News - December 20, 2011

A centenary feast

Last week I flew back home and attended the 100th anniversary ceremony of my high school. On the sunny Sunday morning I got the impression that I just came home from a backward region of Europe.

10,000-people banquet
At 9.00 the youth honor guard band began to play ceremonial music at the school entrance. Hundreds of troops of the old and young flocked into the campus, the oldest guest was reported to be over 80. It was estimated that over 10,000 alumni attended on that day. The climax of the celebration was the 10,000-people banquet: to facilitate the reunion of the alumni, the school built up a temporary tent and reserved over 700 dining tables on the playground, thus the former classmates could enjoy the cuisine and recollect their good old school days at the same time.
i-Pad cameras
The school prepared lots of programs in the stadium for the celebration, but most of the people preferred to roam around and take pictures in the schoolyard. I thought the current digital gadgets like i-Phone were only reserved for the young generation until I came across this 50-some man.

He was using his i-Pad to make photos! Forgive my ignorance, I never saw anyone in the Netherlands used i-Pad in this way, but that morning alone I met three or four mid-aged "meneer" taking pictures with their fancy 'cameras'. How trendy the current Chinese are!

LED screen
Not only the alumni kept up with the trends, but also the Alma Mater's organizers knew how to harness the latest technology. On the ground floor of the teaching building, they placed a big LED screen to present attendants' real-time wishes, comments and photos from Sina Microblog, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter. When I was still in high school, I didn't dare imagine the centenary celebration could be like this. Thank the endless IT geeks, you guys really change our life.

Ten years ago when the high school celebrated the 90-year anniversary, I guessed 10 years later I would probably be an ordinary 'white collar' working in a local company. Who knew I would now be studying on a different continent instead? It's my luck and honor to be able to go home and witness this feast of my high school. What will happen in 2018, when Wageningen University embraces her 100 th year birthday? I think it unnecessary to make any wild guesses, because I've found something more worth doing: to treasure my friends, family and those who are with me right now.
Happy birthday my dear Alma Mater, Shunde No. 1 Middle School!

Picture of the week:
In the photo exhibition corridor, I found this picture taken 11 years ago. The jumping boy in it was me. I'm missing the days in school uniform.
Vid of the week: A group of alumni of Class of 1991 composed a touching Cantonese song as a gift for this anniversary.