Events Around the World: November 2016
As the weather turns colder in the Northern Hemisphere, overseas Singaporean communities continue to bring warmth to our fellow Singaporean friends through various activities and events. Here are some featured events from the past month:
SUKA Diwali Dinner and Dance
(Images courtesy of SUKA)
The Singapore UK Association (SUKA)’s annual Diwali celebration, held in East London on 14 October, was a lively and stylish affair.
“The SUKA committee wanted to give this year’s celebrations a different twist. We held a fashion show for the first time, with children, teenagers, young ladies and aunties showcasing the finest saris, Indian outfits and even some designs fresh from India Fashion Week!” explained SUKA President Sharliza Rahman, while making reference to the 2nd annual Braun India Fashion Week London, which was held that same week.
Aside from the fashion show, the 170 attendees were entertained by Indian dance performances and took part in quizzes and giveaways. They rounded up the event by packing the dance floor and grooving the night away as a DJ played Bollywood and Bhangra tunes, an upbeat genre of Punjabi music.
“We wanted to bring our Singaporean SUKA members and their friends together to celebrate Diwali in its full glory, and we’re glad everyone had a good time!” Sharliza said.
For the upcoming festive season, SUKA will be hosting a dazzling Christmas Dinner and Dance on 3 December.
LSE Singapore Society’s Fresher’s Ball
(Images courtesy of LSE Singsoc)
The London School of Economics Singapore Society (LSE Singsoc)’s annual Fresher’s Ball is the society’s formal way of inducting Singaporean freshmen into LSE, and to unite the greater LSE Singaporean community.
This year’s edition, held on 22 October, was the society’s biggest community gathering of the year. 180 Singaporeans, dressed in their formal best, filled the historic Knight’s Templar pub in London for a night of good food, drinks and company.
Guests had the pleasure of enjoying musical performances put up by the society’s members, as they tucked into a selection of Western food like BBQ Pork Ribs, Peri-Peri Chicken and Fish & Chips. As the night progressed, the celebratory atmosphere in the Knight’s Templar heightened as the dance floor was filled with attendees showing off their moves.
Everyone at the Ball had an enjoyable time, but the outgoing LSE Singsoc executive committee (Exco) – and organisers of the Fresher’s Ball – had mixed feelings, particularly towards the end of the night.
“It was bittersweet as our last Singsoc event came to a close,” said Nina Bhargava, the 2015/16 LSE Singsoc President. “It was definitely a privilege to serve the LSE Singaporean community over the past year, and [the committee members] will hold this experience dear to us for years to come. On behalf of the Singsoc Exco 2015/16, we wish the newly elected 2016/17 Exco all the best in leading LSE Singsoc to greater heights!”
The newly elected LSE Singsoc 2016/17 committee will round off the year with their first event - the society’s annual Christmas party which took place on the last day of November this year!
SSAJ’s Autumn Welcome Party
(Images courtesy of SSAJ)
The Singapore Students’ Association (Japan) (SSAJ) organised a Welcome Party on 22 October in Yotsuya, Tokyo to touch base with the new batch of Singaporean tertiary and exchange students in Japan. The event, which had close to 30 attendees, was a useful platform for new students to get to know the Singapore community in Japan, said Yeo Quan Yi, Vice President of SSAJ.
The SSAJ team provided an update on the latest news in Singapore over a hearty dinner. There was also an informal session for attendees to share their experiences and tips about settling down in Japan. “This included practical matters like handling administrative paperwork pertaining to the Residence Card, creating bank accounts, and signing a phone contract,” elaborated Quan Yi.
Useful tips and information aside, the students became rather spontaneous. “Some of the attendees decided to head out after the party to an all-night karaoke outlet nearby! It is a popular pastime here in Japan. This provided an excellent opportunity for deeper bonding when everyone sang their hearts out”, quipped Quan Yi. “It helped our attendees make new friends and get to know each other better.”
This month, SSAJ also organised a job-hunting seminar with ZESDA, a Japanese non-profit organization, and a ‘momijigari’ (autumn leaves viewing) trip in Mount Takao, Hachioji. Other events in the coming months include a trip to Gunma Prefecture from 17-18 December, a Chinese New Year event next January or February, and a cherry blossom viewing in March or April. For further details on the upcoming winter trip, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SSAJ’s website: http://www.ssaj.net/
SSAJ’s Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/singaporeanstudentsinjapan/
NYU SSA’s A Singaporean Thanksgiving
(Images courtesy of NYU SSA)
The New York University Singapore Student Association (NYU SSA) hosted around 75 people at its second annual Thanksgiving event, held on November 12 at the NYU. Titled ‘A Singaporean Thanksgiving’, the event is part of NYU SSA’s initiative to foster a sense of community among Singaporeans at the university, and to allow non-Singaporeans the chance to experience local Singaporean culture.
“Thanksgiving takes place in November, and understandably many of our friends who are domestic students on campus will return to their families for gatherings,” said NYU SSA marketing director Alvin Leong, “In the absence of our own families here in the States, we also wanted to provide an opportunity for Singaporeans to partake in the Thanksgiving festivities.”
The organising team put a local spin to the traditional Thanksgiving feast by serving up roasted duck and chicken, Hainanese chicken rice, and beehoon, instead of a Thanksgiving turkey. Amidst the lively atmosphere created by catch-ups and board game fun, guests also got to take part in a special activity – writing postcards to their loved ones back home.
Tan Cheng Yang, NYU SSA’s events director, elaborated on what prompted this postcard-writing initiative, introduced for the first time this year. “Since it’s Thanksgiving, we wanted to give Singaporeans at NYU an avenue to express their gratitude for what they have. Hence, this idea was unanimously supported by the entire executive board when it was raised by a freshman representative.”
Of the 55 postcards written that day, 47 were addressed to family and friends in Singapore, while 8 others were sent to Lima, Paris and the United States.
The organising team was also pleased with the turnout for the evening. “We had undergraduates, Master’s students and exchange students turning up for the evening, and everyone got to catch up with their friends and make new ones,” Alvin shared. “The overall feedback we received was that everyone really enjoyed the event, especially eating South-east Asian food and hearing the familiar Singaporean accent again!”
For the first half of 2017, highlights in NYU SSU’s event calendar includes a Chinese New Year gathering on 31 January, and ‘Singapore Night’, where guests can enjoy Singaporean culinary delights, childhood games, and performances. They will also host the Winter edition of their ‘Live The City’ series of outings in the first half of February, where members will get to explore New York through unique experiences. Activities for the recent Fall edition included an upstate hiking trip and thrift shopping in Brooklyn.
From having regular makan sessions to organising fun-filled family days, Singaporean clubs and student associations have been the pillars of support to fellow Singaporeans. No matter how far from home we might be, these clubs and associations are always flying our flag high and celebrating the Singapore spirit.
We’d love to feature your event in next month’s roundup! Reach out to us on our Facebook page.
If you’re keen to reach out to a Singaporean club or student association near you, check out our list of overseas Singaporean clubs!