IT was a flurry of activities at Kolej Matrikulasi Pulau Pinang(KMPP) as students and staff celebratd the Chinese Lantern Festival recently.
The event kicked off at 6pm at the Kepala Batas campus with demonstrations of Chinese calligraphy and the art of Chinese paper-cutting (Jianzhi) as well as the sale of food and drinks at the foyer of the Al-Farabi Hall.
There was also a photo booth where visitors took photos of themselves garbed as ancient Chinese warrior or princess. By dusk, the foyer was illuminated by hundreds of paper lanterns of numerous hues garlanding the perimeter of the hall.
KMPP director Abdul Manaf Musa then officiated the festival’s musical gala which was attended by the college management and its two thousand students.
In his speech, Abdul Manaf said when he took over the helm of the college last year, he was concerned that the students would have their noses buried in books and not pay much heed to extra co-curricular activities.
“Obviously, I need not have worried because the student participation for the Lantern Festival proves that their skills are not constrained to academics only,” he said.
The show started with a 24-Season Drum performance. The 24 drummers with their huge drums did not miss a single beat in their immaculately timed routine. The momentum of the evening’s performance continued with the Diabolo performance which saw eight students skillfully maneuvering the Chinese yo-yo.
The smooth vocal harmonies from the quartet performing next managed to cool down the frenzied atmosphere in the hall, followed by a solo K-Pop dance routine.
After a Wushu performance, three ethnic dance performances took place: a traditional Malay dance, a Bollywood-inspired Indian dance and the traditional Chinese fan dance, altogether making it a truly 1Malaysia affair.
The highlight of the evening was a short play on the origin of the harvest festival which explained how the lantern festival came to be celebrated. The show culminated with a modern dance performance that saw many in the audience getting up to dance along.
The celebration was the collaborative effort of more than a quarter of the total student population that was spearheaded by organising committee chairperson Ooi Ao Song. Ooi said preparation began three months prior the event, barely a month after student registration.
“Our lecturer-adviser Teh Seng Wee told us that our objective is not in showing off our efforts to others; it is about gathering everyone together and creating a strong bond among members of the organising team. It is also a good chance for us to showcase our hidden talents and to further strengthen our leadership skills, so that we can get ourselves prepared for university,” he said.
To Mawarni Mustafa, a lecturer from the English Unit, the night’s show was extremely entertaining. “There wasn’t a dull moment. As a KMPPian, I am very proud to have such bountiful talents in our midst,” she said.