’ Day, observed on November 17, honours the valour displayed by student activists during the Nazi invasion of the University of Prague in 1939. The International Students’ Council in London hosted the first commemoration in 1941. There, students established the annual International Students’ Day, which falls on November 17.

Examples of Students’ Power and Their Impact on History’s Events

Post-1939, the wave of student unification and protesting against unfair systems and politics was seen in other parts of the world as well. 

Here are the three stories that perfectly sum up how good habits for students together can flip the geo-political landscape. 

international student day

Example 1: Language Movement, Bangladesh, 1952

An inspiring aspect of Bangladeshi history is the historic mid-20th century Bangla language movement. Bangla became one of the official languages of the country after the bravery, sacrifices, love for the mother tongue, and devotion to the homeland forced the then-powerful rulers of Pakistan to accede to popular demand.

In a nutshell, the Language Movement is a wonderful illustration of the perseverance of people. The movement’s leaders, who included teachers, writers, and mostly students organized millions of young people for 20 years (1952–1971) by walking barefoot in the early hours of February 21st on the streets in the direction of the Shaheed Minar (Martyrs Memorials) in Dhaka (and to the thousands of replicas throughout the country) and the Azimpur graveyard in Dhaka, where the martyrs are buried.

Organizing a political movement under the guise of a cultural movement by the students, ostensibly to lament the unjust killing of students and commemorate February 21 as a day of remembrance, was simply a wonderful way to inspire patriotism and a sense of belonging to the Bengali Nation.

Every year we celebrate World Teachers’ Day on 5th Oct to mark the transformation of Education by Teachers.

Example 2: Justice for Massacre, Burma, 1988

A turning point occurred in Burma with the 1988 demonstrations and crackdown. Thousands of people were killed by the military and other security forces during the suppression of widespread pro-democracy protests in Burma from March to September 1988.

On August 8, 1988, protests for a democratic transition and an end to military rule broke out simultaneously in cities and towns all over Burma as a result of a statewide strike involving thousands of students, monks, and regular civilians. The administration was taken aback by the number and scope of these protests, so it sent forces to put an end to them. Armed forces shot at unarmed protestors, killing dozens and injuring many more. With the help of swords, poisoned darts, and sharpened bicycle spokes, some demonstrators retaliated, killing some police officers.

8th August, 88 is remembered as a day when students together fought for democratic rights. 

Example 3: Velvet Revolution, Czechoslovakia, 1989

The Velvet Revolution, a November–December 1989 statewide protest movement in Czechoslovakia, brought an end to the nation’s more than 40 years of communist governance.

Eastern Europe experienced an uprising against the communist government in 1989. Students in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, assembled for a nonviolent protest on November 16, and the next day, a student march in Prague was sanctioned by the government.

The Prague March was meant to mark the 50th anniversary of the police’s savage suppression of a student protest in German-occupied Prague, but as soon as students started to criticize the government, the police reacted violently.

The Velvet Revolution was started by this occurrence, which intensified across the nation’s industrial hubs. Negotiations with the opposition were pushed upon the communist government. Gustáv Husák resigned on December 10 and a transitional administration made up of members of the Civic Forum and Public Against Violence was established.

Present: International Students Day 2023 Celebrations

The international students’ day date is the same around the globe- 17th November. This day is observed by numerous universities all over the world as a chance to highlight diversity and multiculturalism. On International Students Day, some universities host a number of activities to promote young involvement.

On International Student Day, a number of student organizations in addition to colleges host numerous events. Other than performing a single act of social service, students can show their support by taking part in other activities. They can even use social media to provide information about the significance of International Student Day.

Every year, International Students Day is observed with the goal of promoting the importance of education and its access for all students. The purpose of the day is to guarantee that every student has access to education worldwide. Because of the events that occurred in Prague during World War II, November 17 has been designated as International Students Day.

This year’s International Literacy Day was celebrated worldwide under the theme, ‘Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies‘.

The theme for International Students’ Day 2023 is “Celebrating Cultural Diversity and Inclusion in Education.”

On International Students’ Day, we celebrate the contributions of international students and reaffirm our commitment to creating a more inclusive and equitable educational environment for all students.

International Students’ Day is a great opportunity to learn from and celebrate the diversity of our student communities. Let’s work together to create a more inclusive and equitable educational environment for all students.

international students day celebration

International Students Day date November 17 is now a celebration of the multiculturalism of students across the globe.

In India, National Students Day is celebrated on the 9th of July. National Students Day is celebrated to commemorate the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.

In India, there are a lot of student associations working actively toward concerned issues and political subjects. 

A few of the notable student associations are:

All Assam Students’ Union – Nationalist Student Organisation of Assam

All India Sikh Students Federation – Working for Sikh Students’ Welfare and Well-Being

Pinjra Tod – Run by women students to glorify women’s freedom and rights 

How to Celebrate International Students Day 2023

1. Plan Activities in your universities or schools

International Students’ Day serves as a reminder of diversity’s strength as well as the influence of youth. Bring diverse groups together for a stimulating day of global art, music, film, and conversation. Organize or attend events that celebrate cultural diversity and inclusion. This could include cultural festivals, potlucks, or panel discussions featuring international students.

2. Support International Students

Support international students by getting involved in organizations that provide them with resources and support. Advocate for policies and practices that support international students and promote cultural diversity in education.

3. Chat with Students from different states or countries

Learn about the different cultures represented by your international student community. You can do this by reading books, watching movies, or talking to international students directly. Approach a new student or an exchange student in the class and introduce yourself. Maybe even have dinner with them at your house. Wish each other a happy International Student’s Day and celebrate by speaking about your respective cultures. 

More Current Affairs Topics:
World Students DayInternational Literacy Day
National Education DayWorld Teachers Day
World Ozone DayChildren’s Day (India)
National Science DayNational Productivity Day
National Mathematics Day

FAQs on International Students Day

Q1. What is the theme of International Students Day 2023?

Ans: The theme for International Students’ Day 2023 is “Celebrating Cultural Diversity and Inclusion in Education.”

Q2. What happens on International Students Day? 

Ans: Students promote and celebrate their acts of civic engagement, congregate on campus to highlight the issues they support, and engage in joyous competitions.

Q3. When do we celebrate International Students Day?

Ans: 17th November

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