Issue 129 | Apr-Jun 2022

Chinese New Year Appreciation Dinner 2022

Ringing in the Year of the Tiger with a roaring good time.

The mesmerising illuminated water drum performance was one of the evening’s major highlights.
In recent years, celebrations such as the Lunar New Year — the biggest event in the Chinese calendar — have gotten more subdued due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Yet even social distancing measures could not dampen the spirits of over 100 alumni leaders who turned to Zoom on 8 February 2022 for a highly-anticipated get-together. Hosted by NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye (Science ’85) and the Office of Alumni Relations (OAR), the bustling affair saw guests catching up with one another online even before the official start of the event, as fortune cookies, dinner bentos, customised bingo cards and individual platters of lohei were delivered to their doorsteps.
 

A Salute To Successes

Despite the virtual format, there was no lack of effort on OAR’s end to ensure that the attendees enjoyed the festivities from the comfort of their homes. While the celebration lasted just shy of an hour, every minute brimmed with activities. To kick off, a pre-recorded water drum performance aptly titled “Illuminate the Year of the Water Tiger” infused technology with energetic beats. Performed against the backdrop of the Shaw Foundation Alumni House, this visual stunner left the audience mesmerised with excitement as Mr Bernard Toh (Architecture ’84), Director, Alumni Relations, gave his welcome address. In it, he expressed his appreciation for the 330,000-strong alumni community which has stayed connected and engaged against all odds in the past few years, and urged everyone to emulate traits of the tiger such as strength, courage and boldness in their endeavours.
 
Mr Roystonn Loh hosting a game of Bingo for the guests.
After a recap of OAR events in 2021, Prof Tan greeted the alumni leaders with news of NUS charting new educational paths which transcend geographical and economic boundaries. In particular, NUS continues to stay committed to providing accessible and affordable opportunities for its students with the recent announcements of enhanced financial aid schemes. For example, full-time Singaporean undergraduates from households with a per capita income of up to $690 will now receive additional financial support for living expenses, on-campus stay and overseas programmes. These updates were greeted with much pride and enthusiasm.
  
Prof Tan (left) and Mr Toh (right) addressing the guests.
Next, guests participated in a virtual lohei facilitated by Mr Roystonn Loh (Arts and Social Sciences ’13). This loud and joyous exercise had everyone exchanging blessings through their devices for the year ahead. After everyone had savoured their portions, Mr Loh led the guests in a lively Bingo game. Amid good-natured jesting, the event segued into three rounds of yam seng toasts led by Mr Toh to wrap up the evening. 

“To our alma mater – we wish that she will continue to grow from strength to strength and produce alumni who are successful, confident and compassionate. Next, may all of us be energised by the strength, courage and vitality of a tiger, thereby bringing us closer to our dreams and aspirations. Lastly, to happiness, health and success in the Year of the Tiger for your family and loved ones!” concluded Mr Toh, to cheers swelling in the Zoom room. Suffice to say, the Year of the Water Tiger kicked off with resounding success for the alumni community amid a flurry of “huats” and “hurrahs”.
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