Written by: Akshaya Gautham
Edited by: Celine Yeap
On the night of September 15th, 2011, many wondered why there were no stars in the sky. The reason: KE’s first annual Formal Hall Dinner (FHD). The “stars”of the night were none other than our Keviians themselves. Charming boys in suits with gorgeous girls in dresses of matching colours as their dates in hand complete with colourful flowers sold for charity by OCIP and the Dinner and Dance (DnD) committee was a picture perfect sight.
As tradition goes, this year’s Formal Hall Dinner was held in the dining hall, which looked spectacularly different from the humble place we dine in on a daily basis. Its look was revamped – all the tables were draped with red fabric and all the chairs were perfectly aligned in neat rows. As the time drew closer to FHD, there was a spirit of expectation in the air as couples (a freshman with a senior “date”!) slowly filled in, taking their seats in their respective blocks. Stepping into the dining hall, one could not miss the friendly greetings from the emcee’s for the night – Shaam and Biquan, KE’s very own freshmen. When the audience was more or less settled down comfortably, the Hall Master’s entrance and speech was greeted by a roar of claps. His inspiring speech revolved around the rich cultural diversity in KE and how it was home to students from all around the world. Following Hall Master’s speech was the defining moment of the night – the introduction of this year’s newly elected 55th JCRC members, who, one by one, proudly took their place on stage. Our humble JCRC president, Eddie Tan spoke about his experience of his journey as a Keviian; reflecting comically, how three years ago, he walked in as a completely normal guy but yet today, had the “power to starve hungry people” merely by giving a short and uplifting speech.
At last came time for what we “hungry people” had been waiting for – dinner, but not just your average hall dinner. Who knew the chefs of KE could cook up such a feast? The cuisine for the night was designed to satisfy everyone’s needs and tastes. Everything was so well organised – from the menu card to the programme for the night. The flow of food was endless – fresh steaming rice, complemented by hot soups, tenderly cooked chicken and fish and vegetables topped off with a cream puff dessert was undoubtedly satiating, tingling the taste buds at every point. How lavish the spread was, indeed!
What’s more, nobody could have asked for a better ambience and background during dinner. While the gourmet meal was a treat to the many hungry mouths, a series of stellar performances by the KE Band was a treat to the ears. A melody of well known songs were blasted through the speakers amidst the camaraderie between couples. The programme for the night was facilitated by our emcees. A memorable event was a game, which entertained the crowd. One pair from each block were called (or rather pushed onto stage) to participate in a game. With their hands tied to each other, it was a race between couples to blow up balloons and break them by sitting on it! This rib-tickling session was followed by another hilarious one. Couples at random in the audience were called upon to answer questions about each other, such as “What is one interesting thing about your date?” to which unexpected and crazy replies were heard. In between all this laughter nobody knew where all the food disappeared. Everyone seemed completely satisfied…but the story did not end there…
What would be more appropriate than to end the formal hall dinner with a photo taking session? Like the icing and cherry on the cake, all were eager to capture as many of the night’s moments with each other, cautious not to miss out anyone. Every block came together on stage to take separate pictures as well as new and old friendships being captured on film. Picture after picture, the endless variety of poses and combinations of people smiling with their sparkly teeth carried on far past the end of the event.
For freshmen, the first Formal Hall Dinner was a new experience – something memorable, something they would definitely look forward to in the coming semesters, with interesting themes coming our way. It was a great opportunity for both juniors and seniors to get to know one another, within the mutual sense of belonging in KE. Three cheers for FHD!