Jaiman Shah reports on a memorable Festival of Lights celebration for Diwali in Singapore.
After two regular annual events – International Day and Oktoberfest, it was Diwali which brought out the regional flavour in the NUS MBA program.
Diwali is the Indian festival of lights celebrated to mark the beginning of Hindu New Year. For Indians, it was a feeling of home away from home while for we introduced our culture to our batch mates. So much so that, Karla, our friend from Philippines, turned up in a red-n-black saree to celebrate Diwali in the authentic Indian style.
Chinese student Gao Xiang talks about celebrating the most important holiday in Chinese culture away from home.
Spring Festival, the first day of Jan on Lunar Calendar, is the most important holiday in Chinese culture. In tradition, before new-year eve the young and the old all return home to celebrate lunar new-year with their folks. Ordinarily, the spectacular celebration can last for 15 days till lantern Festival.
For most of our Chinese students, it is the first time to be far away from home during new-year period. Rather than spend a peaceful new-year overseas, Chinese students decided to host a carnival and celebrate with international friends from MBA program. The organizing procedure involved much contribution from Chinese students and financial and technical assistance from supportive MBA office. On 2 Feb 2007, in Munchie Monkey Café, the unforgettable night started.
For Colleen Gao Xiang and Du Fei, International Day 2007 was an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of the NUS MBA community, and to share a different side of Chinese culture.
NUS is not just a university for me, but a connection of culture, a palace of academy, and a community of smart and ambitious young ladies and gentlemen.
It was always my dream to share the long story of China’s history with my foreign friends… the legend of the Forbidden City, the poems of Tang Dynasty, and the tunes of Peking opera. During the night of International day, on the stage of the Kent Ridge Guild House, my dream was realized… not only by me, but all my Chinese friends in the MBA program. Under the limelight, we used our songs to tell the long history of China, a real China, with an ancient, mysterious, and beautiful culture.