Since some years it is a tradition that the Firstyears come up with a Firstyear Show for us graduating Secondyears. However, this year, our Firstyears had decided that they would do something a little different and so it was that after the Reflection Video and beautiful singing of “Seasons of Love“ on Wednesday evening, they lined up along the road to hug us and shake our hands and guided us towards the canteen. We didn’t quite know what to expect, but the small glimpses of the event that we could catch when the Lions, Dragons and different dance groups were practicing in the gym, had gotten us all excited. Eventually, the night-long preparation by the Firstyears was definitely worth it. While us Secondyears watched, sitting on every available surface in the canteen, the Firstyears whirled around on stage with their dragons, nearly decapitating us with its rotating head, and jumped around in their Lion costumes, performing moves that made their Secondyear leaders proud.
Special highlights in the evening were the regional dances, for which the Firstyears had usually chosen the most memorable music from they respective cultural evenings and danced to it; eventually dragging all their regions’ Secondyears onto stage and dancing and jumping around with them. For us Europeans, the Firstyears had chosen ABBA, and we certainly all went wild on the dance floor. While everyone was dancing, everybody else around cheered, clapped and sang along; it was no surprise that soon our hands felt numb and our throats sore – but we continued showing our enthusiasm and love anyway.
This years’ Firstyear Show resembled the International Cultural Evenings in the beginning of the year a lot, with its regional division and presentation of our different Quan Cai groups, such as Lion, Dragon, Eclipse, Ballet and so on. The only difference was that this time, it was not for, but from the Firstyears, and that truly felt like closing a circle. Maybe future Firstyears should consider continuing not the tradition of a Firstyear Show, but this form of Firstyear ICE, finishing the year as it begun and thus bringing the year to a rounded end. By including something from each regional group, every Secondyear was somewhat represented in the evening and it newly strengthened and emphasized on our sense of belonging. Not that we needed any further accentuation of such, but it did bring back many of our dearest memories. I believe there is no need to say that the whole evening became very emotional.
Photo © Michelle Kwok