International Students Day is an annual celebration observed on November 17th of each year. Students are the building blocks of any nation. They are the future generations whose knowledge marks the nation’s development. It is a global celebration Day for the student’s community that celebrates the multiculturalism, mutual assistance, and diversity among the students globally. International Students Day originally commemorates the attack of Nazi German in Czech Universities in which the more than 1,200 students were sent to the concentration camps, and many others were killed. The Day is a symbol of the struggle of the students globally.
“In some parts of the world, students are going to school every day. It’s their normal life. But in other part of the world, we are starving for education… it’s like a precious gift. It’s like a diamond.” – Malala Yousafzai
History of International Students Day
The International Students Day has been celebrated since 1941. The celebration Day was established by the International Student’s Council in London. This Day marks the commemoration of the anniversary of the 1939 Nazi German storming of the Czech universities and the subsequent killing and sending the students to concentration camps. The German Nazi has stormed into the University of Prague after the demonstrations done against the killing of Jan Opletal, worker Václav Sedláček and the German occupation of Czechoslovakia. The students were rounded up by the German Nazis, and the Nazis murdered nine student leaders. It has also sent more than 1,200 students to the concentration camps which is mainly Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Consequently, all the Czech universities and colleges were closed by the German Nazis.
Nazi Germany has divided Czechoslovakia into Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and the Slovak Republic with a puppet fascist government, and thus Czechoslovakia has no longer existed at this time. The German Nazi authorities in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia has quashed a demonstration in Prague during late 1939. The presentation was held by the students of the Medical Faculty of Charles University. It was held to commemorate the anniversary of the independence of the Czechoslovak Republic (1918) on the 28th of October. All the Czech higher education institutions were closed down after the death of a student Jan Opletal. Nine students along with the professors were executed without trial on the 17th of November. It is the reason to for observing this Day on November 17.
The Independent student leaders with the Socialist Union of Youth (SSM/SZM) in 1989 organized a mass demonstration to commemorate the International Student’s Day. The fiftieth-anniversary event gave the students an opportunity to voice their displeasure with the communist party of Czechoslovakia. It began as a peaceful commemorative event and ended up with a violent one. The students and theatre actors agreed to go on strike on that same night. The activities linked to the Day of 17th November 1989 helped spark the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia.
Other Celebrations on November 17
November 17 is also celebrated as
- National Homemade Bread Day
- National Take A Hike Day
- World Prematurity Day
- National UnFriend Day
- National Epilepsy Day
How to Celebrate International Students Day
Celebrating the International Students Day is very simple. Learn more about the history of this Day and let people around you know in detail about the original reason for this observance. Get to know about the life of students, their education and how to make them build a stronger nation. Make the students realize and understand the importance of democratic education and a democratic society. Share your Student’s Day celebrations on the social media using the hashtag #InternationalStudentsDay.