10 Nov 2018 Mid-Autumn Festival Celebrations Creates Vibrant and Convivial Atmosphere at IMU
5 October 2018 – The auditorium of the IMU Bukit Jalil campus was perhaps at its most vibrant due to the marvelous embellishments in conjunction with an annual event organised by IMU HuaXia Chinese Cultural Society, Mid-Autumn Night Festival 2018. ‘The Enchanted Moon (中秋•醉月)’ was the theme of the event this year, which illustrates the beauty of the full moon in the eighth month of the lunar calendar. The theme also reflects the happiness and bliss that communities shared when celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival.
This year, the event organisers collaborated with IMU Cares in a community service effort, inviting 15 elderly residents from three elderly care homes to participate in the event and share in the joy of togetherness with the younger generation.
Besides promoting the Chinese culture amongst the IMU community, the aim of this meaningful event was to provide an insight into the origins of this Chinese festival and mythology. Therefore, a great effort was put into the planning and preparation of the event to ensure that it ran smoothly. The effort was eventually paid off as the event received an overwhelming response from IMU students, with an estimated 200 participants, a tremendous improvement from last year’s turnout.
The participants were served with a buffet dinner generously sponsored by Mr Lee from the Pandan Serai Caféteria. Honoured guests – residents of Rumah Charis, Victory Elderly Home as well as Rumah Ti-Ratana – were welcomed to enjoy the dinner together with other participants before entering the auditorium.
The event began at 7:15 PM with the welcoming speech by the president, Poh Yang Jun as well as the club advisor, Dr Lim Chooi Ling. In Poh’s speech, he expressed his gratitude to the sponsors, guests, club advisors and the participants for attending the event. Moreover, he introduced each committee member and paid tribute to their contributions. Prof Khoo Suan Phaik, the Associate Dean, Community Engagement and one of the special guests, commended Poh on his heartfelt tribute.
Dr Lim also gave a speech and ended it by reciting a Chinese poem. Although delivered in English, she demonstrated that language is no barrier in the appreciation of Chinese poetry and culture. Furthermore, instead of the typical ribbon cutting ceremony, the event was officially launched through beats of the 24-festive drums by Prof Khoo, Mr Saravanan Muthiah (Manager, Student Services Department), Dr Lim, and Dr Chep Lee Lu Siang (co-advisor of the Chinese Cultural Society).
Following that, an educational video was presented to impart to the audience the origin of the mooncake-sharing custom during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Mooncakes were also given to the special guests, sponsors as well as performers as a token of appreciation.
The opening performance was a sensational 24-festive drum piece presented by undergraduate students from Universiti Putra Malaysia. As the crowd watched in silent awe, drum vibrations resonated around the auditorium, further adding to the grandeur of the function. This was followed by a Chinese Yoyo performance by Ong Hock Ooi, who gained a loud applause from the audience with his unprecedented talent.
The function then proceeded to a Kahoot session. The questions asked were to test the participants’ knowledge of the Mooncake Festival. Simultaneously, the questionnaires were distributed to the old folks for them to answer the questions. The prizes were given to both the Kahoot winners as well as the old folks according to their respective category.
This was followed by a musical performance, which was a fusion of Chinese traditional orchestra with a Western band. In addition, Chinese martial arts (Wushu) and a modern dance themed “Mulan” were well received by the audience. Every fascinating performance reflected the beauty of Chinese Art as a unifying factor amongst the IMU community.
In a unique activity, each participant was given a wishing box and a piece of paper. They were asked to write a message on the paper and place it inside the box as a dedication to an intended person. Surprisingly, some participants wrote to the old folks, wishing them good health and longevity. The committee members also received a message from one of the participants who thanked them for organising this event. Such responses were heartwarming and it reflected how appreciative the IMU community was towards the contributions of others.
After that, the participants moved to the driveway to enjoy the delicious mooncakes and snacks served. Lanterns and candles were also distributed to the participants for the lantern parade session. During this activity, the participants were free to wander around the campus with their respective lanterns, have their fill of delectable snacks, as well as participate in a creative photography contest by taking photos at a tastefully-decorated photo booth.
Eventually, it came to the most exciting session, the lucky draw session. The gifts were bountiful, thus tempting all the participants to pay attention to the announcement made on the stage.
The event came to the end when the crowd gradually dispersed and the volunteers started the clean-up activity at the driveway. Although this event only lasted for a night, the tableau of the participants mingling and laughing delightfully with their friends left an indelible mark among the IMU community. The vibrant and convivial atmosphere permeating throughout the campus portrayed the candescent side of the IMU community. This proved that the IMU students were not all nerds, instead, they know how to juggle between academic and extracurricular activities while maintaining a good balance of mental health, relationship and emotion. This was of utmost importance for their self-development in preparation for their career in the future.