On Tuesday, November 10, 2015, approximately 30 MBA students, professors, staff and international exchange students gathered on campus to celebrate Diwali, the biggest and brightest Hindi festival.
As Diwali is the festival of lights, students lit a sea of candles, put up chains of lights and made the venue shine and sparkle.
Upon finishing the decoration ceremony, the attendees were briefly introduced to the backgrounds of the Diwali festival and learnt about the saga that once initiated the celebration of Diwali, which spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. At the beginning of the event, the Indian students of the class demonstrated the Lakshmi puja, one of the important rituals performed during the festival of Diwali. This ritual, performed to invite Goddess Lakshmi to one´s home, was carried out by praying at a beautifully laid out altar, as a silent beginning of an otherwise loud and exciting night.
As per the Hindi tradition, the event organisers had prepared for a Rangoli contest, where the event participants competed in creating the most beautiful pattern of flowers and coloured sand. “We had a lot of fun getting to know Hindu culture and I was excited to get my hands dirty and create the best looking Rangoli”, a MBA participant said. The winners of the creativity contest were announced by a jury of indian students who awarded the lucky contestants with chocolate bars and a thundering applause. Later, an entertaining round of Tambola and the opening of a buffet loaded with an abundance of sweets, snacks and drinks made the Diwali night an unforgettable experience for all.
The harder we debate in the cases and the harder we need to celebrate every moment here at NBS. As we prepared for the exams, the exco team decided to treat the batch with some sweets and a small get together.
It was October, and thus it was planned to surprise the October babies with a small birthday celebration during a class break. All those who are born in October were brought together to cut the two chocolate cakes that were ordered and the class took some time to voice best wishes to their batch mates. Each one of them was gifted with a lottery ticket to wish them all the best and good luck for the future.
Luckily for the group of October babies, the cake was too delicious to be put on their faces and for a change we ate it all.
Now, everyone is keenly waiting for the November birthday celebrations. =)
The Wine, Beer & Liqueur Appreciation Club recently hosted a small gathering to toast farewell to our Trimester 1 Marketing course. The cohort had taken part in a competitive and highly challenging Markstrat marketing simulation, and the final simulation run was a great chance to gather together and celebrate the end of 8 weeks of hard work.
One of the goals was finally met. After several cultural events that showcased interesting facts about diverse cultures that form the Nanyang MBA, from the tasty Korean BBQ, Chinese full-of-lights Mid-Autumn festival, the very rhythmical Indian Bollywood dance, or the traditional songs of ‘German’ Christmas, it was time for the Mexican MBA students, like me to share a little about our culture.
The excuse was perfect: September 16th 2012, the 202th anniversary of the Mexican Independence Day, is around the corner. With a short time for preparation but the best efforts, myself and Allan Perez (Mexican, Exchange Student from EGADE MBA), organised a party gathering among senior students (graduating batch) and new cohort and also with the Exchange Students. The reception to this party was very good as the slots were full in only a couple of days. For me and Allan, the celebration was indeed the best opportunity not only to show a little about our culture, but also to thank all the support and kindness we have received from our Singaporean and foreign colleagues over all.
More than 40 of us, a very diverse group, attended the fiesta (or feast in English!): Singaporeans, Filipino, French, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, German, American, Spanish, among other nationalities. The first surprise they encountered was the possibility to adopt a Mexican Name. John Rae Philip (Filipino) and Martin Schmidt (Austrian, Nanyang- St. Gallen Double Masters) helped the visitors pick their name based in the translation or adopt one that they liked. They provided a Certificate of Name Adoption to each of the attendees. For example, Hao Wu (Chinese, Nanyang Essec Double Masters) decided to pick Señor Gabriel, which is the name of one of the archangels that he likes. Harutaka Ichinoki (Japanese,) chose Don José as it is easy to remember.
After the name adoption, participants indulged in Mexican food and beverages. For beverages, it was possible to try Michelada, a beer cocktail that includes lemon, salt, Maggie sauce and chili. For food, they tried Carne Asada (roasted beef) with Tortilla, a combination more popularly known as Taco in Mexico, the most popular food. They had the possibility to accompany the food with a large selection of salsas, from non-spicy to very spicy, and of course, including in that selection the famous avocado sauce, Guacamole. Our Vegetarian peers had also the chance to try dishes that did not include meat.
Tortilla chips, quesadillas and chicharron (fried pork skins!) were also part of the celebration. Some of our classmates were decisive and willing to help out- Steven Quimby (American) and Jaewon Park (Korean) provided a key support in the grill section and showed their BBQ expertise.
For the event closure, two (2) traditional Piñatas were brought in and those who wish to play this game were blindfolded and asked to hit the Piñata with a stick. The reward, when the Piñata was hit and broken is an avalanche of assorted candies- we had fun as we competed among ourselves to try to get as much as possible. Vida Zhou (Chinese,) and Aditi Jain (Indian,) were the first ones brave enough to try the Piñata. Overall, we have fun during this enjoyable evening- eat, chat and play while celebrating Mexican culture. Viva Mexico!
By Bui Vinh Nguyen (William), Vietnamese, Nanyang MBA Participant, Intake 2011
With Trimester 2 exams completed, it signaled that we were half way through our MBA journey at Nanyang. To celebrate this, we gathered at Tanglin View Condo, a centrally located, beautiful condominium near town area. Our gracious hosts were our classmates from Germany who prepared German style BBQ (we had Korean last time). It was an event too, to share stories, laughter and our plans in the near future after our MBA.
By Bui Vinh Nguyen (William), Vietnamese, Nanyang MBA Participant, Intake 2011
Last February, we had a gathering at a beautiful condominium in the western part of Singapore, Bukit Batok, to celebrate the Chinese New Year or CNY, the most important event for among the Chinese. Daniel Ho, a Chinese Singaporean, opened his wonderful home to us, non-Chinese MBA classmates, to learn more about CNY. My classmates were very excited about it because they all wanted to experience a new and different culture. Our ever affable host, Daniel, shared his impressive knowledge about Chinese snacks, served during CNY.
By Joseph M. Kainady, Indian, The NANYANG MBA Participant, Intake 2011
Being a part of an international cohort of MBA students, one will always have an opportunity to learn a new culture or share your own to your classmates and this is exactly what happened during the last quarter of last year – my fellow Indian classmates and I had the opportunity to share a part of our culture – The Diwali or known as Festival of Lights.
As the festival fell on a very busy period for us (exams week and trimester 1 break), we celebrated Diwali in November. Diwali is one of the most important festival in India – it is important for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains but it is celebrated by everyone.
Gathering at the MBA lounge, my classmates were welcomed with Indian folk art pattern or Rangoli and diyas (oil lamps), which set the festive mood. The celebration started off with a Pooja ceremony, a religious ritual performed by the Hindus as an offering to various deities, distinguished persons or special guests. It lasted around 15 minutes and was conducted by an NTU PhD student. Our classmates were amazed by the ritual, as Cheng Zeng, from China, puts it, “I was amazed to see the versatility in the PhD student conducting the Pooja in such a professional manner.”
Rangoli or Indian folk art pattern welcoming my classmates upon entering the MBA lounge
By Kabeer Chaudhary, Indian, Nanyang MBA Intake 2011, Student ExCo VP Cultural
Seeing some photos taken during Christmas season brings back fun memories of my first Christmas in Singapore, celebrated together with my Nanyang MBA peers. The fun and laughter we had that night still resound in my head.
by Zhou Dan, Chinese, VP for Communications, Nanyang MBA Participant, Intake 2011
How time flies! It was almost yesterday that we packed our luggage and came to this energetic and vibrant city-state – Singapore and now, the first trimester of our program has passed so quickly and so is the year 2011. After finishing our last paper for Trimester 1 at the end of November, both the current and graduating cohorts, went out for a chill and fun to celebrate the ‘end’ and the new beginning for some. We were looking forward for a fun-packed night, but it was bittersweet for everyone, as it also marked the night that we were saying goodbye to our senior peers. Talking about farewells!
The choice of the place was crucial to fulfill our purpose. Our VP for Socials decided to hold the event on the rooftop of now the tallest building in Singapore – a fitting venue to celebrate the end of studies, on a ‘high’ note. Hence, we all agreed to set it at One Raffles Place, a new iconic structure in the heart of the central business district and financial center of Singapore – Raffles Place. It houses the multi-concept lifestyle venue for the end-of-term party – 1-Altitude and CityGolf. One Raffles Place has a peak height of 282 meters (!) and boasts a spectacular 360-degree view of Singapore skyline.
by Kabeer Chaudhary, Indian, Nanyang MBA Participant, Intake 2011
Diversity is key to create a great and memorable experience and we are fortunate that The NANYANG MBA fosters this and strive to have such for its students – we have 18 nationalities in our cohort! This diversity in nationalities gives us the opportunity to learn about other people’s culture without having to go that far. And we did – right here in Singapore!
The 2011 Student Executive Committee (Ex-Co) kick-started this year’s events for current students with the celebration of the ‘Mooncake Festival’ in September, also known as the ‘Mid-Autumn’ or ‘Moon Festival’ at the Chinese Gardens. The Chinese Gardens, also known as Jurong Gardens, is one of Singapore’s nature parks and is built over 8 hectares in 1975 under the guidance of a well-known architect from Taiwan. Twenty (20) of us, current MBA students, with our families and friends, walked through the gardens and were greeted by northern Chinese imperial style of architecture and landscaping. The place awed us with its colorful lanterns tied to ancient legends dotting the lake and the grounds and Chinese customs of the festival.
Mooncake or Moon Festival is a popular lunar harvest festival celebrated by the Chinese community all around the world. It falls on the 15th of the 8th month of the lunar calendar and it is one of the most important traditional events for the Chinese and even Vietnamese, just like Christmas and Thanksgiving for Westerners. There are many legends and folklore surrounding the festival from the Moon Goddess of Immortality to the overthrowing of Mongol Rule and to the Vietnamese legend of a wife who accidentally desecrated a sacred banyan tree and was transported to the heavens by the tree for doing so (the Vietnamese light lanterns to show her way down to earth)*. But it is also a favorable time to have a get together and enjoy one another’s company, eating mooncakes under a full moon (for us, we did at the Chinese Garden!). Of course, apart from the delicious mooncakes some of us brought, we were also delighted by mooncakes shared by gracious celebrants who were there to enjoy and celebrate the festivities.
Our Chinese classmates were excited and eager to share with us their culture specially that surround these festivities. Each of us was ‘welcomed’ with a traditional mooncake and our Chinese friends helped to differentiate between flavors such like walnut, lotus, pumpkin and red beans. , Dominic, our Swiss classmate, had a mooncake with a nut filling, and commented, “It was my first time at a Mooncake Festival. I’ve heard a lot about the famous mooncakes and I was excited to finally try them. After trying about every possible mooncake flavor, I can say that my favorite is the one with the nut filling.”