Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! The Joint-hall Mid-autumn Festival 2017 was held at the Roundabout in the Student Residence with the great support from our 12 halls and non-local student societies including the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), City University of Hong Kong Taiwanese Student Association (CityU TSA), Korean Association of Students at City University of Hong Kong (KASCU), and the City University International Society (CUIS) last Thursday. The celebration was moved from indoors to outdoors this year to accommodate more participants. Let’s review what happened that night!
There were varieties of food and games in the booths organized by helpers from our 12 halls. If you are a fan of snow skin mooncakes, remember not to miss Jockey Club Humanity Hall’s (Hall 1) booth next year. One of the resident tutors, Ben LEUNG (Jockey Club Humanity Hall, Year 4, Manufacturing Systems Engineering), helped out at the booth to assist with mooncake-making which has since become a tradition for Hall 1. Although he is going to graduate, Ben plans to come back to help next year so perhaps we will see him again. You may wonder why he would continue helping out even after he graduates, but for Ben, the Joint-hall Mid-autumn Festival was the FIRST event for him to meet people from other halls during his freshman year. It marked his start of new friendships in CityU!
The celebration event was also the place where diverse cultures meet. Residents with different nationalities represent unique cultures. We first had the traditional Chinese Lion Dance by Chan Ka Fai Dragon & Lion Dance Association as our first guest performance. Muskaan GHANDI (HSBC Prosperity Hall, Year 2, Psychology) was amazed by the performance, but she joked that she would feel bad for the last person playing the back inside the lion costume. It was a new experience for her to meet another culture. Apart from the Lion Dance, there were also performances by the CityU Chinese Orchestra, Hong Kong Nunchaku Association, URBANITE, and Diverse Dance Group.
Non-local student societies such as the KASCU also prepared traditional food for Chuseok (the Korean Mid-autumn Festival) and a very cool K-pop dance performance for us. You could probably hear the loud cheering from a distance. Elena SHIN (Jockey Club Harmony Hall, Year 2, Accountancy), was glad to immerse herself in such a culturally diverse environment and let more people know about the traditional festival from a Korean point of view. She was delighted to see people enjoying Korean food.
Wish every resident a joyful Mid-Autumn Festival. Feel the vibe and enjoy the mooncake!
Alumni Civility Hall (Hall 3) organised a Volunteer Tour to Sichuan during the Easter Holiday from 15 to 20 April 2017. Five students, Tina ZHAO (Residence Tutor, Alumni Civility Hall, Year 4, Accounting), Vincent LYU (Alumni Civility Hall, Year 2, Civil and Structural Engineering), SHENG Yixin (Alumni Civility Hall, Year 2, Public Policy & Politics), HU Zhinan (Hall 10, Year 4, Translation & Interpretation), and Najeed ALSHAKHSHIR (Alumni Civility Hall, Year 1, Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering) traveled to Chengdu together and volunteered as Panda Keepers. Here is Najeed’s sharing:
All my prior knowledge about Sichuan came from my friends’ descriptions of the place. My most prominent impression about Sichuan is its distinctive food culture: some friends have described their food as being always spicy to the point it is unbearable. Only upon invitation to the trip to Chengdu, Sichuan I have come to know of its significance for its panda conservation centers and its historic sites. Having shown at least a certain extent of interest for the aspects that made me perceive Sichuan’s character, I decided to take the chance while keeping my fingers crossed for what is hidden ahead.
The main landmark in the first day was the ancient Jinli Street. Our main aim was to try out different desserts from the food stalls and then head towards a restaurant for dinner. The most distinctive item from the food stalls was a so-called dessert seasoned with Sichuan’s chilli oil. Such an encounter is impossible in my local cuisine in Jordan where sugar is the main and the dominating ingredient. My favorite of all Sichuan desserts was the pineapple honey. As for our dinner, we have opted for a restaurant which mainly serves hotpots. I find hotpots to be a very engaging approach to gatherings. This, in my opinion, made the atmosphere of the restaurant quite interesting; it gave me the feeling that everyone was more into socializing than eating.
Days 2 & 3
Our next two days were spent in Leshan, where the main attractions are various religious sites. We visited a religious complex which encompasses the Giant Buddha as well as many other temples, some of which are even associated with other faiths. We also went to the peak of Emei Mountain, a site of particular significance to Buddhism.
The trip to Leshan was in fact my first ever visit to religious sites which are associated with other beliefs. I also had the chance to witness the practitioners of other religions firsthand. I was especially surprised to learn that some mentalities or actions can be strikingly similar between completely different faiths. There exist plenty of differences, too. In my opinion, this experience had a significant positive impact on my perception of others’ beliefs. Most importantly, similarities should be appreciated while simultaneously respecting the differences. I believe this was a remarkable experience in enriching my awareness and developing tolerance towards others.
Aside from the site visits, on the first night in Leshan, I finally got to try a hotpot with the local spicy dressings. Its distinctive spicy taste made it one of the best hotpots I have ever tried. The spiciness is sure prominent, but not in a painful way. I have had friends who previously described Sichuan as the land of the food geniuses; it indeed is!
Days 4 & 5
On the fourth day, we moved to Dujiangyan in order to volunteer at its Panda Base for two days. Throughout this period, we had three main tasks for each day. The staff would take us to our work site, which is a specific set of panda enclosures (each with its own garden!). The first task was to smash bamboo sticks in order to break them into smaller pieces; this makes it easier for the panda to consume their food. Due to the giant panda’s inefficiency in consuming the bamboo, the second task was to recover the leftover pieces of bamboo sticks and leaves from around the garden. The third task was to ensure that the panda house was kept in a good hygienic condition. This means that we also had to look for the panda’s leftovers throughout the enclosure and its garden to clean them up. Thankfully, they were not significantly odorous. After completing these three tasks, we will get the chance to observe and feed the pandas.
Since I usually had a preference for doing any work individually up until high school, this activity has given me another chance to experience the benefits of teamwork with Tina, Vincent, Yixin, and Zhinan. While it can be a curse that pandas are not part of the teamwork in reducing the mess in their enclosures, it was a blessing for having offered a very convenient environment to observe their lifestyle. There is a charm about pandas which cannot be easily described; their lazy lifestyle combined with their innocence somehow makes them adorable creatures.
In addition to panda volunteering in those two days, we also visited historic sites like the nearby ancient Dujiangyan irrigation system to know about its purpose and history. After the second day when we have completed our volunteering task, we left Dujiangyan and headed towards the museum of the Jinsha archaeological site. We were then invited to yet another hotpot restaurant by the relatives of Tina, the trip organizer. Their warm welcome and generosity made me immensely enjoy their company despite our language barrier: all what I knew in Putonghua was how to say “hello” and “thank you”, yet I was shy to do so for fear of getting the tones wrong. This was the point at which I finally realized the importance of strengthening my skills in both Putonghua and Cantonese.
Our final day in Sichuan was concluded by a visit to the Tang poet Du Fu’s thatched cottage and its museum. Since I am not proficient in Chinese yet, I mainly focused on learning about Du Fu’s life and history. Although I have gotten the impression that his life was unfortunate, I have highly respected Du Fu for his modesty, persistence and willingness to serve the people, while also taking note of the praise he got for his poetry.
The rare, special encounters of this trip made this experience memorable and fruitful. Exploring Sichuan’s cuisine and culture was definitely worth the try, where exploring its heritage has allowed me to broaden my horizons and raise my awareness and tolerance towards other cultures. Moreover, I was delighted to get the chance to observe giant pandas in addition to offering them a helping hand.
Thanks to a success of the martial art movie Ip Man, Wing Chun Kungfu has seen a surge in popularity in Hong Kong as group of 25 students gather every Thursday at Multi-functional Hall B to learn some ancient Chinese martial arts from Master CHAN Wai Shing. Among them are City University students and staff.
According to Master CHAN who has been practicing Wing Chun for 17 years, this system of Kungfu can be acquired via four basic forms or weapons, namely “Jong” (wooden dummy), knife, pole and “Chi Sau”(sticking hands). CHAN said the one-month course gives entry-level students an opportunity to learn the basics of Wing Chun, as well as its history and future development. But he stressed that beginners must practice regularly to get the hang of the techniques.
“People join for different reasons. Some come for self-defense and others to spread the Chinese traditional art. Personally, I am here to share it with others via practicing and teaching Wing Chun. I would also like to share with practitioners the optimum and ultimate deployment of physical striking power in this form of Kung Fu. This is a form of art in its own right,” Master CHAN said.
Through a series of demonstrations, Master CHAN explained the function of every movement in detail and splited students into small groups for training purposes.
He added that the “Tan Sau”, “Fu Sau” and “Pong Sau” are exercises to train practitioners’ elbow strength and Centerline, which is reckoned to be the human body’s prime striking targets. Traditionally the centerline is considered to be the vertical axis from the top of a human’s head to the groin. Only after acquiring this skill that a student can utilize Bruce Li’s famous “Chuen Ging”–literally “inch strike”–or a very strong bash at a close combat range of one inch.
Furthermore, it is through relentless practicing and a full grasp of the spirit of Wing Chun can one really showcase the art of this world renowned Kung Fu.
In a humble comment, CHAN said he is always a student in front of his teacher. “Occasionally my teacher made a few useful observations while I was practicing and the words really helped me to improve my techniques. But once I have conquered one mountain, I realize that there is a taller summit ahead and the art of mastering of the skill is a lifelong process.”
Nowadays, some people may say that a smart brain is more useful than skillful fists, but how many can actually get a full scope of the principles behind the Wing Chun martial art? Wing Chun’s simple but effective styles and well-balanced body structure have been likened to the behavior of many traditional Chinese virtues such as a humble beginning of having one’s feet firmly rooted to the ground prior to a sprawling expansion.
When asked if one can rely on teaching Wing Chun to make a living, Master CHAN shook his head and said: “I don’t think it’s a good idea because one can hardly survive on the low income. I think most teachers do it for inheritance, to pass on the skill to the next generation.”
Writer: LOCK Kar See (Jockey Club Academy Hall)
Photographer: Jiwon JEONG (Joceky Club Academy Hall)
When I first met Reshma, my initial thought was, “Dang, this is a legit third-culture-international-school-kid.” (Yes, this is a word now.) I could not believe how many cultures could be mixed and contained within one person. Hence, I am very excited about this piece in which Reshma shares her definition of ‘home’ and her experience of growing up in CityU.
Reshma PUNJABI – majoring in Banking and Financial Services with a minor in Mathematics – resides in Hall 10. This is her final year, however, she plans to extend her studies for one more year. During this time, she will focus on completing the requirements for her Mathematics minor, so she can figure out if she would like to do further studies in a Master of Science in Mathematics or a Master of Education to teach it. “I have always loved mathematics in high school but I want to see if I can cope with it at university level.”
I was very impressed with Reshma’s cultural background. She was born in Taiwan, where she spent one year, before moving to Dubai for another year. Afterwards, she moved to Guangzhou, China and this is where she grew up till she was sixteen. Ethnically, Reshma is Indian and although she has never lived in India, it is the culture she primarily identifies with. With the utmost modesty, Reshma described her language abilities – she can speak English and Hindi fluently, Mandarin at conversational level and Spanish and Sindhi at beginners’ level.
Reshma’s diverse background influences her meaning of home, “People are my homes, which is why I consider both CityU and China my homes. But once the people leave, CityU won’t be my home anymore.” Thus, CityU is only temporary, a transition, “but in terms of a physical place, I relate to Guangzhou the most, simply because it is all I have seen as a child.”
Reshma enrolled into university when she was just sixteen years old. I was curious to know what it was like for her to basically ‘grow up’ at CityU. Reshma explained that during the first month, she was a completely different person. She used to be socially awkward so it took her a while to catch up with her peers who were already slightly older than her. She experienced a huge jump from being sheltered to being exposed to a diverse community, “At home in China, I attended an international school. I was very enclosed within the Indian community because I found that was a way to stick to my Indian roots, it was where I was most comfortable. And now, even at CityU I tend to stick to the Indian community but I have gotten to know a wide variety of people.”
Model United Nations (MUN) has been a prominent activity, which has contributed to this growth. Reshma wanted to do MUN since high school but was not able to do such extra-curricular activities because of her commitment to academics. Thus, it was a big deal when she heard that CityU offered it. Being involved in MUN provided many opportunities to learn from a multicultural group of people.
Apart from her life at CityU, Hong Kong has given Reshma some incredible memories. Just two weeks before my interview with her, Reshma was describing a night consisting of a “series of fortunate events,” where running an errand transformed into a perfect evening with friends. The great company made Reshma realise the importance of random spontaneous night outs. This is just another example, which clearly demonstrates how convenient Hong Kong can be.
Reshma’s tip for current students is to, “try and branch out as much as possible because you really do not know who is going to teach you something.” Even people whom she has not particularly liked or has had disagreements with, have taught her something. She respects them a great deal because of the deep impact they have made in her life regardless of the amount of time knowing them.
Reshma shows us how home does not have to be one place, rather it is about whom you are with. These people will impact you in many ways, whether it is sharing their culture, impromptu night outs, or learning from a disagreement. In all, good quality relationships are an important factor in the formation of unforgettable memories.
On 18th February 2017, Hall 11 hosted a talk on “Ethnic Minorities and Society in Hong Kong.” This talk was held at Multi-function Hall-B and was the first part of the Hall 11 Talk Series.
The speaker, Mr. Alok JAIN was fascinating and inspiring. Initially an engineer from India, he has been living in Hong Kong with his family for the last 22 years. Apart from the fact that Hong Kong is very safe, Mr. Jain thoroughly enjoys the public transport here, and is passionate about trains and buses. “I even collect toys!” he laughed. His passion has driven him (pun unintended) to have a very successful career in the traffic and transport sector of Hong Kong, working at KMB and MTR. Currently, he is the Managing Director of Trans-consult Asia, a management-consulting firm specializing in Traffic and Transport advisory services. He is currently a member in the Transport Policy Committee of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Hong Kong and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong.
Mr. Jain is one of the 16 selected representatives of ethnic minorities in Diversity List, to empanel in Government advisory bodies and also produces a community radio show ‘Cultural Dimsum’ focused on the integration of ethnic minorities.
What does it mean to be an ethnic minority?
Mr. Jain explained how the government of Hong Kong differentiates ‘Minorities by Ethnicity’ (Whites, Japanese, Koreans, etc.) from ‘Ethnic Minorities’ like South and South-East Asians, or those races considered underprivileged. Ethnic minorities (or EMs) make up about 6.3% of the population, and 70-80% of them call Hong Kong their home. Yet, they are poorly represented in the government and even though EMs are usually highly qualified, many EM youth are unemployed, or end up in manual labour.
“We ask for equal treatment, not special treatment.”
Speaking about the language barrier non-Chinese ethnicities face, Mr. Jain pointed out that although 60-70% of local born EMs can speak and understand the local language here, they do not feel like a part of the society due to their lack of Chinese reading and writing abilities due to lack of immersion in school. The talk brought to light the importance of integration of society. Important topics like domestic violence against women in EMs and educational reform were also raised, along with crime and media portrayal in Hong Kong.
“The government has done a lot of work towards EMs”, said Mr. Jain, although also pointing out that there are still some ways to go regarding outreach of resources and jobs. “EMs should not be part of the problem, but part of the solution.”
“Hong Kong has been very kind to me.”
While speaking from personal experience, Mr. Jain recalls, “I have never faced any awkward situation as an EM” and “If you want to call Hong Kong your home, there’s no place like it.”
“Don’t draw those lines.”
Mr. Jain believes that it is our duty to educate one another and sensitize the society towards issues like these. “Hong Kong is an immigrant population and the term ‘ethnic minority’ should cease to exist.” He suggests people from all ethnicities to not box themselves in or only socialize with people from their community.
At the end, I asked some members of the audience to share their views about what they learned:
“I was impressed by the speakers’ background and the way he spoke about ethnic minorities without a Psychology background.”
– SHIN Ji Yong, Hall 11, Year 3, Information Management
“As a finance student, to realize another side of Hong Kong and the difficulties faced by ethnic minorities- it was a new thing for me.”
– CHEN Min, Hall 11, Year 3, Finance
Writer: Riddhi SUKHIA (Jockey Club Academy Hall)
Photographer: REN Ling (Sir Gordon and Lady Ivy Wu Hall)
Often, the word most associated with Indonesia is ‘Indomie’. For those who has never heard of Indomie, it is God’s gift in the form of instant noodles. It’s so good! Honestly, if you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out in life. In this year’s Indonesian Night on 15 Feb, the Indonesian students in CityU wish to show the world that they have more to offer than just Indomie.
This year’s theme was Batavia. Batavia is the capital of Dutch East Indies, but now more familiarly known as Jakarta. As you step inside MFH A, a hall of fame greets you. On the walls are faces that most of you find unfamiliar, but for Indonesians, they are important figures that changed their country in many aspects. Our Indonesian hosts wanted the guests to experience an integral part of their culture, thus they had visitors sitting on the floor to mimic how it’s like back home. They opened the event with a tradition called ‘potong tumpeng’. Tumpeng is a cone-shaped rice surrounded by Indonesian dishes and the tradition is to cut the top most part of the cone to indicate the opening of a ceremony.
While people were busy admiring the decorations around the hall– traditional batik draperies on the sides and a map of Indonesia in front– they were greeted with yet another surprise. International students from South Africa, India, Philippines, Taiwan and Turkey greeted us with traditional Indonesian costumes from all around the region.
The event was a full-house. There were abundant food and drinks, personally taste-tested by the organizers to make sure the guests get to taste the best of Indonesian food. The desserts were quite weird in shape. One of them was green and glutinous with coconut shavings in the middle. It is definitely not something you eat on a regular basis in Hong Kong!
While others are eating dinner (some savoring it and lining up for more!), the Indonesian students put up a live music performance. Hums and melodies of Indonesian songs fill the room and other Indonesian students sing along to their favorite songs. The guests are also entertained with a few familiar English songs.
The event ended smoothly on a happy note. I went around and interviewed some people:
What created the initial idea of organizing Indonesian Night?
“We wanted to bring you back in time. Jakarta is now known as a modern city of high skyscrapers and bustling traffic, however, we also wanted to show you another Jakarta, one that’s still close to heart. We wanted to show our history and culture to other students!”
– Megan Trivitha PRATANA, Jockey Club Humanity Hall, Year 2, Finance, Indonesia
How did you, as an organiser, feel about the whole event tonight?
“Organising Indonesian Night this year was one of the best experiences in my life! We had to plan everything from point zero and make good use of the limited resources we have. It was definitely challenging, but because of this experience I get to be more creative and courageous.”
– Maria Glenda OCTAVIENNA, Jockey Club Harmony Hall, Year 2, Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, Indonesia
What was your overall impression of Indonesian Night?
“I did not have any prenotion about Indonesia. However, this event opened my eyes to a new culture. Personally, I really liked the drama. The fashion show was impressive as well. It was very successful, so many participants!”
Chengyi CAO, Hall 10, Year 2, Marketing, Mainland China
What was the best part of the whole event?
“The food. It was interesting to find out that Indonesia also has interesting looking desserts, like India. The food was particularly delicious”
– Ishwara HEGDE, Hall 10, Year 2, Economics, India
Writer: Natasya Viona CHANDRA (Jockey Club Harmony Hall)
Photographers: Ellen DING (Alumni Civility Hall), REN Ling (Sir Gordon and Lady Ivy Wu Hall)
Tis’ the season of love! To your left, couples are hugging. To your right, couples are holding hands. Anywhere your eyes roam, you just can’t avoid the public display of affection. Your eyes burn, you feel trapped. It’s okay, dear friends, we single people should unite to defeat this plague called Valentines Day.
I am here to help you survive valentine’s day without being a complete mess.
Splurge on (discounted) chocolates
It’s okay, your scale understands. Diet starts tomorrow, anyways. You are allowed to buy as many Ferrero Rocher as you want. Splurge on those Hershey’s! Indulge in those sweet gooey goodness called chocolate because you need extra TLC today. We got your back.
Netflix (and maybe chill?)
Dive into your cheesy chick flicks movie marathon. Bawl your eyes out to The Notebook or any other sappy Nicholas Sparks movie. Realise that there are 60 million other people doing the exact same thing like you today. You’re not alone! Hoorah for single people around the world!
It’s freezing outside! Why even bother going out? Restaurants will be occupied with couples and you would probably have to wait (in the freezing cold!) to get a table… for one. Spare yourself the effort and order a take-out. Better yet, stay warm inside your blanket with a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy your me-time.
Your best friends might be out with their S.O. and you have no dinner plans. Who’s telling that you can’t swipe away on Tinder today (or any other day) really? You might get an impromptu date or even just find friends to hang out with.
Drunk dial your ex
It’s okay to feel lonely, but once the booze kicks in and you feel the utmost urge to dial your ex, stop. A quick ‘hi’ will turn into an ‘I miss you’ and nothing good ever comes out after that. You don’t need that extra drama in your life, trust me.
Wallow in self-pity
All jokes aside, it’s great to be single! We have the freedom to do whatever we want. We don’t have to worry about gift buying, planning surprises or picnic dates. We don’t have to spend time on Pinterest, searching for the most creative heartfelt gift that takes ages to make. We literally just saved our self all that hassle. And honestly, you don’t require anyone to make you happy. Make yourself so happy so that when others look at you, they feel happy too.
Complain on social media about how ‘single’ you are
Don’t be a party pooper. Instead call your loved ones (family, friends, cousins, pets… and the list goes on) and tell them how grateful you are to have them in your life. Don’t be salty about being single and not receiving love, when you can be spreading love elsewhere.
As cliché as it sounds, spreading love shouldn’t be a one day occasion. Especially with all the pain in the world right now, one of the things we can do to help is to keep spreading love and positivity, not only to your significant other but also the world.
I hope you have a great valentine’s day because I sure will!
Writer: Natasya Viona CHANDRA (Jockey Club Harmony Hall)
‘Tis the season for red pockets! We want to share the joy of new year to everyone around the world, so let’s look how different places celebrate Chinese New Year, shall we?
The Chinese New Year, which follows the lunar calendar, is the biggest and most important festival in China and many East Asian countries like Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, etc. Indonesia, for one, also celebrates this Big Day.
Not a lot of people know this, but Chinese Indonesians make up 3% of the whole population of Indonesia. That doesn’t sound like a large percentage, but apparently, Indonesia has the world’s highest number of ethnic Chinese population living outside mainland China and Taiwan. We celebrate the Chinese New Year as ‘Imlek‘.
During New Year’s Eve, just like everywhere else, everyone makes an effort to come home. It is the time where conversations are made and laughter is shared. The dinner menu is almost always fixed every year: barbeque or hotpot. Restaurants provide dining packages—customers can dine while enjoying traditional Chinese acrobats, songs, and dance.
During Chinese New Year, we will wake up and greet each other: “恭喜發財 新年快樂”, or in Indonesian, simply “kionghi”. Everyone is busy in the morning because there are relatives to call and wish, and people dress to impress. There will be at least one red article of clothing because it is believed that red will scare away evil spirits and bad fortune.
There are a few antics that might seem weird but is widely practiced during Chinese New Year:
We are not allowed to wash or clean anything (except the dishes). Sweeping the floor or doing laundry means cleaning away the fortunes of a new year, so we usually clean everything a day before—to indicate that we are getting rid of the bad fortunes and ready for a new start. We are also not allowed to wash our hair on new year’s day, for the same reasons stated before. It is very common to see hairdressers very packed a few days before new year.
My mom believes in starting the new year with a full meal, so we will have rice and a few side dishes for breakfast. Noodles and dumplings are always served because they have special meanings. Noodles indicate happiness and longevity and dumplings means wealth.
Another thing we enjoyed during New Year is the Chinese lion dance, or known as ‘barongsai’ in Indonesian. They will come into houses or restaurants and people will put red pocket money in its mouth. People like to invite barongsai into their house because it indicates good luck. Sometimes people will buy a flock of birds and then let them free during New Year. By letting the birds free, they are also letting go all their bad fortunes.
During the day, it is very customary to go to other relative’s homes to catch up and talk. Red pocket aka ‘angpau‘ is exchanged and snacks are provided. The one snack that everyone will have in their house is ‘nastar’—small bite-sized pineapple tarts filled with pineapple jam. Another thing we always provide is ‘kue lapis legit’ or ‘spekuk’. It is inspired by the Dutch multi-layered cake. Not to forget, it is mandatory to have carts and carts of oranges.
More than anything, Chinese New Year is particularly important because it is when families bond and relationships are rekindled. This is how we celebrate Chinese New Year in Indonesia, how about you?
“We hope to bring back childhood memories, as well as happiness to everyone.”
Kendama, whipping top, Peaceful War, Paper Fortune… what do all these make you think of? A thing for certain is that these are all fond childhood memories for those who have grown up in Hong Kong. Happiness comes easily in youth. Just a piece of paper and a pen mark the beginning of a “Peaceful War”. The same case happens when you are living in the Student Residence: happiness comes easily as long as residents stay together. This year, residents of Lee Shau Kee Hall (Hall 6) organised a stall, “Mega Toy”, at the Lunar New Year Fair in Victoria Park. This is not only an initiative to strengthen the bond among residents, but also to recall the childhood memories of the general public and to relieve them from daily stress.
Mega Toy is organized by nine residents from Hall 6. All procedures including stall auction, product design, promotion, invitation to investors, manufacturer contacting and logistics from Mainland China. From planning to retailing, they did them all by themselves. They filmed their own promotional videos as well as creating a light-up board of “Mega Toy” with their own engineering knowledge and hands-on experiences.
There are only two concept for their product designs—simple and delightful. Therefore, the organisers chose enlarged nostalgia gadgets as the theme, hoping to tell everyone that seeking pleasures can be as simple as you can imagine. They also wish to share the joy that they have experienced from Hall 6 to everyone else in Hong Kong, as the enlarged toys means to multiply their happiness. The products of “Mega Toy” include self-designed nostalgic cushions and plastic folders. They are just incredibly artistic and innovative!
Yet, an idea flashed through the organisers’ minds when they were thinking of ways to impress their customers—what about taking any challenges suggested by eager buyers? Anything ranging from Rock Paper Scissors, IQ questions, running from Tin Hau station to Causeway Bay station, etc. are all welcomed. As long as the customers win over the Mega Toy staff in any suggested games, they will be able to get a discount for the product. The more creative the game is, the more discount they can get. Mega Toy staff are willing to receive challenges whenever customers are interested in doing so.
“We hope to bring back childhood memories, as well as happiness to everyone. It is an awesome experience for all of us to work in the CNY fair together. Starting from designing products, filming, cheering, selling and playing games with customers… all these memories are precious and treasured. Even though we are physically tired, the moment we realize everyone is enjoying what we are providing, we are perfectly satisfied.” said Jay NG (Lee Shau Kee Hall, Year 2, Media & Communication), one of the organisers of Mega Toy.
One of the goals of Mega Toy is to encourage residents of Hall 6 in the coming years to keep organizing the CNY fair stall and make it a hall tradition. What we can see from these residents are not only their passion and willingness to take the responsibilities of maintaining hall harmony, but their efforts in sharing happiness with the community as well. The CNY fair is going to end tonight. Do come to stall 153 at Victoria Park and support these enthusiastic residents! Hope you will be able to find your contentment!
By: Dilys HO (Lee Shau Kee Hall)
Images: Jay NG (Lee Shau Kee Hall)
Music, a magical world of which we can indulge ourselves into all emotions;
Music, a tiny spark that lights up the dull darkness;
Music, a paradise in which we can stay who we are without worrying about being judged by others;
Music, a word to be interpreted into thousands of meanings.
This year’s Halloween week came with not only “ghosts and spirits” but some different excitement as well. The much-anticipated Joint-hall Jam Nite was organized by Hall 10 in Multi-function Hall C on 27 October 2016. When I entered MFH C, the helpers were busy setting up the fancy stage with light bulbs of different colors, snacks and drinks, and all the technical devices. More performers were there to join the acoustic feast than last year. Taking a closer look at the performance list, I saw solo singing, musical instrument ensemble, semi-chorus and so on. All of which were in distinctive styles. The Violin duo duet MA Ruoying (Year 2, Total Quality Engineering) and LI Jiamin (Year 2, Computer Science) from Hall 10 was filled with ups and downs when performing “Koi Copy”. The semi-chorus “When” by mixed-hall performance group A Sharp was intoxicating and skillful; while the Flute and Piano Ensemble “The Changing Seasons” by ZHANG Dingyu (Year 2, Applied Sociology) and me was gentle and beautiful with a hint of sadness.
LEI Sasa (Residence Tutor, Hall 10, Year 1, MA Integrated Marketing Communication), one of the organizers of the Jam Nite, was a great singer herself. To appreciate all the performers and audience present, she decided to sing one song by her favorite Taiwanese singer: Hebe TIEN. It was the second residence activity she involved as a PIC since she became a Residence Tutor. “Although I’ve just finished my tough midterm, and felt quite tired as I worked till late night, I never regret what I have contributed to the Jam Nite. Luckily, it was successful!”
At the Jam Nite, you could appreciate music presented by people across different cultural backgrounds, make friends with like-minded people and exchange your opinions about music, and find everyone tied by an invisible bond simply because you share a similar music taste!
Music makes us one. It connects us regardless of language barriers and cultural differences. One will never feel lonely as long as he/her is with music.