MAF 2020 – So Familiar, Yet So Different

MAF 2020 – So Familiar, Yet So Different

14 May 2021

On the evening of 4th October 2020, the 47th College Students’ Council organised Hwa Chong’s annual Mid-Autumn Festival (MAF), adapting the original programme into a YouTube livestream. The event centred around the theme “霁” (pronounced jì), meaning pleasant weather, and in particular, one that clears up after a heavy storm.

MAF 2020 Theme “霁” (pronounced jì)

Even though the event was held online, the Council captured the essence of MAF through a series of activities and online games that viewers could take part in. In the weeks leading up to the celebration, anticipation was built through the Lantern Painting activity for JC1 students – which eventually culminated in the Cascading Lantern Structure at the Central Plaza. These festivities were supplemented by the sale of the commemorative “I <3 HC” shirt.

Cascading lantern structure at the Central Plaza

The livestream featured a series of dazzling performances put together by students from Wushu, ELDDFS and Music and Dance (Chinese), providing an unforgettable display of our very own homegrown Hwa Chong talent. Despite not performing in front of a live audience, viewers were certainly bedazzled and astounded by their marvellous performances, and one could picture the rousing applause, had the event took place in real life. 

In an interview with Timotheus Teng Da Hui (20S7B), Chairperson of the Mid-Autumn Festival Celebrations 2020, he said that the biggest challenge the team faced this year was to “create something out of nothing.”

As the Mid-Autumn Festival in Hwa Chong has historically placed a large emphasis on human interaction and inter-generational bonding between past and current Hwa Chongians to spark the “Hwa Chong spirit”, replicating this “spirit” in an online setting proved to be a challenging task. 

Through months of preparation and adaptation of their plans due to the volatile nature of the pandemic, the team managed to host a successful MAF with various novel segments including the Opening Title Sequence, Minecraft FireCo Burn, and an online skit that caught the viewers’ attention. 

“Ultimately, I don’t think school spirit is something that is “fixed”, but rather, it really is something that everyone can relate to and distinctively identify as “the Hwa Chong experience”,” commented Timotheus.

Recalling the event, Timotheus cited two lessons he learnt from this unique MAF. “First, be bold and be daring. Second, communication is key.” To hold this large-scale event online, it was imperative that everyone worked together amicably and effectively manage the event. 

Lastly, the team behind MAF 2020 would like to thank their council mentors, Ms Charlene Teh, Mr Joshua Teo and Ms Germaine Tan, and Ms Sophie Bobillier (Education Consultant / Faculty) for taking time off to share their past MAF experiences during the Mooncake Mukbang. They would also like to thank everyone who supported the event in one way or another, especially teachers like Mr Lee Yung Hei (Lecturer / Mathematics), who helped to publicise MAF through his Instagram account.

Written by Ong Jun Khai (20S6B)

(This is a continuing series to capture the vibrancy of Hwa Chong life in 2020.)