Writer: Adrian Chia
Editor: Pearly Neo
“I’m feeling very excited now…erm…maybe more nervous…”
– Ivan, Head of Malaysia Night Committee 2010/11, before the start of the event
When the Malaysian freshmen first arrived in Hall, most of them were strangers to one another. However, together they embarked on a journey, which brought them much, much closer and at the same time, showcased the unique culture of their home country to guests from around the world. Tour de Malaysia, the theme of Malaysia Night 2010/11, was the ultimate fruit of their labour after a month of hard work.
The organisers certainly intended to bring the Malaysian culture as close to the audience as possible. As the guests made their way into the Communal Hall, they were welcomed by ushers dressed in brightly-coloured traditional costumes. An Ang Pao containing a slip of paper introducing various facets of the Malaysian society was handed to every guest. The early birds also received a pen from Tourism Malaysia as a souvenir!
As the Hall slowly filled with guests, it was not hard to spot many different nationalities seated among the audience. There was a group of exchange students from Europe, and there were residents from China, Mauritius and of course, from Singapore. Everyone was certainly eager to know more about the Malaysian culture!
“I’ve been to Malaysia 3 times – to Tioman, KL and Mount Kinabalu.”
– Sebastian, exchange student from Germany, currently residing in E Block.
“I want to be part of KE Hall’s events. I’ve been to KL.”
– Simon, exchange student from France, staying in F Block.
All guests were given a rousing welcome by the two emcees for the night – Nian Ci and Hui Wei. With the arrival of the Guest of Honour, who was none other than our Hall Master Prof. Ho, the event went underway at 8pm. The national anthem of Malaysia – “Negaraku”, which literally means “My Country”, was played, followed by an opening speech by Ivan, who welcomed everyone on behalf of his organising team. Prof. Ho was invited up on stage next to officially initiate the event – by putting a stamp on a huge passport that marked the start of the night’s ‘tour’.
Dinner was next on the agenda, and before the stomach growlings got any louder, on the emcees’ cue, a snaking queue quickly formed behind the food. What a sumptuous meal awaited us! The menu was a selection of dishes rather representative of Malaysians’ unique taste buds. They included chicken curry, mutton, and otah, all of which were spicy (though honestly, most Malaysians would not mind if they were spicier)! On top of those, there were also fish fillets and Nyonya mixed vegetables. Not forgetting the Nyonya kuihs, which really fulfilled our cravings for sweet desserts. Given that there was ample food for all, everyone certainly had a great time eating their fill with all the delicacies!
“OK lah, not too bad lah. Different from Hall food.”
– Comment from Reuben, arguably the most professional food critic in Hall.
After satisfying our taste buds the ‘tour’ resumed firstly with a folk dance from Sabah, a Malaysian state on the island of Borneo. JJ and Emelyne demostrated the dance steps once, before two members of the audience were invited on stage to join them. Gavin obviously needed more training in dance while Sheikh was certainly much better! The mini Gasing competition was next, signifying that the tour had reached the northern state of Kelantan. Gasing is actually a top which is spun using a rope, and is a traditional game among the Malays. 5 contestants had to spin the Gasing after a crash course by Jamil on stage, and the participant whose top spun for the longest period of time was the winner. Sebastian, an exchange student from Germany emerged as the champion, beating other contestants from Malaysia, Mauritius and China! Well done Sebastian!
The tour then proceeded to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. It is a vibrant city where many Malaysians from all walks of life converge, and it is from here that many people’s life stories truly begin. This was brought out by the 2 Chinese pop songs brought to us. The first “纯文艺恋爱” was the theme song of a locally produced romance-comedy, called “初恋红豆冰” which became quite a hit both locally and in the overseas Chinese market. The second song “浪花一朵朵” was a catchy and popular song which many among the audience sang along. The next stop was Malacca, which was represented by a Nyonya dance performance which fused both traditional and modern elements together. But perhaps most shockingly was among all the ‘female’ dancers there was a male cross-dresser spotted, cueing loud cheers of ‘Go Shao Hua!!!’! His superb and natural dance moves stole the show, and won the item thunderous applause. For the next programme signifying Johor, it was a Teh Tarik game which required participants to drink two cups of tea with a straw as quickly as possible. However, there was a catch – the tea was steaming hot! Nonetheless, Shiekh, the winner, managed to finish both cups in “about 10 seconds” (quoting the game master)!
A mass performance of the “1Malaysia” song was next, which saw all members of the committee singing a patriotic song together on stage. With that, Tour de Malaysia ended back in Singapore and a re-entry stamp was symbolically placed on the passport. It was certainly a great effort and brilliant performance by the Malaysia Night committee. Good job!
“Wah… now I feel relieved.”
– Ivan, after the event ended.
Editor’s Note: Pictures will be uploaded ASAP, we sincerely apologise for the delay!