Note to anyone arriving at my blog from google or other sources, I do not speak on behalf of anyone at HKU except for myself, I am just a student who goes to HKU and wants to talk a little bit about it for the sake of completing an arbitrary writing task I set myself for November.
With that out of the way, hope you enjoy the post 🙂
So yeah, today I helped out today as an Equal Opportunity Student in a booth explaining the EOU, handing out fliers, chatting with people etc. It was a lot of fun but man there were a ton of people!
Here are some random thoughts I had throughout the day:
- I am bloody terrible at giving directions to places on campus.
Sorry for anyone who became even more lost because of me today. There is a reason that even as a Year 2 student I keep a campus map in my folder along with my weekly and daily schedule.
Though in my defense, HKU’s campus is not a flat, level campus like most places, it is built on a slant at 3 distinct elevations or zones, so while two buildings look like they are right next to each other, you usually must go up or down some escalators/elevators/stairs reach a walkway or street before you can get to another part, then you take another set of stairs/escalators/elevators to get to your building.
This is made trickier by the fact that the buildings weren’t built at the same time (some date back to the school’s founding in 1911, while others are brand new from 2012 you can read about the main ones here, though it misses out on a dozen or so other buildings), so they connect in weird ways.
(like the library extension is down 2 escalators to the right of the library’s main entrance which juts out and attaches to the 3rd floor of the main building and is a staircase away from the ground floor of Kadoorie science building)
- How the heck do you explain “dem beat” to a non-local student?
So being the resident sorta-local, sorta-not student means that I’m often the person people go to when they have questions about HKU life.
And for the life of me, I still can’t find quite the right words to describe this (from what I can tell) uniquely Hong Kong phenomenon. It’s a bit like “chur” or “hei”, sure I can try my best to explain it, but until you really experience, no adjective feels quite right.
(for the lost: chur = that slightly overwhelming, annoying, nagging and stressful feeling you when you are stuck with a group mate that won’t do anything, or you have a bunch of busy work for a class that is worth just enough to care about but you are running out of time to do it. It’s not full-on panic, but it requires a change of plan and more effort on your part. Basically the word for that “Ughhhh…. Really? This now?” emotion. Hei is the opposite of that, relaxed, chill, not-a-care-in-the-world, mellow emotion)
The official translation for “dem beat” they usually use is “cheering competition” but it’s not like a cheerleading routine or dancing competition (that’s Mass Dance which shows up later in the year), it’s more like a New Zealand Haka combined with a Stepping dance but far less professional (think pep rally level of quality), where the goal is to motivate your hall before a competition or event, with members of a hall wearing the same t-shirt and chanting in unison.
For those of you who have never experienced this mildly impressive display of HK culture, may I present HKU’s 2017 info day “dem beat” competition, cutesy of the university’s Facebook page (since it was taken from a live broadcast the video is a bit shaky and of poor quality)
- They have definitely upped their intro speech, branding and presentation game from when I visited info day several years ago!
I mean just look at some of this stuff, they even had a vending machine making custom sticky notes for people! (I’ll post more stuff here tomorrow since I have already written a ton and am running out of time)
- Huh, I wonder if the Science Faculty has any traditions I don’t know about
So the EOU booth was in KK Leung building, and the other ambassador I was handing out fliers kept remarking on how I would walk through the center doorway, rather than the left or right-hand side one.
Turns out in his faculty (business) there is a superstition that if you walk through the center one you fail your exams (a bit like how you aren’t supposed to walk through the center doorway in a temple because it will bring bad luck). Got me thinking, I know there are quite a few hall traditions and HKU has Superpass (something else I might post about in the future) but I can’t think of any at the moment that is exclusive to Science.
- I have become the one who
knockshands out fliers to people….
Normally, people (including me) just walk by when someone tries to hand them a flyer. Today, I became the flyer-giver (we eventually figured out that if you give a souvenir with the flyer or hold up a sign directing them to the booth with free hot chocolate people will be more willing to take it)
This post is getting a bit long (that’s an understatement, its at nearly 1000 words o.O I’ve turned in papers with less content than this post), so I’ll end here for now (but will return tomorrow to edit a bit and add photos)
Until then, DFTBA!