Written by: David Chen
Photos by: Jacqueline Lie
Edited by: Adriel Leong
“East Wing Supper! East Wing Supper!”
Familiar voices rang across the quiet grounds of King Edward VII at 9.30pm on 4th October 2010, breaking the stifling silence of the night. More voices shouting the same phrases soon echoed through the entire East Wing, and within minutes, a handful crowd has gathered at the Fire Engine slope between B and C blocks to mark the start of the inaugural East Wing Supper.
The first activity in store for the East Wing residents (hereby referred to as ‘Easties’) was a relaxed walk around KE to the Dining Hall. As the Easties started lighting up their lanterns (which carried numbers for a mysterious lucky draw), noticeable banter – as well as smoke (from the sparklers) – started filling up the blocks, creating a belated festive atmosphere in the vicinity. The walk itself, dubiously named the ‘Walk of Shame’, was free and easy, and for many busy residents in KE VII, it served as a convenient and timely opportunity for them to catch up with their fellow block-mates/wing-mates while at the same time get to know some freshly minted freshmen KEVIIans.
After warming up the night with a light stroll and easy chatter, the Easties were welcomed into the Dining Hall for the highlight of the night: supper. Before that though, they were invited to the stage where the block flags lie. One by one, residents of AB block and CD block put their palm prints (and foot prints for some) onto the respective flags which were increasingly mottled with splatters of red, blue, green and yellow: a mosaic was formed. But the playful residents were not quite done yet, as they mischievously proceeded to sneak up to their buddies and leave palm prints all over their limbs too. Thankfully though, the paint was easily washable.
Supper was buffet style; trays of nuggets, bread with nutella and fruits were laid out for the queue to collect freely. Of course, festive specials such as glutinous rice balls and mooncakes – items symbolizing harmony and union – were also abundant. Of particular note were the snow-skin mooncakes, which were sweet and chewy and most importantly, home-made, just like every other food on display. Speaking of her virgin attempt at making mooncakes, a committee member commented, ‘It was a really fun making these food with the other committee members, and we are extremely proud that they are so well-received!’
The final section of the night included two games based on a modified tale of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Legend has it that Houyi was an unparalleled archer in China during a time when there were 10 suns in the sky. Houyi, mustering his miraculous marksmanship, managed to shoot down 9 of the 10 suns in the sky to restore coolness onto earth. So, to mimic his legacy, participants were called up for a modern day shooting contest: using rubber bands as catapults, they were supposed to shoot paper bullets through ‘suns’ drawn on paper. Due to the limits of paper size, however, it was a pity that most of the residents were unable to see the contest up close. It was eventually won by a group of three girls from AB block. The bullet shooting continued after the games concluded, however, as participants got engrossed in reliving a part of their inner childhood which they sorely missed.
The second game was inspired by Jade Rabbit which– according to the tale – helped Houyi bring Chang-e back from the moon by collecting ‘longevity pills’. Two opposing groups of 10 contestants – one from each block cluster – were called up to stage. In similar fashion to rabbit hops, contestants were supposed to hop across the stage with their feet in sand bags and retrieve the ‘longevity pills’, i.e. Fruit Plus candies, suspended on poles. Intense competition ensued immediately after the commencement of the game, as the two teams were neck and neck with each other. Contestants from AB block held the lead for most parts of the game but those from CD block were hot on their heels, overtaking whenever possible. The crowds from both teams spontaneously cheered their teams on to a nail-biting finale. The game concluded with the last contestant of AB block just crossing the finishing line with his counterpart from CD block a few steps behind.
The festive occasion came to an end, almost two hours later, with the announcement of the lucky draw winner, Ms Tan Jing Ni, who got home (or back to her room) with a fresh and round pomelo.
Organising such a massive event for almost half the hall was no mean feat. Here are some of the comments of the committee members whose efforts made this first supper for East Wing possible:
‘It was a group effort and everyone played a role. It was really fun frying nuggets with friends for all our friends in the east wing,’ says Linus, who was part of the food and beverages committee.
‘I think everyone had fun in the rabbit game, though it’s a pity that we couldn’t involve everyone in the games and activities we have planned,’ says Julian, game master of the second game.
On being asked whether he would like to have another East Wing supper in the near future, a resident who wishes to remain unnamed replied, ‘Of course! But hold it after the mid-terms and CAs so everyone can come down and have fun together.’
Indeed. And we are looking forward to the next supper already!