Some 5,000 alumni, students, staff and their families were treated to a Southeast Asian cultural extravaganza at University Town on 18 August as part of this year’s Kent Ridge Alumni Family Day, organised by NUS Alumni Relations.
NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye, welcomed by a Balinese Masked Dance presented by NUS Southeast Asian Studies, said that the theme reflected the University’s focus on cultivating research collaborations and building networks with relevant institutions in ASEAN countries and that many alumni were excited to hear about such efforts in the region and beyond. He also encouraged alumni to stay connected to their alma mater and consider taking courses under the recently launched NUS Lifelong Learning Initiative to help them stay competitive and relevant in their workplaces. A booth had been set up by the School of Continuing and Lifelong Education at the event, where guests could attend introductory sessions on such courses.
Dynamic Southeast Asian-themed performances and songs dominated the stage, including those by local bands from the cast of So Bright and Ugly In The Morning, headlined by “BunZ” Bao Shangze (Arts and Social Sciences ’14), and Noel Ong (Arts and Social Sciences ’94) and Pamela Oei (NUS Design and Environment ’97), respectively.
The Dance Studio was set up to become an “ASEAN Enclave”. Inside, crowds lined up to participate in the angklung (an Indonesian musical instrument made of bamboo tubes) and Thai dance workshops, and to capture fun memories at the photo booth where they could dress up in traditional costumes. Outside the studio, there were stations set up for making batik, wayang kulit (shadow puppets) and clay vases, while stalls offered popular street food from various countries.
There were also talks on parenting and health, special rates to visit the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, drone exhibitions, rock climbing for beginners and even a bouncy castle for children, which attracted individuals like Dr Shi Yuan (Science ’06) who attended the event with his wife and four children. “It’s a special occasion for the family and we really enjoy the activities here. We attended last year’s as well and thought it was a lot of fun,” said Dr Shi.
Other exciting highlights included the screening of animated film Ferdinand on Town Green, and a mechanical bull at the NUS Giving booth where participants could have a ride for a good cause. Throughout the day, a robot cleverly interacted with guests, suggesting activities and quizzing them on ASEAN-related topics.
For more upcoming alumni events, see here.
By NUS Alumni Relations