The Residential College ,Shun Hing College (Block A)’s first high table dinner was held on October 20th at College Hall, our newly built multipurpose venue for dinners and events. The evening began with a cocktail reception on the 4th floor with a free flow of wine. This was then followed by the commencement of the high table dinner with the walk-in procession followed by speeches from the Director of Journalism and Media Studies Centre HKU and Residential Colleges, Shun Hing College (Block A)’s Master, Professor Ying Chan, and the Vice Chancellor and President of HKU, Professor Lap-chee Tsui.
The Masters of Ceremony for the event were Kim Heey Jin and Umair Khan Marwat, students from our very own block who had shared a few of their thoughts on the high table dinner and their experience of being the emcees with the A-Media team.
It was the first time stepping in the College Hall for many including Kim and Umair as this was the maiden high table dinner held there since its completion. “Our first chance to get a glimpse of it was unfortunately postponed due to bad weather and so many of us have been waiting to finally see the College Hall,” said Kim.
Her thoughts were echoed by many students who were not disappointed and praised the architecture of the College Hall, particularly the curved rattan structures that were built to mask pipe works at the sides.
Not only was the College Hall a new place for us, the high table dinner tradition was also new to a portion of our residents. This tradition is not practiced in many universities and with students from a wide variety of countries and all walks of life living in our block; it is not surprising that this was the first high table dinner they attended.
“The high table was something new for me, and even though I had heard about it, the dinner was much more than my expectations. A terrific experience for me. It was noble and intellectual,” said Umair, who was in awe with the discipline and tradition that shone from his fellow undergraduates who wear dressed in green gowns.
“Though the actual purposes for the High Table tradition may vary for every university practising it, I personally think it is a great way for hall mates to get to know each other,” Kim said. Professor Ying Chan herself encouraged students of Shun Hing College (Block A) to get to know their fellow hall mates and challenged us all to meet at least one person from half of the nations represented in our block.
With so much anticipation and expectation built toward the high table dinner, there were surely going to be some minor disappointments along the way. Kim hopes that the next high table dinner would feature the vast number of talented performers our block has to offer.
“Frankly speaking, I was a little disappointed that there were no performances for the High Table Dinner. I am sure us residents of Shun Hing College (Block A) can provide many good performances if we are given the opportunity,” she said.
“Can we have lava cake next time?” Umair cheekily asked.
The Masters of Ceremony valued and enjoyed their time as hosts immensely and would definitely take up the role again if the opportunity ever arose.
“I would definitely do it if the residents of Shun Hing College (Block A) can bear with my not-so-comical jokes,” Umair joked.
They saw it as a great way to improve their social skills and speaking ability as well as a privilege to contribute to the block in that manner. Both of them also were grateful to the tutors whom they said gave them timely and helpful feedback.
“Feeling so many eyes looking up at me when I got up stage gave me an utmost sense of belonging,” Kim ended.
This sense of belonging radiated from all of the residents with a hall filled with merriment, laughter and conversation. In a setting where it did not matter if you were an undergraduate or postgraduate, from Canada or Korea, studying Engineering or Accounting; our diversity only added to the unity and joy of our block. This feeling was much in sync with Professor Ying Chan’s theme for the evening: Celebration and Thanksgiving.