Friday, November 3, 2017

2017 HNC Halloween Party

Last week, the HNC held its annual Halloween party (万圣节派对). A yearly tradition, the party gives students the opportunity to spend time with their peers and faculty members, as well as the opportunity to meet students studying at other universities in Nanjing. HNC’s student-elected banwei (班委) traditionally coordinates the party. Made up of two international students and two Chinese students, the banwei act as the student representatives of the HNC student body. Besides working as the student-faculty liaison, the banwei also has the fun job of planning parties and events throughout the year, including the Halloween party, Christmas party, and end of the year BBQ!

The banquet hall before the festivities began!

My favorite part of the party was the fact that this was many of the Chinese students’ first time celebrating Halloween and attending a Halloween party! Here is what some of the Chinese students had to say about their Halloween experiences:

"The Chinese students were really excited to attend the party and do a lot of preparation, such as carefully choosing and buying the costumes and spending a lot of time doing their make-up!" – 陈娟玲

"特别开心第一次参加万圣节party,是一个从未有过的新鲜体验。我想以后我会十分怀念中心,怀念那年和你们一起度过的第一个万圣节” –  刘松月

"I loved the party, the decorations were great!"– 肖玲

Left: 杨荣骞 &毛婷婷dress up for their first Halloween! Photo courtesy of 黄葵. 胡天on the right as Superman
Pawel Chrzanowski, a first-year HNC Certificate student, joined the volunteer decorating committee formed by banwei. Four students – two international students and two Chinese students – volunteered to help plan and put up the decorations for the party. It took a lot of planning, but after speaking with Pawel, it was clear it was definitely worth it.

Why did you decide to volunteer for the decorating committee? What was your favorite part of the entire process?

Pawel: That’s easy, I’ve always enjoyed setting up parties. I love visualizing the space for a party, coming up with a plan, executing it, and then seeing the happy celebratory reactions. My favorite part, and what I’m most proud of, is that we tripled the funds that were given to last year’s decorating committee. The banwei gave us an initial budget, but after very kind donations from the students themselves, we were able to triple our budget. It showed the type of community that we have at the HNC, where everyone tries to contribute. I also really enjoyed working with the Chinese students. Our collaboration was awesome and we were so much more efficient with their help, for example they facilitated the transactions with sellers on Taobao.

 Pictured from left to right: 陈娟玲, Kimya Nia, 代攀红, 杨训琪 and Emily Rivera
The HNC Band – Savage Cabbages – was one of the highlights of the night. I had a chance to speak to three band members who shared their Savage Cabbages experience. Margie Tanner, one of the singers and a second year MAIS student, said this was her second year participating in the band. Margie explained that this year the band decided on a “haunted” theme when choosing which songs to play. These included: Haunted, Don’t Fear the Reaper, Toxic, Thriller, Uptown Funk, and 当然, and the Monster Mash. Here is what Margie, Daniel Burke, first year Certificate student and guitarist in the band, and 苏梦菲, second year Chinese MAIS student and bassist in the band, had to say about the Halloween party and their performance.

What did you think of the party? Did you have a favorite part of the performance?

Margie: This year, we had a lot of internal organization within the band so we were very organized, which was really cool. I’m glad we were able to continue the band this year, as the band is also an HNC tradition. It’s great - it makes me feel really good when I’m able to sing and everyone in the band loves making music, so it’s fun to get together and just jam. There’s a lot of diversity this year, in people and in instruments, which is also great.

Margie Tanner pictured on stage with the HNC band playing for the crowd. Photo by丁子倩
苏梦菲 (Maya): I learned to play the bass guitar right before the HNC Halloween party last year and it was the first musical instrument that I’ve ever learned to play. I felt pretty nervous this year before I stood on stage even though it has been the third time that I perform in front of a large group of people. But after I tuned my bass, everything seemed all right to me because I really enjoy playing bass and it was my last Halloween here at the center. The audience seemed to enjoy the songs, which made me so happy!

Daniel: The performance was so much fun! As we were playing, I remember looking up and thinking it was awesome to see my friends in the audience jamming out to our songs. Plus, everyone in the audience was dancing along. We couldn’t have asked for a better audience.

After speaking with several students and faculty, one thing was clear: The annual HNC Halloween party tradition must go on!

Written by Emily Rivera, Certificate '18